Crompton Crompack (2)

Acquired in November 2022.

These two Crompacks were taken, with permission, from the underground car park of a local hotel, after they had been removed from somewhere within the hotel, and left in the car park to be out of the way. Both are the largest type of fluorescent fitting produced - they take 8 ft (2400 mm) 100 Watt T12 lamps; the size that became obsolete with most lamp manufacturers by the mid-2000s, though these particular fittings don't appear to have been replaced owing to worn-out lamps. Indeed, while neither fitting looks to have had much use, one of the two retains a lamp and starter that could be original to when it was produced.

With the fittings being so long, the only place where sufficient space allowed them to be pictured as single entities was outdoors!

Although the fittings carry Crompton branding, reference to Hawker Siddeley is included too, following this company's takeover of Crompton Parkinson in 1968.

A smaller label, located at the other end of the reflector, informs the installer to fit 100 Watt lamps; the need for this arises as 8 ft lamps were made in 125 Watt versions too, with the two types requiring different ballasts, and not being compatible with the other lamp type's ballast.

Both fittings use lampholders that require the lamps to be inserted and twisted 90 degrees for them to operate - this has the advantage that they could be maintained by a single operative, although this would still be tricky. The gear is accessed by removing the sheet steel over-lamp reflectors, both of which attach to the fitting bodies with three keyhole screws.

Both of the lamps carry OSRAM branding, with one of the two lamps being a 'proper' OSRAM product, made at the Company's St. Helen's factory in the early 1990s (the frank is too faint to decipher the exact date code).

The other lamp is newer, and was made at the Philips factory at Hamilton under licence. The date code here (938) could represent March 1999.

Two generations of British General starter switches are seen - the fitting that ran the older lamp used the older starter, whereas the newer starter ran the later-made lamp. Notice that this starter is not designed for operating 8 ft lamps.

Inside the fittings are these labels that identify the fittings as being the fourth incarnation of the Crompack. The date code '22' is not particularly helpful, as Crompton re-used the date codes regularly. What does narrow the fitting's age down, however, is the reference to BS4533 (Luminaires), as this was superseded by BS EN 60598-1:1993.

Although the ballasts in both fittings carry Crompton branding (with one obscured by the heat deflector that is meant to be positioned on the side, with the wiring passing behind it), the design resembles products made by Helvar, and in all likelihood, the components here are probably made by them too.

The capacitors are both marked with 2/92 manufacturing codes, which tallies with when the hotel was built.

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