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Upgrading a Bardic lamp

 
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Graham



Joined: 21 May 2011
Posts: 957
Location: The banks of the River Severn as it meanders through the sun dappled leafy glades of Worcestershire

PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:41 am    Post subject: Upgrading a Bardic lamp Reply with quote

I've seen this subject come up a few times, but never seen a step by step guide with links, so here we go.

The biggest improvement is an LED bulb. I think a standard incandescent bulb is 6w, so a 1w LED bulb theoretically gives six times the battery life.
I used this one, click the NL312 option from the drop down list.

Next is rechargeable batteries. That bulb is rated at 1,5v to 9v, so any battery or batteries within that range will work. I used four AA batteries in series at 6v simply because it's a common size and they also fit my camera.

You'll need a battery box and a connector. I got mine from Maplin as they're local and they had them on the shelf. I also got the Eneloop batteries there. I'm not an expert on any of this, I just bought the ones that Which? recommended and because they claim to be best at holding a charge long term, which is ideal for something that might not get used for weeks on end.

You'll need some means of stopping it all rattling around inside, I just used some hard foam packaging material.

And this is how it looks inside. I bought a second battery box to keep a spare set of batteries handy.



Not a very scientific test, but I left it switched on constantly with the LED bulb and the Eneloop batteries and after 12 hours it still looked fully bright and after 24 hours it was still lit, but noticeably dimmer.
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Graham Phillips
Acting deputy assistant junior under minion, Bewdley Wagon Department.
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threelinkdave



Joined: 22 Dec 2010
Posts: 668
Location: Stratford-upon-Avon

PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:14 am    Post subject: Re: Upgrading a Bardic lamp Reply with quote

Graham wrote:
I've seen this subject come up a few times, but never seen a step by step guide with links, so here we go.

The biggest improvement is an LED bulb. I think a standard incandescent bulb is 6w, so a 1w LED bulb theoretically gives six times the battery life.
I used this one, click the NL312 option from the drop down list.

Next is rechargeable batteries. That bulb is rated at 1,5v to 9v, so any battery or batteries within that range will work. I used four AA batteries in series at 6v simply because it's a common size and they also fit my camera.

You'll need a battery box and a connector. I got mine from Maplin as they're local and they had them on the shelf. I also got the Eneloop batteries there. I'm not an expert on any of this, I just bought the ones that Which? recommended and because they claim to be best at holding a charge long term, which is ideal for something that might not get used for weeks on end.

You'll need some means of stopping it all rattling around inside, I just used some hard foam packaging material.

And this is how it looks inside. I bought a second battery box to keep a spare set of batteries handy.



Not a very scientific test, but I left it switched on constantly with the LED bulb and the Eneloop batteries and after 12 hours it still looked fully bright and after 24 hours it was still lit, but noticeably dimmer.
Question -are the LED bulbs sufficiently robust? I had a bulb blow when working a service. Not a major issue as there is a holder for a spare bulb under the battery.

Four AA no doubt work but most people I know use 3 D type., Maplins battery holders are significantly cheaper than dedicated Bardic ones and work just as well.

Whilst you can still find Bardic batteries they are in paper/card wrapping and are not leak proof. I have seen a number of Bardics which have been virtually rendered useless by leaking batteries.
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Dave Scott
Bulleid and Gresley used auto couplers
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Graham



Joined: 21 May 2011
Posts: 957
Location: The banks of the River Severn as it meanders through the sun dappled leafy glades of Worcestershire

PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know about the long term reliability of these bulbs in particular yet, but I've got LED bulbs that have done thousands of miles in a mountain bike with no suspension and they haven't failed yet.
LEDs are becoming more and more common on vehicles, I've got aftermarket ones on my Land Rover and they are more tolerant of vibration and voltage variations than incandescent bulbs. Halogens, the more traditional upgrade, are probably the worst for this.
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Graham Phillips
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Danny252



Joined: 01 Oct 2009
Posts: 1182

PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had thought that LED bulbs were almost universally considered to be incredibly reliable, with many fewer fragile parts than an incandescent bulb. The manufacturer's website for Graham's bulb states that the working lifetime of their bulbs exceeds 30,000 hours (albeit with no evidence to back it up).

How well does the LED bulb work with the G/Y/R filters? I note that the manufacturer's website (Nicelite) specifically notes that the NL312 works well with standard Bardic filters, so perhaps all is good.
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Daniel Evans
Tea drinker and brass polisher


Last edited by Danny252 on Mon Oct 30, 2017 1:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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threelinkdave



Joined: 22 Dec 2010
Posts: 668
Location: Stratford-upon-Avon

PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Danny252 wrote:
I had thought that LED bulbs were almost universally considered to be incredibly reliable, with many fewer fragile parts than an incandescent bulb. The manufacturer's website for Graham's bulb states that the working lifetime of their bulbs exceeds 30,000 hours (albeit with no evidence to back it up).

How well does the LED bulb work with the G/Y/R filters? I note that the manufacturer's website (Nicelite) specifically notes that the NL312 works well with standard Bardic filters, so perhaps it works well.
The red and yellow filters are fairly strong / dense so should be ok. The green filter however is a bit on the weak side. The only way to test would be to get a colleague to stand at one end of a station and have the lamp at the other and see if suficiently green or too white. Posibly more important to guards than station staff who usually only need the white
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