Thorn Gamma 6

Lantern acquired in April 2004.

The Gamma 6 was an incredibly popular post-top lantern in many areas of Britain throughout the 1980s and 1990s; with the same basic lantern being able to accommodate either a 35 W SOX, 80-125 W MBF or 50-100 W SON lamp. Most of the Derbyshire Gamma 6s are of the former variety, so the SON version (of which this example happens to be) is a slightly more unusual option.

This is the later version of the Gamma 6 as the top canopy has a narrow brim - earlier versions had a thicker brim.

Removing the bowl and canopy reveals the construction of the Gamma 6. it is very similar to the GEC Z5698U, although the gear is mounted in the lantern itself, rather than on a gear tray. The ballast is on the left, and the ignitor is on the right, with the capacitor below.

Believe it or not, the lantern was at full power when this picture was taken - it is just that my camera decided that it had to automatically adjust the brightness!

I then adjusted the brightness manually and was able to obtain a much better picture!

This shows the size difference between the Z5698U and the Gamma 6.

With a flash, the colour from the lamps (and my hi-viz jacket!) can be seen more clearly.


The paint on the lantern was in a good condition - as the pictures above suggest, however it had faded over the years, and so I decided to give the canopy and base casting a repaint on Friday, 25th February 2005.

Firstly, I removed everything from the base casting - the gear, support rods; the lot. With these removed, I could easily remove the dirt that had been lingering in the casting, under the components.

The lantern's label became much easier to read (and photograph!) whilst the casting was empty as well!

Following the repainting, the lantern was re-assembled. A satin (matte) finish paint was used, as opposed to a smooth (glossy) finish - this was probably the same finish that was used to paint the lantern originally.

Lantern warm-up video:

Thorn Alpha 5 | GEC Z3430


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