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Apparent mismatch of socket with GE#5 bulb adapter
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Polaski



Joined: 06 Jun 2005
Posts: 21
Location: Philadelphia, PA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 5:34 pm    Post subject: Apparent mismatch of socket with GE#5 bulb adapter Reply with quote

I have a two-cell Graflex flash with a right angle head and a five-inch reflector. These, I am overwhelmingly told, take #5 bayonet flashbulbs.

I have a #5 bayonet flashbulb adapter from Cress Photo that takes an AG1 bulb, and is supposed to go into the flash socket of the Graflex flash (or any GE#5 bayonet socket).

Cress photo confirmed I have the right adapter, and in fact it works well in other flash devices.

The adapter goes into the socket and is almost completely loose. The user manual says that the #5 GE bulb (in my case the correct adpater) twists into the socket and seats the bulb. In practice, there is no bayonet socket feature that I can see. The socket is cylindrical, it has an inner ridge molded into the metal cylinder which I can push the bayonet adapter past.

However, the bulb is loose in the socket. I can push the ejection button until it presses the bayonet posts gently against the inner ridge, and the bulb will fire.

However, my experience tells me that this isn't the way it was designed to work.

Is there someplace that has a photo or diagram of the correct GE#5 bulb socket, so that I can see if I am even dealing with a complete device?
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1425
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm holding my Graflite Jr. 2-cell unit as I write (well, I can't hold it and type at the same time, but it's right here beside me!). Before you seat the adapter into the socket, make sure that the plunger button on the back of the head is pushed all the way in. At that point the button should project out about 1/8" from the housing. If it won't go in this far, then it's not properly seated in the head. Look into the front of the head and into the socket. You'll see a light brown insulator with a neat hole in its center, and coming through that hole is a silver-colored little metal tube whose base is just the size to fit into that small hole in the light brown insulator. You may have to get a finger tip in there and, while pushing gently but firmly on the plunger, wiggle that little metal tube into its proper position, which is when it's firmly seated so that its metal base fills the small hole in the insulator and is completely flush with its surface. (It might help to remove the reflector by loosening the knurled post on top of the head, pulling out the reflector about 1/4" until it stops, then turning it a few degrees CCW (looking at it from the front), then pulling it off.)

I just tried all this with a #25 bulb (same bayonet base as the #5, with a larger globe), and I'm convinced that your problem is easily resolved, and is due to that plunger not being fully seated in position as described above. The #25 bulb wiggles around unless the plunger is fully seated.

Despite what the manual may say, you don't have to twist the bulb (or, I daresay, the adapter) to seat it firmly---just push it in as far as it will go, and the two little "ears" or prongs on the bulb base will slip into the groove and hold it there by spring action of the socket wall. The plunger, BTW, isn't spring-loaded. (I don't want to belabor what may be perfectly obvious, but the plunger's main function is to eject the bulb, while its tube contacts the center of the bulb base, completing the circuit when the flash is fired.)

Give it a try and let us know how it works then.

BTW, the #5 or #25 bayonet base is the same as, e.g., an automotive #89, or #300X series (2-contact-type, not 3). It also works in the headlight socket of certain Lionel locomotives, like my 2020/671 (Pennsy 6-8-6 class S-2 steam turbine).


Last edited by Henry on Wed Feb 13, 2008 10:30 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Polaski



Joined: 06 Jun 2005
Posts: 21
Location: Philadelphia, PA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 9:03 pm    Post subject: will check this Reply with quote

I'll check this. But, just had family medical event, so it may take a day or three. Thank you and I definitely will post my results.
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1425
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Be sure to read my post again; I just posted a revision while you were replying!

Hope the medical event got resolved and everything is OK!

Of course, if you want to drive up the N.E. Extension I could meet you in, say, Lansdale, and we could check out the flash and watch trains at the Reading (SEPTA) station!
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Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 2682
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure if this will help or not, but there are two versions of the 5" reflector, one has a plastic socket that you do have to rotate the bulb to get it to set



and the other has a removable reflector and a spring steel socket,


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"In order to invent, you need a good imagination and a lot of junk" Thomas Edison
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1425
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aha! Thanks, Les...you can always count on good old Graflex to slip us the old rubber peach once in a while. My own flash is like the one in the lower photo above, except it's a Graflite Jr., not the version with the switch in the handle, but the head itself looks identical to mine. If Polaski's manual says you need to insert and twist, then evidently he has the kind with the tabs in the socket.

