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Author Topic: 21-light 8v twinkle set  (Read 15244 times)

Offline JCIV

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21-light 8v twinkle set
« on: December 06, 2007, 11:09:01 pm »
Hi,
I have a set of lights that's been in the family as long as anyone can remember, I've been told they date back to when my father was young (early 1940s). Enough of the bulbs have finally burned out that it's no longer usable :( Pretty good service, though...we used this set all my life, until the 1980s sometime. I've been looking for replacement bulbs. Here's all the info I have on the set: 21 bulbs, came with blue, green, red, and one yellow (for the top). All are tubular, miniature base (?) twinkle bulbs. The set has a transformer, label reads as follows:

Cat No. 9020T
"Decorative Lighting Outfit" or "Christmas Tree Lighting Outfit" For Indoor Use Only, - Line 115 Volts, 60 Cycles, load 8 Volts 3 Ampers, 24VA.
FOR A. C. CURRENT ONLY

Julius Kupfer, Inc, Elmhurst 73, N. Y.


I just found some bulbs on Ebay that I thought would work, they have the same "6-8 Volts Japan" on the base, box says NOMA #1011 Twink-O-Lite, 6-8V, permanent contact type. They sure look the same, but they only last about 10 seconds :(

Can anyone help me here? I'd love to rehab this set. I have 16 of these NOMA bulbs left, if anyone can use them.

Thanks!
JC
« Last Edit: December 07, 2007, 08:09:07 pm by JCIV »

Offline Hemingray

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Re: 21-light 8v twinkle set
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2007, 11:26:24 am »
You can get such bulbs from Lion's Den Antiques.

http://www.lionsdenantiques.com

Offline JCIV

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Re: 21-light 8v twinkle set
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2007, 01:05:17 pm »



Thanks for the link! Those are close, but my originals don't have the pointy tip, they're round. I suppose they would be better than nothing, though  8-) Does anyone have the rounded ones?
« Last Edit: December 09, 2007, 02:33:15 pm by JCIV »

Offline Hemingray

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Re: 21-light 8v twinkle set
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2007, 09:42:36 pm »
Are they cone shaped?

Offline JCIV

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Re: 21-light 8v twinkle set
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2007, 10:19:02 pm »
Nope, tubular. Here's a pic of the set.



Offline Hemingray

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Re: 21-light 8v twinkle set
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2007, 12:56:56 am »
Looks similar to my NOMA twinkle-lites. Try the 8v cone shaped bulbs.

Offline RMSH

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Re: 21-light 8v twinkle set
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2007, 02:34:31 pm »
Hi!  I'm a new member, and have the "same" set, same twinkle bulbs.  I, too, am trying to locate bulbs for my set, as the string and transformer are in very good shape.  I'm learning that finding replacement bulbs will be a challenge.  I've researched the Internet, made many phone calls, and sent to a couple of local lighting specialty stores--no luck.

I've come across some information that I hope will be useful to you.  "C6" refers to the shape of the bulb, and the type of filament used.  The brass screw base is either midget, miniature, or european.   The most important thing I learned is that there is a wire mechanism within the glass tube along with the filament that enables the bulb to twinkle.    While it may be easy to cross-reference the base, I believe the real challenge is finding a bulb that has the "built-in" twinkle mechanism.  Maybe this is the reason why the bulbs you recently purchased did not last very long.  It appears that this set was manufactured in the late 1950s through early 1960s.

I'm going to look into www.lionsdenantiques.com.  Have you tried there yet?  Also, another website is www.donsbulbs.com.  This twinkle light set has much sentimental value, especially since I haven't seen any Christmas light sets that operate like this one.  I wish you luck in your searching endeavors.  Merry Christmas!

Offline Tim

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Re: 21-light 8v twinkle set
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2007, 04:40:14 pm »
Hi All,

These are tubular flasher lamps and the base size is Edison miniature.  ?C6? is a term used to describe the shape and physical size of the more familiar cone shaped Christmas lamps ? it has nothing to do with these blinker lamps.  The correct size/shape description of these lamps would be something like ?T3?.  The lamps shown in reply #2 appear to be smaller midget based lamps and would not work.  I have at least 40 NOS lamps available for $1 each in red and green.  Contact me directly if interested and I can send pictures.

