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Meter bulbs and festoon lamps
Old 29th September 2007
  #1
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robmix's Avatar
Meter bulbs and festoon lamps

So I'm looking for an alternate source for festoon lamps. The manufacturer of the meters in my console wants an outrageous amount of money for shipping and handling fees turning my $50 purchase into $130. Anyone ?

They are 12V 1.2W Festoon Bulbs. 6x24mm
Old 29th September 2007
  #2
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vince @ speck's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by robmix View Post
So I'm looking for an alternate source for festoon lamps. The manufacturer of the meters in my console wants an outrageous amount of money for shipping and handling fees turning my $50 purchase into $130. Anyone ?

They are 12V 1.2W Festoon Bulbs. 6x24mm
Who was your primary source?

did you try these guys IMS Distributor of Meters, Instruments
They sell Sifam meters... Sifam meters use the 25mm festoon lamp...hence, they may have lamps in stock.
Old 29th September 2007
  #3
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Rob,

Here are a few links to suppliers. I didn't check whether each sells individual bulbs, but they all have Festoon, or 'end-capped' miniature lamps.

Festoon Lamp Manufacturers & Suppliers

LED Festoon from JKL Components Corporation LED version

Products

Buy 6000-6999 Miniature Incandescent Light Bulbs Online at ServiceLighting.com

Best, Paul
Old 29th September 2007
  #4
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Rick Sutton's Avatar
 

Over the years I've grown real tired of paying too much for "festoon" and "torpedo" type lamps and have changed my last two board's meters over to lamps that cost about 10 to 20 cents each in bulk. It takes a little calculation to get the right ones but once that is done I buy enough bulbs to last the lifetime of the board for about $20. Bulb mounting will be a little different but is quite easy once you get it figured out. I also seperate the bulb's supply and run it on a variac (for AC) or use a variable DC supply so the voltage can be tailored to the bulbs which can extend the bulb life by years. If you have a board that's got 24 or more meters it can be worth the effort. Just a thought.
Old 29th September 2007
  #5
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Thanks to all. The meters were originally from Sifam.

I thought about killing all the bulbs and trying to figure out an LED replacement instead. But I'll check out the links above and see what I can find. None of those turned up on my yahoo search so maybe I'll get lucky.

Thanks
Old 29th September 2007
  #6
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paully's Avatar
 

A couple of thoughts. The bulb you mentioned sounds pretty much like one that was/is used for domb lights in autos. Maybe a local auto parts store is the first option.

About 2 years ago, I restored a couple of vintage Binson units that used capped lamps as side illumination. Using a different lamp/base would have decreased the value of the units. I'm glad these things are still available.

On another note, I had to replace a couple of VU meter bulbs in a Tascam deck. I took one of the original lamps to the local electronics store. The guy showed me a festoon bulb, then proceeded to carefully break the end caps off.. revealing a small bulb with wires attached. They were exactly the same thing that Tascam was selling(at about 10 times the price). Yup, I stocked up heh .

Best, Paul
Old 29th September 2007
  #7
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Rob,

FWIW, I replaced the bulbs in my 80B for less than $20. My console has Sifam PPMs. I didn't go with festoon bulbs in the end, obviously. They are expensive and unreliable.

What I used were these "grain of wheat" bulbs I bought from my local electronics store. They are available in many different ratings. They are incandescant, so they run cooler and more efficiently. I used the lower amperage ones since I'm running 24 (one for each buss meter). On the main meters, I still have the festoon lamps that came from Sifam when I bought the VUs. However, when I need to replace those, I will use the higher amperage ones so they are just a little brighter than the bus meters.

All I did was cut and solder the leads onto the tabs of the meters and aimed them all down uniformly. This is the only tricky part. It was more tricky with PPMs because they have these bulky drivers on the back of them. If you have standard VUs, this process should be substantially less taxing.

The great thing about these bulbs is that they last a LONG time. The guy at the studio next door replaced all of his meters with these same bulbs over ten years ago and he said he's only ever had to replace one of them.

-Aaron
Old 29th September 2007
  #8
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Rick Sutton's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by absrec View Post
What I used were these "grain of wheat" bulbs I bought from my local electronics store. They are available in many different ratings. They are incandescant, so they run cooler and more efficiently.
All I did was cut and solder the leads onto the tabs of the meters and aimed them all down uniformly. This is the only tricky part. The great thing about these bulbs is that they last a LONG time. The guy at the studio next door replaced all of his meters with these same bulbs over ten years ago and he said he's only ever had to replace one of them.

-Aaron
My experiences exactly. I've done this with a Soundcraft 1624 and my current Otari 54.
In the 12 years I've had the Otari I have probably replaced 10 bulbs (at most). Otari wanted something like $5 each for the originals (and they blew out every six months) and they were impossible to find elswhere, now the replacements cost pennies and last for years. Highly reccomended.
Old 30th September 2007
  #9
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I found "perfect" festoon bulbs for the Sifam VUs in a Neve desk from the auto parts store....it was either O'Riley's or Autozone. Same physical dimensions and wattage ratings.