I should add to my above posts that inserting the adapter (or bulb, as the case may be) fully into the socket will push the plunger (ejector) button back out so that it protrudes about 7/16" from the back of the head. That's the way it works on mine, at any rate.

Some of all this may be perfectly obvious, but I just thought I would try to cover all the bases.
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C. Henry



Joined: 13 Dec 2005
Posts: 356
Location: North East Georgia, USA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Henry;

On the type of 5" reflector head that is shown on the top (the one that has two claws to hold the nubs on the bulb base) inserting the bulb does not move the ejector button. The ejector button withdraws the claws so that the spring loaded center contact pushes the bulb out of the unit. My reflector head has the catalog #2749 on it. The catalog numbers on both the reflector head and the battery case are hidden when they are assembled together.
BTW mine is the type that does not have the reflector removable from the socket.

C. Henry
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1425
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 2:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm beginning to think that this is the model that Polaski has, too---in which case, my advice won't do him much good. I'll let you guys take it from here, since I have no experience with that model. My model is #2745.
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Polaski



Joined: 06 Jun 2005
Posts: 21
Location: Philadelphia, PA

PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 11:16 pm    Post subject: I think I found it. Reply with quote

Thanks guys. Of the two types cited, I have the socket that is plain spring steel, no twist needed, just a nice little shove to get the two small posts past the interior ridge about halfway down the inside of the socket.

In my case, the base of the bulb (or bulb adapter) then wriggles around loosely, making electrical contact a tenuous issue.

I went to the Photorama camera show this morning, and in addition to meeting a couple of great guys from the Rangefinder Forum, got a look at a three cell flash being offered by Brooklyn Camera.

That little ejector plunger has a spring that keeps tension toward the forward position. That is, when I push the plunger in from the socket side (the front), the spring offers resistance that would serve to hold the bulb firmly against the inner ridge and maintain electrical contact at the bulb's base.

Needless to say at this point, my flash ejector shows no evidence of a working spring.

The question now is how to approach getting into the innards of the socket housing to see how the spring has been sprung -- or unsprung, as it were.

I appreciate your input. I also must say that the nice, slow, methodical method of troubleshooting this issue is very relaxing compared to my day job.
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1425
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My 2-cell Graflite head has no spring on the ejector button. Perhaps this is a difference between it and the 3-cell you examined? Even so, my 2-cell grips the bulb securely. As I mentioned in a previous post, make sure, as a first step, that the plunger (ejector) button is pushed in all the way *before* you insert bulb (or adapter, as the case may be). You may have to wiggle the contact with a finger while pushing in on the button; keep playing with it until it snaps home. Once in the proper position, you can insert and eject bulbs at will without having to go through the previous step again. At least, this is the way it works on mine. Good luck, and keep us posted.

As an afterthought: I don't see any way to open up the Graflite #2745 flash head without destroying it in the process.

BTW, I almost went to the Ft. Wash. show today, but recent shows down there have been so poorly attended by vendors as well as shoppers that I don't consider it worthwhile to pay for gas for the trip. Of course, at this point I'm not looking for anything in particular; if I were, I would probably have gone. What was your general impression of the show?
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Polaski



Joined: 06 Jun 2005
Posts: 21
Location: Philadelphia, PA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 1:29 pm    Post subject: I found the spring Reply with quote

Henry -- I fortified myself with a single malt scotch (just a short one) and looked the flash over. The black angled hosing that holds the socket has a thumb nut that looks as if it might be a set screw. I loosened it and the housing slipped off cleanly. It makes electrical contact with the main cylinder.

