Replacement dial lamp LEDs for your 1961-1966 Fisher tube receiver

Discussion in 'Fisher' started by monkboughtlunch, May 10, 2017.

  1. monkboughtlunch

    monkboughtlunch Super Member

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    For 1961-1966 Fisher standalone tube receivers, there are two known bulb sizes.

    Below: Left: 500B/800B bulb. Right: 400/500c/800c bulb.

    IMG_4497.jpg

    For posterity, I've carefully measured the dimensions of the original Fisher tungsten bulbs found in a 400 and 800B. The original bulbs are extremely hard to find (especially the earlier "B" bulbs) and expensive.

    LED replacements will generate less heat (thereby extending the life of the silkscreening on the glass) and deliver a brighter lit dial (if desired). The original bulbs also give off an orange/yellow cast and distort the dial lettering colors. A white LED, in contrast, will make the green and yellow dial printing "pop" more visually.

    In examining the metal tips of each OEM bulb sample, I noticed that the circa 1962 800B bulb was made in Germany. The circa 1966 400 bulb was made in Japan. Both have 6.3v 2w stamped on the metal tip.

    I bet that Fisher made a purchasing decision circa 1962/1963 to change suppliers from a German bulb manufacturer to a Japanese one when they introduced the 400, 500C and 800C, hence the odd variation in bulb sizes in Fisher receivers pre and post 1962/1963.

    Regardless of what 1961-1966 receiver you may have, I have found some LEDs that may work for you from eBay vendor QUA-CO AUDIO. A couple of years ago, I bought some white LEDs for my 400 from this vendor and can confirm they work great.

    OEM bulb sizes and potential LED replacement options follow (remember to select 6.3VAC):
    (Disclaimer: Not sure if lamp socket sizes changed during production runs.)
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2017
  2. rufleruf

    rufleruf AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Thanks for putting this together - I have a little parts drawer with odd bulbs in it, and for anything besides C's I end up modifying some LED bulbs I bought for a Marantz a while back.

    I have pulled a lot of odd attempts at replacements out of these the last few years - unfortunately the brown bulb holder parts usually broke in the PO's repair attempt.
     
  3. monkboughtlunch

    monkboughtlunch Super Member

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    You're welcome! I have this one order and will report back on if it fits in a "B" receiver. http://www.ebay.com/itm/371927828869
     
  4. larryderouin

    larryderouin Do I get Food, Med's, or more gear this Month? Subscriber

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    Monk: I'd rephrase your 1st sentence to add "TUBE" as Fisher started coming out with their 1st S.S. Receivers in 1965 and they are different even from the Tube receivers for lamp sizes. Not much shorter but enough to matter.

    Larry
     
  5. monkboughtlunch

    monkboughtlunch Super Member

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    Change made. Thanks!
     
  6. Rob Thomas

    Rob Thomas AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I will inspect the bulbs in my 800 tonight. I have to replace them today anyways. They aren't original but I can give the dimensions if that helps anyone. I'm assuming the TA-600 bulbs are the same...
     
  7. monkboughtlunch

    monkboughtlunch Super Member

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    Below is a picture showing the fit of the 6.3 mm x 42mm LEDs in my Fisher 400. I bought these a couple of years ago from QUA-CO AUDIO and they work great. These are "white" but they offer different colors.

    (Still awaiting the 5mm x 42mm for the 800B.)

    IMG_4577.jpg
     
  8. AlTinkster92

    AlTinkster92 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Great post Monk, you need some dial glass foam on that glass? Al
     
  9. monkboughtlunch

    monkboughtlunch Super Member

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    Thanks. Yes, I do. Is there a certain foam that is recommended? Or a brand of weatherstripping? What material is best to use and long lasting? Would appreciate any recommendations.
     
  10. larryderouin

    larryderouin Do I get Food, Med's, or more gear this Month? Subscriber

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    I use 3/16 x 3/8 "FROST-KING" black weatherstripping with the adhesive backing. Available @ Home Depot/Lowes in Window/Door Section.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2017
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  11. Rob Thomas

    Rob Thomas AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Anyone know what the VAC is in these festoon dial bulbs? I'm thinking 6.3...
     
