Thorn 'Precinct' OC 1070.T

Bulkhead acquired in June 2013

New and unused, this version of the Precinct is dated to 2003; therefore, it is perhaps one of the last Precincts produced - the bulkhead disappeared from Thorn's catalogues in approximately 2004, when by then, its design was beginning to show its age - it was at least thirty years old by then, and lighting technology had advanced somewhat in the intervening years. It is still a classic product; with hundreds, if not thousands of Precincts still in nightly use throughout the UK.

If you position your cursor (this is itself fast becoming an anachronistic statement in 2014!) over most of the following photographs, the equivalent photograph taken of the 1982 Precinct will display. In this way, the similarities and differences between both versions can be compared.

The modern box omits the pictograms displayed on the label on the 1982 version's box. The part code is still mentioned, however.

A slightly stippled paint effect is applied to the 2003 version; on the 1982 version, the paint finish is matte black. The paint finish also appears to be of a better quality on the 2003 version. A narrow lip has been added to the area surrounding the bowl on the 2003 version; perhaps as a means of deflecting water away from the bowl - there being no internal seal to prevent ingress to the bowl area. Although there appears to be a difference in length between both versions, this is merely an optical illusion caused by a difference in angle and distance from which both pictures were taken.

The middle portion of the 2003 version's canopy is raised slightly; presumably, in an attempt to prevent water from gathering on top of the fitting.

A second cable entry knockout has been introduced to the underside of the 2003 version, and the bowl hinge pins are now located closer to the sides of the fitting.

The 2003 version's bowl edges are slightly more rounded than they are with the 1982 version. Additionally, a Poizdrive-type screw secures the bowl in the 2003 version; a narrower slotted screw is employed for this task in the 1982 version.

The back section of both versions is noticeably different - the 1982 version includes a channel where a gasket would be placed when using the post-top adaptor; this is excluded in the 2003 version.

Aside from a slight alteration to the strengthening surrounding the fixing hole for the bowl retaining screw, the differences between both versions here are minimal. An OSRAM lamp was supplied with the 2003 version, whereas an actual Thorn lamp was supplied with the 1982 version. Thorn sold its lamp division to General Electric in the early 1990s, though it is not known why a GE lamp was not supplied with the 2003 version - they normally were.

Internally, four guides for locating the bowl squarely have been added to the casting of the 2003 version. Again, Pozidrive screws replace the slotted screws used for holding the gear section in place. Strengthening ribs also now exist on the bowl hinges.

The 2003 version includes additional "safety compliance" logos that did not feature on the 1982 version, although the British Standards Institution (BSI) logo (the lightning bolt within a black triangle, which was introduced in 1975) does not feature on the label for the 2003 version; this having been replaced with the BSI's so-called 'Kitemark' logo instead. Conversely, the mark number is not included on the label for the 1982 version.

The 2003 version features the Thorn logo that first appeared in the late 1980s after the de-merger of Thorn and EMI in 1987; a partnership that had commenced in 1984. It is for this reason that the 1982 version still incorporates the logo used throughout the 1970s.

The interior of the 2003 version's canopy features marks left over from the casting process; these are absent on the 1982 version's canopy.

Additional strengthening has also taken place around the protrusions housing the rear section fixing screws on the 2003 version; however, the two strengthening lugs at the top of this area on the 1982 version have been removed, as have the two cable knockouts on the sides.

 

With the bowl opened fully, a perfectly straight line is formed between the tip of it and the front of the lantern. I name this phenomenon "Barford's Precinct Theory".

The hinged front section of the gear shoe has been completely re-shaped in the 2003 version, although the placement of components remains the same.

Plastic cases replace the aluminium cases of the ignitor and capacitor. The 21 year age difference between both versions has allowed a reduction in the overall length of the ballast; however, the components are all still very tightly packed in.

 

The shorter ballast necessarily required the fixing screw locations to be relocated to points further in from the outer edges of the housing. The original fixing screw holes remain.

One practice that has remained the same is the dating of the capacitor during manufacture - the 2003 version's capacitor being from August 2002; the 1982 version's being from October 1982.


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