With the housing off, I tried the little-finger-poke test on the contact/ejection rod inside the socket. Aha! It pushed back. It turns out that when the housing is put on the top of the cylinder, the set screw is intended to go into the little blank round indentai9on just below the top edge. My housing had been mounted with the set screw pushed into a recessed screw head just below that set indentation.

Thus, the housing was pushed too far down and the contact/ejection rod was binding. Properly mounted, the little rod inside the socket pushed against the bulb (or adapter) base gently enough to hold it firmly against the inner ridge of the socket.

All I need now is a willing group of subjects to pose for an old-fashioned press camera. St. Patrick's Day Beef & Beer at the local Irish church might do the trick.

The "Camera Show" of course is a shadow of its former self. I live 30 minutes away, so I met up with those two guys from the Rangefinder Forum. By the time we got back from lunch, the vendors were talking about closing up early. I did find a very clean snake chain with good clips on each end that will be fine on my Retina IIa. I saw a young lady buy an armful of 4x5 film holders. There were a few boxes of large format stuff, including hangers, lenses, etc.

If you ever have a yen to go, let me know. I'm not a regular attendee.

Thank you all for the great support on this Graphic flash issue. The outcome just goes to show that slow and steady is sometimes a good pace.
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1425
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So the Scotch helped! Wait'll I tell the wife about this....

Glad you got it straightened out. I assume you have a supply of bulbs. What are you planning to use for a power source? There doesn't seem to be much choice besides D cells, since the B-C cartridge is no longer available. I'm thinking of rigging up something with more power that will fit in the holder, like three 9 volt cells in series. These are cheap enough, and readily available. The only problem I foresee is securing contact with the upper terminal, i.e., the one way up in the top of the holder.

Well, it's just as I suspected about the camera show, then. Darn! I got a lot of useful stuff at these shows over the years, items which I'd have to get on uBuy today, probably at far greater cost (and hassle?). I'll miss them.
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Polaski



Joined: 06 Jun 2005
Posts: 21
Location: Philadelphia, PA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 7:04 pm    Post subject: Flash bulb pig wallow Reply with quote

Sometime in the past, when I was actually trying to use my Minox B, I bought up two or three gross of AG1 bulbs. Anything else is much too expensive.

I will have to see how the light spread works in a 5" reflector and using AG1 bulbs. I figure it will be close enough for government work.

The two D cells are quite enough to fire them. I have a Honeywell Tilt-a-Mite (like, who doesn't?) and can get a battery for it as long as the capaciter is still alive. I also have a Minox flash that has a pc cord and a flash shoe. That will fire on the 15v battery that fits inside.

Funny thing, flash bulbs. My friends usually rebel when I try to take a picture, but when I pulled out the Brownie Hawkeye Flash, and said, "Say Cheese," they all straightened up and smiled for the camera just like their fathers taught them to do.
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1425
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 7:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Flash bulb pig wallow Reply with quote

Polaski wrote:

Funny thing, flash bulbs. My friends usually rebel when I try to take a picture, but when I pulled out the Brownie Hawkeye Flash, and said, "Say Cheese," they all straightened up and smiled for the camera just like their fathers taught them to do.


That's because they thought the Hawkeye *was* cheese, an exotic type covered with peppercorns.

Have some more Scotch!
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C. Henry



Joined: 13 Dec 2005
Posts: 356
Location: North East Georgia, USA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The critical factor on firing a flashbulb is the current that flows through the primer in the bulb. Three volts is enough across the primer to fire it promptly IF THERE IS A SOURCE THAT CAN PROVIDE THE NEEDED CURRENT WITHOUT A SIGNIFICANT VOLTAGE DROP IN THE CIRCUIT!
The B-C packs (and flash units such as the Honeywell Tilt-A-Mite that have a B-C power supply built in) allow the use of batteries that will not provide a high current surge by charging a condenser/capacitor to provide that short high amperage shot of current to fire the bulb. The higher voltage is useful to overcome unusual resistance such as a bad contact in the circuit.
I doubt that nine volt transistor batteries will provide enough current to fire flashbulbs reliably even in series, but a capacitor of adequate capacity charged to 9V. by one of them would surely fire any flash bulb that I ever heard about!

C. Henry
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