Help finding replacement bulbs for 80 year old doll house

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On 12/17/2011 10:24 PM, Jennifer Murphy wrote:

The GE 50 was the Lionel toy train bulb in many of the accessories.
Here's link to an old GE catalog; it has the bulb listed as "toy, train"
<http://www.antiqueradiolamps.com/catalogs/ge-ml-catalogo07.htm
Later on there's the data for the bulb...
Not sure of best source; surely there still is one for these things but a google search brought up an auction on eBay for a pack of 10; you may have some luck looking for the toy train bulbs or Lionel.
They're rated at 7.5V and were powered off the "Acc" side of the transformer for the train set. I presume the A/C cord leads to somewhere inside the dollhouse where he hid the transformer.
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I was gonna say, "model trains!". Despite the railroads long-ago departure from the public eye, toy trains are still big business. Many a metro hobby shop still caters to the model train crowd. Heck, I live in a rather remote section of the CO Rockies, but a little town 20 miles away has a lone model trains shop. They should have all kinds of light bulbs, either old NIB stock or replacement.
Another source would be commercial model makers. You know, the ppl that make models of new buildings or housing developements. That's a real and thriving business. Myself, I'd rewire the dollhouse for LEDs. Jes butcher up a Christmas tree light string. Not like there's any shortage, right now. ;)
nb
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On Sat, 17 Dec 2011 20:44:59 -0800, "Harrison Lighting and Neon"

Can you recommend a good voltmeter? I went to Lowes and they didn't have anything that would go below 10 volts.
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On 12/18/2011 11:23 AM, Jennifer Murphy wrote:

They will, the "10V" setting on the meter means that the needle (I'm assuming that you were looking at cheap analog meters, which are perfectly adequate for what you're trying to do) will deflect to 100% scale on the 10V setting. Analog meters tend to be most accurate around 50% deflection which would be 5V on that setting, you can still get accurate enough readings in the 1-2V range.
To answer the question you actually asked, Fluke for digital or Simpson 260 for analog, but both are expensive and massive overkill for your uses.
nate
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wrote:

That makes sense. I think they had one for about $20 with a dial with settings like 200v, 100v, 50v, 10v. It didn't opccur to me that that was the range (duh).
The thing is, I asked the clerk in that department and was told that they do not sell a voltmeter that will go down to 2.5 volts. I guess he knew even less that I do. ;-(
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On Sun, 18 Dec 2011 11:35:29 -0800, Jennifer Murphy

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On 12/18/2011 1:35 PM, Jennifer Murphy wrote:

If there is a Harbor Freight store nearby, you can purchase an inexpensive multimeter for five dollars.
http://www.harborfreight.com/7-function-digital-multimeter-90899.html
Girls can fix stuff too. I expect you are looking upon this as a learning experience which is a good thing. If you can get some help from a knowledgeable friend, it could keep you from breaking something. If I had an heirloom like your dollhouse, I would want to restore it rather than add space age items to it. ^_^
TDD
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On 12/18/2011 05:32 PM, The Daring Dufas wrote:

Yup, I agree with the "replace the bulbs" comment, also, you may want to look into how to use your multimeter before actually using it. A cheap one - which is all you need - actually has more special instructions than, say, a new Fluke, if you don't have it set on the correct range you can blow the fuse inside or burn it up, and we don't want that. (don't feel bad, my Simpson 260 has the same special instructions and that is a fine precision instrument. It's just the nature of the old school meters.) I think someone already posted a link to a basic how-to, but if you can't find it let us know and we'll try to dig out a tutorial for it.
good luck,
nate
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wrote:

How about this one:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)24254789&sr=8-3
or http://tinyurl.com/78rotkl
I can have it on Tuesday or Wednesday.
If there is a better one on Amazon, please advise.
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On 12/18/2011 6:41 PM, Jennifer Murphy wrote:

