Dim Bulb Tester Build and How-To

Discussion in 'DIY' started by EngineerNate, Feb 3, 2018.

  1. No Money

    No Money AK Subscriber Subscriber

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  2. EngineerNate

    EngineerNate AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    So fancy!
     
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  3. No Money

    No Money AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I might actually knock up something similar, having three different bulbs and a selector seems smart. Or overkill. Who knows.
     
  4. vaathi

    vaathi baski Subscriber

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    Good work @EngineerNate. I used a double pole switch to disconnect both the lines. Also grounded the metal box.
     
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  5. EngineerNate

    EngineerNate AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Thanks! I purposefully used the plastic box to avoid having to worry about grounding the exterior. I had actually picked up a metal box in HD with the thought, "This would be more sturdy!" then put it back because I didn't want to have to deal with grounding it.

    Is there any need to break the neutral line connection? Without the hot connected it's potential should be zero unless there's something wrong with the house wiring.
     
  6. vaathi

    vaathi baski Subscriber

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    I was safe then sorry to disconnect both the lines based on DBT design I read somewhere. It was not grounded. I used a very sturdy three proged chord which we use in our commercial heavy duty routers. I had bunch of them I got from work ( They were throwing them away in trash since the routers were connected to networked powerswitch using specialized electrical cables.). So I grounded it. I have bunch of bulbs and swap as necessary.
     

     

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  7. EngineerNate

    EngineerNate AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    "Better safe than sorry" is rarely a bad call with this type of thing. :)

    I've made my own heavy duty extension cords out of stranded 12 gauge outdoor rated wire from Lowes/HD before. They turn out quite nice and are extremely flexible and beefy, but the last one I did ended up costing something like $30 once I bought all the parts. I had a bit of buyer's remorse with that one, but it does look sa-weet now that it's in place.
     
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  8. kaplang

    kaplang Works for me ! Subscriber

    If I make my dim bulb tester using a 3 way switch lamp socket in the build will that work? Then I can use a 3 way light bulb and be able to use one of the appropriate bulb wattages for the test. The bulb could be 50/100/200 watts
     
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  9. EngineerNate

    EngineerNate AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I've never actually looked into how 3-way bulbs and switches work so I'm not the right person to answer that question. :D
     
  10. dB happy

    dB happy Active Member

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    Yeah, 3 way bulbs have 2 filaments, 50w, and 100w. The outside of the base is common, and the other contacts let you select one, or both filaments. So, I think it's a good idea.
     
  11. birchoak

    birchoak Hi-Fi Nut Subscriber

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    Nate, I finally got it to work! Thank you for posting this. Mine looks identical to yours, including the massive 300 watt clear bulb.
     
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  12. spark1

    spark1 Super Member

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    I would think that for most diy repair work in most consumer gear, you would want to max out at 150 watt bulb...the bigger the bulb, the higher the current, and limiting the current is what makes a DBT such a great tool.
     
  13. EngineerNate

    EngineerNate AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    My biggest is a 150 I think. I put a 40w in it for most turntables and such.
     
  14. spark1

    spark1 Super Member

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    I've found 100 (or 75) is pretty much a good all-around choice...even 60 watt bulbs work well unless the amp is a "big" one. I've never used my DBT with a turntable...I would have thought that with such a low current draw, the DBT would not be very useful. Interesting.

    In any case, I hope that birchoak reconsiders his use of the 300 watt bulb.
     
  15. EngineerNate

    EngineerNate AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I try not to bring any electronics I've messed with up without some sort of current limiting.
     
  16. hemiram

    hemiram Active Member

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    I have one of those coated "rough service" bulbs saved for my DBT. With my luck lately, it will die as soon as I use it the first time.
     

     

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