Offline JCIV

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Re: 21-light 8v twinkle set
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2007, 11:04:00 pm »
Maybe this is the reason why the bulbs you recently purchased did not last very long.  It appears that this set was manufactured in the late 1950s through early 1960s.

Actually, I think the problem with the bulbs I bought is on the box: "Use with NOMA set with 18 miniature-base twinkle bulbs, and 2 candelabra-base ballast bulbs". I haven't seen a set like that, I just rolled the dice that they might work.

Good luck with your set!

Offline adam2

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Re: 21-light 8v twinkle set
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2007, 10:49:20 am »
I consider it probable that the replacement lamps purchased on fleabay are unsuitable due to containing the wrong type of flashing/twinkling mechanism.

Flashing lamps intended for series burning, have a bi-metalic strip that shorts out the lamp when hot, thus turning out the light, as it cools, the lamp then lights. Hence the importance of burning such lamps in series with one or more conventional ballast lamps, otherwise, if most of the lamps happened to be short circuited at the same time, the others would be grossly over-volted and fail instantly.

Flashing lamps intended for parralell burning have a bimetalic strip in series with the filament, when it gets hot, the circuit opens and the lamp goes out, re-lighting when it cools.

Since your set uses an 8 volt transformer, it requires 8 volt lamps suitable for parralell burning (the ones with the bi-metalic strip in series with the filament)

The ones you purchased would appear to have the bi-metalic strip in parralell with the filament (hence the reference on the packaging to ballast lamps being required)
It is fortunate that the trial use of these lamps did not burn out the transformer, since it would have been briefly short circuited.

If the original type of lamp can not be obtained, you have two options.

1) Use 8 volt non flashing lamps, taking care not to overload the transformer which may have been sized on the assumption that not all lamps would be lit at the same time.

2) Try to find some UK type flashing lamps. Some years ago sets were sold in the UK that consisted of 35 lamps in series, each of 7.5 volts. These sets could be made to flash by replacing just one lamp with a special flasher lamp, which contained a series bi-metalic strip.

If you can obtain a supply of these lamps they should work fine, but remember that because your set is paralell wired, EACH lamp will have to be a flashing one, not just one.


Offline JCIV

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Re: 21-light 8v twinkle set
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2007, 12:19:14 pm »
Thanks Adam2, I'm thinking you are right. I've found several other miniature flasher bulbs, is there any way I can tell if they are series- or parallel-type without risking my transformer? I can find some used bulbs, but finding new ones in packaging (with the electrical info) are hard to find.

Offline adam2

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Re: 21-light 8v twinkle set
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2007, 02:11:38 pm »
The best way of testing would be to connect the unknown lamp to a six volt battery, via a 0.3 amp fuse.
If the lamp lights once and then the fuse or the lamp blows, you have an unsuitable lamp, where the bi-metalic strip is in parralell with the filament.

If the lamp flashes repeatedly then it is the sort with the bi-metalic strip in series with the filament, and should be fine to use.

Offline RMSH

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Re: 21-light 8v twinkle set
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2007, 03:51:42 pm »
Update on finding NEW replacement bulbs. 

Check-out lionsdenantiques.com.  I e-mailed the owner to get a contact phone number, was able to ask questions, and obtained new bulbs for my lights.  They work!  I still need to monitor the transformer so that it doesn't get too hot. 

I hoped, yet I never believed, I would be able to get this string working again.  This has been a Merry Christmas!!

Offline markie4now

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Re: 21-light 8v twinkle set
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2009, 02:27:33 pm »
Royal manufactured the same lights in the 1950s.  I have two sets that belonged to my father, also.  The transformer has a fuse that can be replaced; it's a SFE 4 amp automobile fuse.  The side panel of the box states: 15 watts, 60 cycles, with a secondary voltage of 7.7 and will operate on AC only.  T-3 1/4 radio panel bulbs may be used to replace lights if necessary.
I love all things Chriistmas and have collected for many years!