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Walsall iron light switch

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by unionworkeruk, 15 Aug 2019.

  1. unionworkeruk

    unionworkeruk

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    "there is the issue of earthing that metal"

    Couldnt I just fit the earth wire in a choc bloc or similar ?
     
  2. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    This might work.

    0x100.jpg
     
  3. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    Indeed - that's the sort of thing I meant by a 'stepping relay'. However, that would require the switch to be a 'momentary action' one (which it isn't) and there might also be a need for some rectification, since I'm not sure whether there is an AC equivalent of such a uniselector.

    Kind Regards, John
     
  4. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    In the bad old days, when your original switch was used in a wooden back box, the botch to earth the switch involved wrapping an earth wire under the head of one of the side fixing screws - the screws fixing it to the back box.

    That 2 way switch on ebay is a completely different style of switch. Rather than being fixed back through those metal lugs, the 2 way switch would have been surface fixed to a wooden pattress with a couple of wood screws through holes in the porcelain - so no obvious way to attach an earth to the metal.

    My best suggestion would be to consider you might have to solder an earth lead somehow, then use a connector to connect it to your earth wire. Your ebay 2 way switch pre-dates my experience, so I cannot even remember what the look like under that metal dome cover.
     
  5. unionworkeruk

    unionworkeruk

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    under that metal dome cover.
     
  6. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    Thanks, it should be possible to find a suitable surface to solder an earth wire to that. From memory, the switch frame/wings are fixed to the porcelain by a couple of screws coming up from the back of the porcelain, you can just make out the ends of the screws, in those wings. The screw heads were then sealed in place by some sort of very hard resin.
     
  7. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    That an interesting one I have never seen before!
     
  8. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    Indeed - and that would avoid any appreciable energy 'wastage' due to the relay coil being energised for appreciable periods of time. However, for a proportion of the time (depending on switch settings) current would be flowing through one or both of the capacitors, even if the light was not on - minimal energy usage, but perhaps not the nicest of situations.

    ... and, of course, you are introducing components (capacitors) which are quite likely to fail (potentially with a bang and a flash!) far earlier than switches or relays normally would.

    Kind Regards, John
     
    Last edited: 16 Aug 2019
  9. SUNRAY

    SUNRAY

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    You're giving your age away Bernard :D
    Yes it does work but I haven't seen that for years. Judging by the big black marks and sticky confetti inside the cast iron enclosures of yesteryear I think I know why it went out of fashion. Modern components are of course more reliable.
     
  10. FrodoOne

    FrodoOne

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    Apart from the earthing of the metal-work, it appears that what "unionworkeruk" requires is a SPDT switch mechanism which will replace the SPST (porcelaine) mechanism in the "old Walsall one gang light switch".

    The two main requirements of any new "mechanism" are that
    it will fit in the space available and
    it has a projecting "toggle", which may be operated by the switching lever in the metal cover of the Walsall "switch".

    Modern "mechanisms" are available with such "toggles" added - to be used in "heritage" restorations.
    For example, the ones shown here https://www.classicswitches.com.au/polished-brass-toggle-switches-power-points/
    It would be possible to take the first of these (Classic 1 Gang Flat Plate Heritage Light Switches - Brass Toggle with Brown Base),
    cut the mounting plate to fit the space involved,
    drill two holes spaced as for the two existing mounting screws and
    place the modified "plate" in position.

    (The mechanism inserted in the mounting plate is a SPDT unit (as are [virtually] all Australian light switches.
    One may find that the "Polished Brass" of the mounting plate is just a layer of "brass" on a plastic plate.)


    Of course, there are probably UK heritage/classic switches of this type which could be modified in a similar manner.
     
  11. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    Wish I could, it would be great to be 30 again.

    I didn't know the idea had been used in the past.
     
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  12. SUNRAY

    SUNRAY

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    Oh Yeaaaahh they were used in intrisically safe locations, I think I want to say they were in a cast Iron or possibly diecast ali enclosure about 9x9x6" with a big red lens on the front, inside was a 80V 5W bulb (Very slim chance I may still have one) a 3000 type relay with huge contacts, 2 wacking great big waxed paper caps (4 to 5"x 1.5") and a terminal strip. There were also a couple or more resistors.
    I want to say the name cast in the front was 'fielde'.
    Every one I went in had a puddle of wax, a blown a cap and filled with the paper and ali dust.
     
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