Philips MA 60

This unused lantern was rescued from the former Street Lighting storeroom at the Derby City Council council depot on Stores Road in December 2009 - thanks to John Grace for permission. It appears to have been manufactured in 1995, as this year appears on both the lantern's internal label, and on the integral NEMA photocell socket. The MA 60 was once reasonably popular in the local area, especially on the A38 between Burton upon Trent and Little Eaton; however, its popularity is now in severe decline following replacement schemes, including on the section of the A38 between the Markeaton and Little Eaton Roundabouts, which saw the MA 60s and many of the original columns removed.

The lantern was still boxed when it entered the collection.

At 1594 mm (5′2″) in length, this is the longest lantern in the collection - even an integrally-geared Thorn Alpha 6 cannot compete, as this is 1440 mm (4′8″) in length. The Alpha 6 is a (slightly) heavier lantern, however - this is 19.07 kg (42 lb) in comparison to the MA 60's 17.2 kg (38 lb).

Having never been installed, the lantern's GRP canopy is smooth and shiny. The GRP section of the lantern is identical in size to that of the MA 50 in the collection, however the aluminium rear section is different due to it being intended to house the lantern's control gear.

Whilst not particularly visible in this photograph, the lantern's bowl has been damaged in storage - a small crack has formed along one of the refractors and continues for about half the length of the bowl. With the bowl secured, the plastic is unable to split any further. The observant amongst you will notice that something rather important is missing from the rear of the lantern...

Yes, the so-called integral gear has to be ordered separately and then fitted to the lantern. I assume that this is to reduce the weight of the lantern during transit.

Aside from some surface corrosion to the bracket holding the ballast in place, the gear compartment is also as-new. A connector block links the gear to the lantern. When installed, the compartment locates on the hinge pin located between the two grub screws on the lantern, and is then secured by two screws located either side of the ballast. A small safety catch is provided on the hinge pin, in order to prevent the compartment from working loose in service.

This view clearly shows the hinge mechanism mentioned above.

With the gear compartment secured, the very streamlined appearance of the MA 60 becomes apparent.

Opening the bowl reveals the lantern's identification label. Notice the Philips-style date code 5H; this represents August 1995, although I noticed that beneath the label is a stamped date of June 1995.

This monster of a lantern was (somehow!) attached to an AC Ford AC872 wall bracket on Saturday, 4th December 2009. When installed, a lamp still had to be sourced, and so when it did arrive, the problem then arose of how to fit it into the lantern, owing to the tightly-packed nature of the collection. After a lot of manoeuvring, the lamp was, eventually, accommodated and the bowl clips fastened. Only in this photograph does the lantern's length become truly apparent! A Sirebeck T300 photocell was added after this photograph was taken - this was done in order to copy the setup of the A38 lanterns prior to removal - the majority of these MA 60s had T300s fitted, although each double-arm was wired in such a way that one cell controlled both lanterns, with a blanking cell being fitted in the 'slave' lantern on each column.

When viewed from the side, the slightly longer length of the MA 60 in comparison to the Alpha 6 can clearly be seen.

The lantern was first powered up on Friday, 11th December 2009. Despite being disused for fourteen years, no problems were encountered in the operation, although the initial warm-up did take longer than "normal" as a result of the lamp being new. (Whenever Philips SOX lamps are operated up to full output for the first time, the sodium particles within the arc tube have a tendency to glow yellow before the rest of the tube has done so. This phenomenon does not occur on subsequent operations of the lamp. The MA 60's lamp was no different to this, and with it containing a lot of sodium, the resultant light show was rather spectacular!)

Lantern warm-up video:

Testing the lantern 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)
237.5 1.02 220 242 49.9 0.91 220.45

Davis Highbeam | GEC Z5698U




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