Thread Number: 41575  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
GE alarm clock
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Post# 440397   3/28/2021 at 17:05 (979 days old) by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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I got this at Habitat several years ago. It works but the face of it does not light up as implied. Does anyone know if this uses a replaceable bulb or how to change it? I tried taking it apart a while ago but was not successful, and I didnít want to break it.

Iíd guess itís from the late 60s or early 70s?

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Post# 440400 , Reply# 1   3/28/2021 at 18:33 (979 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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I have no idea what kind of bulb it might take. It looks as if there may be two screws holding it together just to the outside of the two knobs.

Post# 440402 , Reply# 2   3/28/2021 at 21:46 (979 days old) by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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Yeah, there are screws in those holes. I remember taking those out but it still wouldn't come out of the case very far. It seemed a bit fragile so I decided to leave it.

It's only rated at 2.5 watts so I wonder if it has some kind of neon bulb like old indicator lights used to have.

Post# 440407 , Reply# 3   3/29/2021 at 01:48 (979 days old) by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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I have a very similar clock. I've never opened it, mine still lights up. I'd imagine it's a 6 volt light bulb.

Post# 440480 , Reply# 4   3/31/2021 at 21:25 (976 days old) by fan-of-fans (USA)        
I'll try another go of taking it apart soon

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Maybe this weekend I'll see if I can get a bulb for it.

Post# 440564 , Reply# 5   4/4/2021 at 10:15 (973 days old) by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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Well I got it apart. Apparently the top button just pops off which I think is what I was missing a few years ago.

Anyway, there is some kind of bulb wrapped in shiny tape, which shines through a plastic disc and illuminates the dial material.

I think it must be a neon bulb from what Iím reading on the rolling number type clocks. It appears to be soldered in.

One thing I thought was interesting is this appears to use the Telechron type motor, which I believe was a division of GE before they sold the clock and timer company to Timex.

I wonder if those stamped numbers ďS5 70Ē are a date code? I did a little research but they donít seem to fit the pattern for one.

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Post# 440590 , Reply# 6   4/5/2021 at 03:17 (972 days old) by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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If it is a neon bulb, it will have a resistor in series with it. It's very likely the resistor is burned from decades of use. I would replace it anyway for safety's sake. The neon bulb can be visually inspected. Firstly, a neon bulb has two metal rods inside that do not touch, instead of a filament. Second, if the glass is darkened, the bulb may still work, but not much light will get past the dark spots.

Neon bulbs are still easily had for cheap, and so are resistors. I'd have to look up the resistor value needed, if the old one cannot be read.

Unwrap the bulb, let's see what it is.

Post# 445482 , Reply# 7   9/1/2021 at 20:30 (822 days old) by mjhoshaw (Western PA)        

Hi, I just now saw this. For sure it's a neon lamp. No other lamp in its day would have a long enough lifespan. They do fail over time. In my experience, when they have a lot of hours on them they flicker or fail to glow at all unless ambient light from a lamp, etc. is shone on them. The night lights in hotel hair dryers, and well-used power strips, often exhibit this phenomenon.

As for the clock's age, yours has a rotor (the sealed gear unit) with an aluminum case that is the last version made. You would have to remove the rotor to get its date code. Then you can look it up on the web page for which I have provided a link. Pay close attention to #4 and #5. Even then you may not be able to get the exact date of manufacture. AFAIK, the code stamped on the coil will not serve to date the clock.

Best of luck to you in figuring out what you have. And fair warning, it's all too easy to start down the road of collecting Telechron clocks. They are the most repairable electric clocks out there. There are individuals who specialize in servicing and rebuilding the rotors, which eventually stop working after their factory oil gums up and hardens. With today's synthetic oils, one can expect a properly-serviced Telechron rotor to run for decades more.



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