(Amazon.com product link shortened)24254789&sr=8-3
That's a nice little meter with a big display and it would appear to have a good set of instructions included along with tech support which is invaluable for someone not familiar with such equipment. The price is incredible for the value. The built in battery tester is a wonderful item for a anyone to have. I may have to add one to my inventory.
TDD
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On Mon, 19 Dec 2011 04:57:43 -0600, The Daring Dufas

Thanks
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With at least 20 and possibly 30 meters in the house, cars and garage, I finally feel I can pass up all but the free and very cheap meters from HF, which do the job quite nicely. One is permanently mounted to monitor the battery charger connected to the very infrequently used car we have. Even has a nice bright backlite. I'll take every one they give me and even pay $2 for them so I can give one away to some deserving person when the need arises.
-- Bobby G.
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On 12/22/2011 2:25 PM, Robert Green wrote:

Heck, those HF meters are so inexpensive, the things can be hacked into nice little panel meters for electronics projects. ^_^
TDD
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<stuff snipped>

Yep, they've got a million and one uses. I spent $20 on a 12VDC panel meter to install on my Dad's powerchair but I would have been much better off just hacking an HF meter. The damn panel meter didn't even have a backlight.
-- Bobby G.
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On Sat, 24 Dec 2011 23:49:46 -0500, "Robert Green"

Not really relevant, but I once found an electrc wheel chair in the trash at the apartment building nearby. Not the little go-carts for seniors but the most expensive medical kind, and with at least one special attachment. As well as the overhanging bar that some people use to sit up in bed, or get out of bed.
An acquaintance who used to be in the business came over and told me it was worth iirc about 1000 dollars. By far the most expensive thing I've ever rescued. He told me who to call and I gave both things to the MD or MS society. They sent someone to get it.
When I found it, the battery was all charged and I kept tripping on it when I tried to walk behind it, so the only way to get it home was to ride it.
I bately knew the guy it must have belonged to. He woudl sit outside during nice weather and there was sometimes another guy in a wheelchair who was there too. And I would wave as I drove by. That's "barely" all right.
I suspect he died, and the apartment custodians just threw it away, instead of trying to give it to someone who needed it.
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On 12/18/2011 6:41 PM, Jennifer Murphy wrote: ...

"Better" in what way? :)
It's fine your purposes, go on.
But, I'll reiterate the advice I gave earlier...
Follow the cord in--it'll lead you to the transformer or you'll discover indeed it is wired in series (highly unlikely I'd think given the description of being switched). Then you can start from discovering whether there's any output there and work down the line.
Or, maybe there isn't a transformer anymore or there's a fuse or who knows what...but start at the beginning.
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Dufas the wise has spoken! (-; If it ain't broke . . .
I think the first thing to do is see what happens with a packet of new bulbs.
-- Bobby G.
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Robert Green wrote:

FIRST good thing to do is to DETERMINE which bulbs should be used. I got frustrated reading the autoranging meter thread and this one, so may have missed something. IIRC, The bulbs were #14(2.5V), then they were #50(7.5V) then there was the autoranging meter that was purchased, but we still have no idea the voltage measured. Been lots of people jousting over conjecture.
Where's the damn voltage measurement?????
Putting 3A worth of 2.5V lamps on a 70 year old 7.5V transformer that fits in a 1" cavity in the dollhouse is unlikely to result in a happy ending.
Data provided so far is incomplete, inconclusive and contradictory.
If it ain't broke, don't break it.
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What was it Rumsfeld was so fond of saying? You go to war with what you've got. Same here!
I agree a measurement might be nice, but just seeing how bright or dim the replacement bulbs that Jennifer has bought will give us a good idea of the voltage. If they're super bright they probably should be replaced by something with a higher voltage rating unless Ms. Murphy wants to help her young friend learn about firefighting techniques.
I hope she will return for "final report" - all of the bickering and side-tracking might have scared her off. )-:
-- Bobby G.
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wrote:

Try Sears. I've got one of their multimeters. It does a nice job on voltage, current, continuity, etc.
Tomsic
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