Help with Coke clock fluorescent light

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  #1  
Old 05-02-15, 02:16 PM
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Help with Coke clock fluorescent light

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Hey there,
I'm restoring an old, 1970's, Coke clock.
Long story, short, can someone help me with the fluorescent light?
Now, long story, long.
It's from a local theater I grew up going to as a child and they gave it to me.
I know a little about a lot but nothing about that fluorescent light setup. Alls I know is I put a new light in it and it didn't work.
Anyone can give me some ideas on troubleshooting or replacing the light?
I want it to work again.
And, on that note, the mechanism was wired into it. I cut the wires to remove the mechanism. I can tape off those ends but will them not being connected to an electrical mechanism, just taped off, affect the light working? They were connected and when I plugged it up to electricity, the lights didn't work then.
The mechanism itself worked but it was very LOUD, grinding noises and had came off of the back of the face. Apparantly it was glued there. And the spindle and hands just bobbled around. So, I took the mechanism out. I have no idea how the second hand was attached, wouldn't unwind off or pop off. Eventually, it broke off as I was trying to pull it off with pliers.
I know that I can buy a replacement. My plans are to replace it with a battery mechanism. I'm not sure if I can find one that those old hands will fit on. Hope to. I guess I'll maybe super glue that red second hand back on, unless you guys have suggestions on that. It's just flat on the bottom now.
Thanks.
 
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  #2  
Old 05-02-15, 03:52 PM
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Try a new bulb. If no light try a new starter. If no light replace the ballast.
I cut the wires to remove the mechanism. I can tape off those ends but will them not being connected to an electrical mechanism, just taped off, affect the light working?
It shouldn't as long as you have power to the light.

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Or simpler just put in a modern T8 fixture.
18" example: http://www.simsupply.com/18-Strip-Li...wA2hoCJe7w_wcB
 

Last edited by ray2047; 05-02-15 at 04:16 PM.
  #3  
Old 05-02-15, 06:22 PM
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I did try a new bulb, got nothing. No flicker or anything.
Can I buy a ballast that'll replace that one? It's really old.
Thanks for your help.
 
  #4  
Old 05-02-15, 06:34 PM
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You need to replace the starter first. Take the starter with you you to a hardware store so you can get the same wattage. The starter just twists out. If starter doesn't have a readable wattage use the bulb wattage.
I did try a new bulb, got nothing.
Was it a T-12?
 
  #5  
Old 05-02-15, 07:32 PM
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If you replace the ballast most likely the new ballast won't require a starter. There will be a wiring diagram on the new ballast.
 
  #6  
Old 05-02-15, 08:02 PM
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Yea, it was a T-12
I got the starter out FS-2 18"15W, 24" 20W
I'll get a new one like that and try it.
Thanks.
Hope I can find a clock mechanism with a long enough spindle and one that will take those old hands.
 
  #7  
Old 05-02-15, 08:11 PM
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If you replace the ballast most likely the new ballast won't require a starter.
Joe's statement is correct and my age is showing. Starters are cheaper and were common when I learned so I still say go with the cheapest part first. Actually replacing the whole fixture might be as cheap as a new ballast.
 
  #8  
Old 05-03-15, 04:42 AM
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Of course buying the ballast will just about be the cost of a new fixture. Why not just remove the fixture you have in there, now and replace it with either a 12" or 18" T5 fixture? The synchronous motor may be a challenge, but I am sure there are outlets that can help you find one with your specs.
 
  #9  
Old 05-03-15, 04:43 AM
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I was wondering about that. It's sort of built-in to the plastic housing.
That said, with todays smaller, LED even, fixtures...I may just go with some other light and pull the cord through. Keep it quick and simple.
But I'd like to keep it original if possible. IDK yet. It really depends on how much that ballast and starter will cost when I get to go look for them.
 
