GEC Z5698U - Restoration and Reassembly

Column 60456 was finally removed on, or around, Friday, 23rd April 2010. Naturally, I was rather upset to see it gone; the patched-up excavation hole was the only evidence that a column had ever been installed there.

The aluminium components returned from an extensive repaint on Friday, 23rd July 2010.

The canopy was repainted both inside and out. The amount of masking required (for both the two-tone nature of the inside, and for keeping the securing toggle in its unpainted stainless steel finish) was incredible.

The bowl securing ring was also refurbished. Just visible here is the new length of gasket strip attached to the outer rim.

All traces of corrosion and dead insects had been removed from the lower reflector/gear tray.

Two rubber bungs were fitted to the support rod threads in the base casting. This ensured that paint did not clog the threads.


Reassembly of the lantern commenced the following Monday (26th July). As with the Gamma 6, a miniature column was painted and numbered accordingly; in this case, the number applied was, of course, 60456. The photograph below shows the column after the lantern's base casting had been attached.

After a while, the lantern was fully reassembled. Despite the bowl being yellowed, I have no plans to replace it - it is original to this lantern, and therefore must remain.

The lantern was then switched on...

The photograph below is not of a solar eclipse taken at a peculiar angle; it is the result of placing the camera on the floor and taking a photograph directly up at the lantern...I think!

The existing plastic connector for the cables to and from the NEMA socket had become brittle during the lantern's thirty year service outdoors. I therefore decided, for safety reasons, to replace the connector. A single socket and two identical plugs were purchased, in order that I could choose whether to operate the lantern automatically through the NEMA socket, or manually, with a link between the 'live' and 'load wires. The photograph below shows the latter setup in use. When the NEMA socket is connected, the link plug hooks on to one of the adjacent wing nuts, for safekeeping.

The lantern was then returned to its natural outdoor home (albeit temporarily!) for a night photograph.

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) Difference (W) Percentage Difference
241.7 0.59 56 143 49.9 0.39 55.62 20.62 59

Clearly, the capacitor had failed in this lantern. Had the Z5698U directly outside the old house have remained until the end as well, I wonder whether the capacitor on this would also have failed by 2010.

After its restoration, the lantern was briefly returned to the footpath it had lit for thirty years, for final photographs.

Following the acquisition and restoration of this Z5698U, my other example was converted to run 55 W lamps, for variety.

Philips MA 60 | Thorn Gamma 6


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