So, on taking them apart in daylight, I've discovered the problem. One
of the wires from the transformer to the track mounting points is burned
through. I'm not sure how or why this happened - anyone care to
suggest? Could it be low quality bulbs? I've always made sure to
replace like with like, but have put in a couple that have been a
different bulb manufacturer at some point (same volt/wattage/R-number etc).
I'm unsure exactly how it's all cabled together up there, and not sure
if I removed the light fitting from (presumably) whatever screw-block
connects that to the light circuit up there whether I'll then be without
the other set of lights too.
That would enable me to see if it's feasible to replace this bit of wire
(with something a bit thicker, perhaps?) or is it likely to be a case
that the transformer is faulty and caused the wire burnout? it's only
one out of the 3 or 4 that are in there.
It looks like it might be possible to get hold of another transformer
(certainly there's a manufacturer etc stamped on the existing) so I'm
hopeful even if that's called for it might not be the end of this pair
of lights (I really do like them, and can't afford to shell out for new
Thanks for all the help I got here, it's much appreciated.
None of those, it is probaly just the fact that the connections are
under a great deal of stress due to the level of current which they
have to carry.
Fit a couple of ordinary lampholders on the ends of the 240v cabling
and fit some bulbs as a temporary solution.
Thicker would do no harm, but your real problem was perhaps poor
connections or faulty soldering. Make sure any repairs you make are
very sound and the connections clean/ free from blackening and tight.
Possibly, but the other unit shows no signs of similar problems whatsoever.
Didn't need to, having taken it off the end of the cable and
insulating-taped them well apart, the other set (with it's own
transformer) works still, so I have some light (if just reduced and full
I'm puzzled as to why the whole of just that one cable has disintegrated
in the way that it has. The other on that side of hte transformer hasn't.
Basically there seem to be two outputs from the transformer to the rails
of the track. Two cables from each output of the transformer, but each
of those two cables goes to separate rails. So, output 1 goes to track
1 and 2. Output 2 goes to track one and two.
And out of those four cables, only one has failed (ie, for example,
output 1 to track 2, leaving output 2 to track 2 fine, and output 1 to
track 1 fine).
They connect to the same bolt/washer arrangement onto the track mounting
point, and all look secure, the only sign of damage is actually the
insulation around that one cable, and the fact that the inner sheath on
it has disintegrated just about completely, and the outer has suffered
some melting from the heat in that inner cable. The other cable in that
outer sheath seems fine.
Pics (they are large, but not put up there for your delectation
originally but my families, so I'm not resizing them if you have a slow
connection) are at
There is some slight blackening around the PCB/cable join on BOTH the
cables that exit output 1, though I'm not sure whether this is as a
result of heat transference across the PCB from the destroyed cable,
since they are both linked by metal within the PCB, and only about a
As I said, the other unit is fine, and shows absolutely no signs of
anything like this starting, they've both been up for the same length of
time, etc etc. I don't make a habit of running it with a bulb blown or
anything like that, so a bit non-plussed as to why this has happened to
only one output if it was faulty contacts at the bulb/track points.
Difficult to be certain from the photos, but what I would suggest
caused this is a poor crimp on the lug connection to the bolt (bottom
RH of photo).
Under that black sleeving the pair of blue wires go into a crimped on
lug. You just got a bad one, made on a Friday afternoon ;-)
There will of been a great deal of heat build up due to the bad crimp,
that caused the wire to heat up and oxidise. The oxidation then caused
the wire itself to overheat as well due to its poor conductivity.
Heat can travel quite a way along a copper cable, especially when the
cable is themally insulated by plastic insulation. Copper is not only a
good electrical conducter, it is a good thermal conductor as well.
What you need to do is..... Clean the circuit board up, resolder some
new wires, fit a suitable crimped lug on the other end, reconnect...
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