  #10  
Old 05-03-15, 04:49 AM
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Yeah, the plastic housing may pose a problem with retrofitting. Keeping it original is another matter, too with valid points. Check the cost of replacement parts and just let your pocketbook lead
 
  #11  
Old 05-03-15, 04:55 AM
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If you decide to change it to LEDs, look into LED strips. They can be had inexpensively for complete kits.
 
  #12  
Old 05-03-15, 01:01 PM
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That ballast and the whole setup looks pretty scary, dangerous fire hazard.
So, keeping it simple I'm going with this cheap LED strip. 17 bucks and it's all done. I'll leave the innerds in there, lol, for posterity.
Will mount that with sticky tape probably. Run the cord out the old hole.
It's much cooler inside that case too.
Now...to find a mechanism like I need. Amazon I guess. I want a round one since light is coming behind it.smallest possible too. The previous one was glued to the back of the face, hence that ring left when it fell off.
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  #13  
Old 05-03-15, 02:56 PM
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See what it looks like with the led's turned toward the back of the cabinet. Seems a little harsh. Just thinkin'
 
  #14  
Old 05-03-15, 03:10 PM
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Suggestion: remove the tombstones from the florescent light and glue the LED strip to the metal part the bulb was over. That way it is secure and the light shines to the back.

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Last edited by ray2047; 05-07-15 at 08:32 PM.
  #15  
Old 05-03-15, 06:40 PM
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The picture is really not a good representation of how it looks. The picture does look 'harsh', but in reality it's just right. I'm very pleased. Thanks for those suggestions though.
I do need help with the clock though.
See in the original pix how long that shaft is and that set it back from the clock face some. Seeing as that mechanism is jacked up, I need a new one.
Originally, it was glued onto the back of the face with a big spacer between the back of the face and the mechanism itself. The spacer was what was glued to the face back. the spindle is about 2" long. That's really long. I think I can order one but.....I don't really want to glue anything back to the back of the face.
But it's so deep I have to have some way to mount it or it just hangs in there.
And also if it's a big square box mechanism, like I found at walmart, then that big black square shows in the center of the face with the light behind it if I just screw mount it to the face like it comes. A little hex nut secures them typically.
Any thoughts on any of this???
 
  #16  
Old 05-07-15, 07:37 PM
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Finished

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There she goes!
I did turn the LED light around so that it wasn't so bright. Replaced the clock mechanism with a clear one like here that had a long shaft: Clear Mini Movement 1-1/4" Handshaft on Merritts.com
I was able to put the old spacer behind it and push it back from the back of the face and it looks good. The clear doesn't show up hardly at all.
Then to the face, I took it off and sanded the back off a little bit and that was going nowhere. So, I put it in a sink and laid clothes with 100% bleach on them alllll day long and managed to get a lot of the brown aged look off. I don't want it to look 'new'. That'd be weird since it's obviously from the 70's. FYI...100% bleach ATE up those cloths.
I was like WOW..it was like the drum/acid scenes from Breaking Bad.
It's looks cool and I'm very happy with it and proud to have it. Especially coming from that theater that I went to as a boy and all of my life.
I remember seeing this hang behind the snack bar in the 70's.
Goes well beside my 1942 calendar that a friend of mine found rolled up in a cardboard tube behind a cabinet when they were tearing down the local Coke plant years ago. And down from that is a 1972 tin that another buddy found propped up on some hay where some boys were about to bing it up with some bb guns. lol.
Thanks for the help.
 

Last edited by diyntn; 05-07-15 at 07:53 PM.
  #17  
Old 05-07-15, 08:36 PM
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Very good job. Thanks for letting us see how it came out and your fledgling Coke memorabilia collection.
 
  #18  
Old 05-08-15, 04:12 AM
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Nice job, it looks great!
 
  #19  
Old 05-08-15, 06:48 PM
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Thank you. I'm very happy with it. Now...I'm kinda sad cause that lil labor of love is done. Lots of other things to 'do' around the house.
But, that was a lot of fun that I looked forward to working on when I got home from work.
 
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