THE CARE OF LAMPS.
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Some Timely Advice Offered by Our Driver and Mechanic Readers.
MHE present is an appropriate time to
deal with the care and management of vehicle oil lamps, and there will, undoubtedly, be many readers who will appreciate the following communication from ' A.E," of Manchester, dealing with the subject. He has charge, he tells us, of 600 lorries, so that what he has to say necessarily carries weight, by reason of the experience which lies behind it. We are awarding him the 15s. prize this week.
The majority of oil lamps are laid on one side during the summer, .during which they are but seldom required, and are, therefore, better kept in store. When about to put a lamp into .use for the first time after it has been stored, the old wick should be removed and a new piece put in its place. Incidentally, it is advisable to renew the wick of an' oil lamp at least once a month, as, if it is kept in service for much loner than that, it becomes hard andinefficient.
Strict attention to cleanliness is a great aid in avoiding lamp troubles. Before removing screws or burners for the purpose of refilling the reservoirs, wipe away any dirt or grit which may be present, so as to ensure that it does not fall into the vessel with the oil. The reservoir should not be filled, but should be replenished only to about two-thirds
of its capacity. If full, it has a tendency to overflow, making the vessel dirty to handle and affording a foothold for dirt and soot.
new wick should be trimmedlevel, and subsequently kept in that state by rubbing off the charred wick with a piece of clean rag. When lighting a lamp, allow the flame to remain quite low for a few minutes, afterwards turning it up to just below smoking point. If the flame is adjusted to full size immediately. and the lamp left without further attention, it is almost certain to blaze and smoke.
Empty oil vessels and thoroughly clean burners once every month, refilling the vessels with clean oil. When cleaning the burners, a solution of sodawater is useful, but it is sufficient to boil them in hot clean water. Lenses and the inside of the lamp should be cleaned every time the oil vessel is refilled.
A new and useful design of bracket for a rear lamp is shown on the accompanying isketch, which has reached us with a letter from " H.A.L.," of Bournemouth.
It is usual for the drivers of heavy vehicles to remove their tail lamps during the day, so as to avoid the risk of damage and to prevent the risk of having them stolen. If the vehicle is being regularly used, day and night, the constant removal and replacement of the lamp quickly, wears out the thread of the screw by which it is secured to the bracket, since the threads in a lamp socket are generally too few in number to stand up to regular use for any length of time.
This weakness, says " MAJ..," may be overcome by the use of a two-piece bracket, one portion of which is made a permanent fixture in the lamp socket. The latter rests, as is apparent on reference to the sketch, on the lower end of the bracket, which is turned up for that purpose, so that the securing screw of he lamp is relieved of the weight and is' only necessary to prevent 'the lamp from bouncing. The other portion of the bracket must be shaped to suit the requirements of the particular chassis to which it is fitted; the essential features of it are indicated in the sketch.
It will be seen that there are two studs thereon, with suitable collars, and these engage slotted holes in that portion of the bracket to which the lamp is permanently fixed. To prevent vibration on the studs, a semi-circular cam is located above the studs, so that when the two halves of the bracket are together this cam bears hard upon the top portion of one of them, holding it rigidlly. It is worthy of note, too, that even if the driver by any chance forgets to set this cam in its proper position, when replacing the lamp, it will fall into that position of its own accord as soon as the lorry is in motion.
The comfort and convenience of night passengers on a little country bus has been the concern of " J.W.W.," of Matlock. lie discovered that inconvenience arose at night owing to the passengers not being able to see the steps of the bus, so he rigged up an electric light, the current for which was derived from the magneto of the bus chassis—a one-ton Ford; he suggests, and we agree, that the manner of the fitting of this lamp will interest other readers. Although he calls it a country bus, it is evidently an ordinary 14-seater motor coach of the open type, equipped with the usual cape-cart hood. His preliminary, difficulty arose as the outcome of the fact that, he wanted to be able to raise and lower this hood without interfering with his lighting arrangements. Tize plan he adopted is illustrated by the accompanying wiring diagram. A wire was run from the magnets terminal (A) to another terminal (I-3) on a variable resis:ance switeh, which is indicated by D. Another wire was run from the other terminal (0) of this switch underneath the floor of the coach until the well below the rear seat was reached ; this point is indicated in the diagram by the lettee E. The wire was then taken upwards through the woodwork of the seat and carried along one of the seams of the upholstery to the top of the, side of the body. It was then carried' round to the back of the seat as indicated at F. At this point the wires were led underneath the band which stretches the whole length of the hood and serves to hide its seams. They were laid along the underside of the material of the hood, beneath this band, until about the middle of the length of the hood was reached, as shown at 0, and then carried alo'ng the cross-beam to the centre, where they were cut and sewn to the band of the hood.
An ordinary bulb holder was secured to the hood stick and the wire attached to it in the ordinary way. An enamel shade was necessary, as otherwise the light had the tendency to dazzle the eyes of the driver.
It may be worth while to point, out the advantages of the resistance switch which is •embodied in this circuit in preference to a choke coil. With the latter, when the eogine was running slowly, which would naturally be the case when the vehicle was stopped, for passengers to mount on or alight from the bus, the lamp would only just glow, without providing sufficient light to assist them ; the resistance switch overcomes thiseclifficulty, for it is only necessary to turn the switch a notch 4:nso one way or the other to modify the currentrin accordance with the circumstances, so with the engine running quite slowly a bright light was -available.
The cost of this equipment totalled 10s. only; being made up as follows:— Variable resistance witch 5s., bulb and holder 3s., wire and staples 6d., and shade 1s. 6d.