Bri
Old 30th September 2007
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robmix View Post
So I'm looking for an alternate source for festoon lamps. The manufacturer of the meters in my console wants an outrageous amount of money for shipping and handling fees turning my $50 purchase into $130. Anyone ?

They are 12V 1.2W Festoon Bulbs. 6x24mm

rob.

i am right there with you

unfortunately.....autozone festoons did not work

rob p.m. me any contact info you have for sifam

thanks


be well


- jack
Old 1st October 2007
  #11
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I ordered a bunch from the UK, fast and friendly, came via post with minimal fees or hassle. Audio Maintenance Limited Miniature Lamps for refs, go over to groupDIY

Andy
Old 1st October 2007
  #12
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I found mine in a marine supply house as they are used to backlight compasses. That's after I struck out at several autoparts shops.
Old 1st October 2007
  #13
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robmix's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by sysexguy View Post
I ordered a bunch from the UK, fast and friendly, came via post with minimal fees or hassle. Audio Maintenance Limited Miniature Lamps for refs, go over to groupDIY

Andy
Thanks Andy. That worked out perfectly. Only $10 use for shipping, and they took credit cards !!!!!

Jack - check them out . . .
Old 23rd August 2010
  #14
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I know i'm replying to an old message, but i've found another website to order Festoon lamp for my TUBE-TECH CL1B's VU (festoon 12v 1,2w 6x24mm) : Alampco (S624/12/1.2)
It's cheaper than audiomaintenance, and minimum order is £5 (£10 on audiomaintenance)

Hope it will help someone
Old 24th August 2010
  #15
Smile

Yeah, but Colin [Audio Maintenance]is such a great source of so many things... is it really a problem to have a £10 min? Support Colin, when you need him, he will be there... ships worldwide, fair, honest, deep knowledge...

For two decades I supported my local MCI dealer [Deene Milam @ Milam Audio] until they gave up 24 track support, sure sometimes I could find stuff for a bit less, but the knowledge base and free phone support = priceless!! Deene would spend hours [if needed] walking me through an esoteric repair. We need to keep guys like that and Colin [AML] and Dave Rochester [TAS] around to help us!!!
Old 24th August 2010
  #16
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Indeed, Milam audio is a great company, and Rochester is also a great friend of mine!

Best,

Bri
Old 24th August 2010
  #17
Smile

Word is you are a pretty good fellow yourself, Brian, worthy of inclusion in the above mentioned group of GOOD guys! Have to put Kulka and Sadler in this group, and many guys in LA...

Old 25th August 2010
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tubeaudiofan View Post
Word is you are a pretty good fellow yourself, Brian, worthy of inclusion in the above mentioned group of GOOD guys! Have to put Kulka and Sadler in this group, and many guys in LA...

Well, thanks...I slip up sometimes, but I still try to do my best...

Bri
Old 27th August 2010
  #19
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by tubeaudiofan View Post
Yeah, but Colin [Audio Maintenance]is such a great source of so many things... is it really a problem to have a £10 min? Support Colin, when you need him, he will be there... ships worldwide, fair, honest, deep knowledge...
I believe you. I told about Alampco just because i've found this company to order the festoon bulb for my cl1b before reading all your comments.
I was just to give another option⋅
Old 27th August 2010
  #20
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Hi
Another option is (are) LEDS either white or possibly a version of yellow to compliment a 'cream' VU scaleplate. A bit of messing with resistor values would be necessary but once done you are all set up.
PSU drain would be less too.
I believe Sifam do or did some for their PPM meters as an 'upgrade' kit.
Matt S
Old 4 weeks ago
  #21
Gear Head
 

Hi,

found this old thread about festoon lights.

I'm looking for a lamp for a Sifam 8037 VU meter in a Drip Opto 4 LA2A. I'd like to power it with 6.3VAC without rectifying. Is there a little lamp for that VU meter that accepts AC?

Any ideas?

Greetings,
Daniel
Old 4 weeks ago
  #22
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Hi all 'real' light bulbs (bit of hot wire inside a glass tube or 'bulb' work equally well on AC and DC assuming the RMS voltage you connect to it is equal.

It is good practice to run a bulb at lower than the usual rated voltage, so 12 Volt bulb run at 10 or even 9 Volts will last a lot longer.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #23
Gear Head
 

Hi Matt,
thanks a lot for your quick reply. So I guess I can just feed the little 12 V bulb with 6.3 VAC from the heater and the power lamp and be done with it? That sounds almost too easy!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #24
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6.3 Volts may not be enough for a 12 Volt bubb. Try it and see. If the studio is quite dark it might be OK.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #25
Gear Head
 

Ok, I'll try it report back. Thanks again! Have a nice weekend.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #26
www.superbriteleds.com
sells the soft white incandescent colored white led's. Pick a resistor for brightness and go. Sand them to diffuse the light. These have a better look than the bulbs, same old tyme color, better light distribution. They tend to light the entire meter without any hot spots.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #27
Gear Head
 

Cool, thanks! I'll try that.
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