Atlas/Thorn Beta 8 / AEI Junior Amberline

Lantern acquired in July 2007.

Thanks to Claire for this brand new, unused lantern. What attracted me to it more than anything was that it is gear-in-head, whereas the other Beta 8 in the Collection is remotely-geared.

The lantern had been boxed up for its entire life - the inspection stamp to the side of the terminal block includes '5' and '71', which may suggest a date of 1971, week 5 (the 1st - 7th February). As was typical with Thorn products, the bowl was supplied separately; thus, there is no bowl included with this example.

The Atlas branding was still used back then, although as can be seen, Thorn Lighting is mentioned too. There are no references to Atlas on the lantern itself.

The gear is a snug fit between the canopy and the reflector.

The aluminium canopy, having never been exposed to the elements outdoors, retains a shiny, light grey appearance.

Surface dust has gathered on the reflector but should wipe off without a problem. The only thing I will have to be careful of is the stamp, as the ink on that has not dried, and might also end up being wiped!

The label still states that a 60 Watt SOX should be used - by the time this lantern had been made, the 60 Watt had been re-rated to 55 Watt for about three years! The Junior Amberline reference indicates that the Beta Eight began life as an AEI product, before becoming part of the Thorn range following GEC's acquisition of AEI in 1967.

On the other hand, the text on the AME 53182.4 ballast label had been updated to give the new values. The AME C2216 capacitor is dated to week 23 of 1970 - the 1st - 7th June.

This version of the Beta 8 was swapped with the gear-in-base version on Thursday, 3rd July 2008. The reason behind this decision was that I needed the space being occupied by the remote gear to install a couple more lanterns. The lamp and vacuum-formed bowl from the other lantern were fitted to this one.

In 2023, I decided to fit the 'official' Thorn bowl that had been supplied with the separate gear version in place of the vacuum-formed reproduction bowl, despite this bowl having damage to its front end.

Whilst the replica bowl had a slightly stippled pattern moulded into it, the original bowl was fully transparent, save for the two refractor panels glued to the two sides in an attempt to provide a means of light distribution.

Lantern warm-up video:

Testing with my energy monitoring device revealed the following results:

Test Voltage (V) Current being drawn at full power (A) Measured wattage (W) Apparent Power (VA) Frequency (Hz) Power Factor True Power (W) Difference to rated wattage Percentage Difference
238.8 0.42 79 100 49.9 0.79 79.23 24.23 44%

Sidmouth Seafront Lantern | GEC Z9532




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