  12. monkboughtlunch

    monkboughtlunch Super Member

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    As noted in my first post above, it's 6.3.
     
  13. ncwalz

    ncwalz AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Location:
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    I have these QUA-CO LEDs as well and they do work. They are a little tight in my 800b receivers and a little loose in my 500b and 400. One other little issue is that the ends are copper foil on glass which rub off of one is not careful.
     
  14. monkboughtlunch

    monkboughtlunch Super Member

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    The 5 mm x 42 mm LEDs arrived yesterday. I installed them in my 800B and can confirm they fit.

    So to summarize, if your 500B or 800B uses the rare, slim 5.75 mm x 43.80 mm festoon lamps, these QUA-CO LEDs should work for you too.

    Photos below.

    IMG_4752.jpg
    Above: Original burned out 800B lamp on left, 5mm QUA-CO LED on the right.

    IMG_4755.jpg
    Above: 5mm QUA-CO LED installed in the 800B.

    IMG_4769.jpg
    Above: Both LEDs lit up
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2017
  15. Rob Thomas

    Rob Thomas AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    That's beautiful. It's amazing how the LED upgrade makes such a difference in making the lettering "pop" with just a little more brilliance.

    PS That 800b is just gorgeous!
     
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  16. monkboughtlunch

    monkboughtlunch Super Member

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    Agreed about the "pop." Some prefer the look of vintage bulbs, but I prefer the white LEDs.

    If you have a 500B or 800B, new old stock slim festoon bulbs are nearly impossible to find.

    If you have a 400, 500C or 800C, there's basically one guy on eBay (seller name "tubetycoon") that bought up all the remaining bulb stock and sells a pair every week for $35 with shipping.

    In contrast, a pair of LEDs from QUA-CO will set you back about $18 with shipping. A better deal.

    But the main reason I like the white LEDs more than new old stock bulbs is that the dial paint looks more true to original color with white LEDs. With a warm traditional bulb the orange or yellow bulb glow distorts the dial paint colors. Not so with the white LEDs.

    Additionally, the reduced heat of LEDs means the glass dial lettering paint and plastic bulb holder are not getting cooked like they are with traditional bulbs.

    An added bonus is that LEDs last much longer -- you may never need to change them again!

    Thanks for the feedback on the 800B. I still need to get some weatherstripping per Larry's recommendation.

    800led.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
    Rob Thomas likes this.
  17. Rob Thomas

    Rob Thomas AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Monk, out of curiosity, had you installed the foam by the time that last picture was taken?
     
  18. monkboughtlunch

    monkboughtlunch Super Member

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    No - I still have the original foam which is crumbling. I don't have the weatherstripping yet.
     
  19. monkboughtlunch

    monkboughtlunch Super Member

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    Thanks Larry. I picked some up FROST-KING, and it worked great. Before applying the weatherstripping, I removed the original foam and its adhesive from the dial glass and back of the aluminum faceplate so the new adhesive would grip better.

    The original dried glue from 1962 was extremely difficult to remove from the glass and rear of faceplate. It took multiple applications of Goo Gone, rubbing alcohol, water and scraping to get it all off.

    The Frost-King weatherstripping works great. I added it to the left and right sides the dial glass, as well as the faceplate, per the original. The Frost King was slightly wider than the original foam but it worked fine. I also added an extra strip to the top of the faceplate for good measure.

    Here are some pics.

    Below: original foam (it would crumble when touched)

    IMG_4815.jpg

    Below: new Frost-King weatherstripping

    IMG_4827.jpg

    Below: original foam (note the crumbling)

    IMG_4818.jpg

    Below: new Frost-King weatherstripping

    IMG_4825.jpg

    Below: with new Frost-King weatherstripping and QUA-CO white 5mm x 42mm LEDs in place.

    IMG_4828.jpg

    IMG_4838.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2017
    Rob Thomas likes this.
  20. monkboughtlunch

    monkboughtlunch Super Member

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    The below 800B is not mine. I found the picture on the web. But just for comparison, the below 800B is likely using OEM bulbs from the 1960s. Note how the yellowish/orange cast of the original 1960s bulbs distort the dial paint colors. The high heat of the old bulbs cooks the plastic festoon holders and dial paint.

    800oldbulbs.jpg
     

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