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Thread: Fender Bulb sockets

  1. #1
    Old Timer
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    Fender Bulb sockets

    Any tricks for retentioning those things? Or do you generally replace the socket? I see it all the time, intermittent bulb syndrome.

  2. #2
    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
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    Sometimes the "tip connection" gets a little corroded. Give it a good clean. Other times I just pinch the "sleeve" a bit so it grabs the bulb a little tighter.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Enzo's Avatar
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    I polish the little center point with my end brush Dremel, or even a pencil eraser. If you look at the sides of the barrel at the slots for the bayonet pins, you will see the slot forms a small tab, I gently bend those small tabs inwards to bear harder against the sides of the bulb base. I find that helps.

    Also, the terminals on the end are held together by the center rivet. To refresh the contact surfces there, I grasp the thing and move the terminals side to side some, basically rotating them around the rivet a few degrees.

    Most times these things cure the shaky light.
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  4. #4
    Supporting Member tubeswell's Avatar
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    Sometimes it pays to grab a bunch of Type 47 bulbs and find one that has a slightly longer blob of solder off the end. I think Fender had ordered a bunch of pilot lamp sockets with insufficiently expanded springs when they did the RI hand-wired tweed twin, because these are well known for having 'blinky' pilot lamps
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  5. #5
    Old Timer Leo_Gnardo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tubeswell View Post
    Sometimes it pays to grab a bunch of Type 47 bulbs and find one that has a slightly longer blob of solder off the end.
    And you can add a little length to the lamp base with a dab of solder.

    Sometimes you get an aging lamp that has an intermittent filament. Can't fix that just change it out.

    On occasion I've been able to mend a loose receptacle by adding a fillet of solder to the crevice between solder tab and cylinder, only if the metal is clean enough for the solder to stick. Worse comes to worst, replace the receptacle entirely with either the standard open frame variety, cheap, or the more expensive cylinder type made by Chicago Miniature. There is a cheapo plastic version of the cylinder receptacle, it's crap, avoid it.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Pedro Vecino's Avatar
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    This works well. Sometimes it´s necessary on both poles.

    bulb.jpg

  7. #7
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    This seems to be more common on the Hot Rod and Blues amps.

    Move it around and bulb gets brighter.

    Cleaning and re-tensioning usually does the trick, as mentioned.

  8. #8
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    Love this forum. I retentioned the socket...and also added a dab of solder to the bulb. Was a PITA to get the bulb in but it worked.

    Great input thanks everyone.
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  9. #9
    "Thermionic Apocalypse" -JT nickb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowell View Post
    Love this forum. I retentioned the socket...and also added a dab of solder to the bulb. Was a PITA to get the bulb in but it worked.

    Great input thanks everyone.
    My trick for getting the bulb in and out is to use a bit of heat shrink sleeve. If you get the size right it's just enough to grip the bulb you you can push and turn. You don't need to shrink the tube if the size is right.
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  10. #10
    Old Timer Leo_Gnardo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickb View Post
    My trick for getting the bulb in and out is to use a bit of heat shrink sleeve. If you get the size right it's just enough to grip the bulb you you can push and turn. You don't need to shrink the tube if the size is right.
    Similar here but I use a swatch of masking tape. The stickum is just right for grabbing the end of a glass bulb when it's too short for my fingers to get a grip on it.
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  11. #11
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    I nearly always find it's the bayonet terminal rather than the one on the end. The bayonet sleeve is zinc plated and needs abrading slightly and then I solder it to the tag. It always struck me what a complicated assembly this is just to hold a bulb. Nice that they kept the old design, though.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Enzo's Avatar
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    They make official bulb extractors. I have a couple like this one:
    506-0073 - DIALIGHT - Installation / Removal Tool, 506 Series Panel Mount Indicators | Newark element14

    5088022.jpg

    The small end fits the typical #44 or #47 type, and the fat end fits the larger round bulbs like on some crossovers.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member nevetslab's Avatar
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    I haven't seen that tool before. I"ve usually resorted to an appropriate size cable jacket that fits over the bulb.

    BTW, the Chicago Minature # CM755 bulb 6.3V/150mA bulb has a 20,000hr life, which far outlasts the type 47 bulb. Direct replacement, similar cost.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member nevetslab's Avatar
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    I also forgot to ask...does anyone know of a wrench that can actually fit into the sloped Fender panels to get at that huge hex nut? I usually have a proper tool for everything, but this one has baffled me for years.
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  15. #15
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    You can probably make one by bending a thin wrench, or buy one like this:
    Mission Amps Hardware Page
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  16. #16
    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
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    “Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.”

  17. #17
    Old Timer Leo_Gnardo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nevetslab View Post
    I also forgot to ask...does anyone know of a wrench that can actually fit into the sloped Fender panels to get at that huge hex nut? I usually have a proper tool for everything, but this one has baffled me for years.
    Nope... I use the ol' bent flat-tip screwdriver and hammer, tap a facet on that nut until it loosens then spin it off. Other way 'round to tighten 'er up, then maybe a dot of glue to make sure the big nut doesn't loosen on its own.

    Credit for this technique goes to John Muir, author of the popular "Idiot's Guide," how to take care of your own Volkswagen.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member Enzo's Avatar
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    I'm with Leo, just put a screwdriver against a corner of the nut and tap it loose... or tight. Like electricians do on junction boxes.

    In fact if you look at romex clamps, the nut even has little bumps on the corners for this very reason.
    halex-conduit-fittings-05120-64_1000.jpg
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  19. #19
    Senior Member nevetslab's Avatar
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    I hadn't seen these LED pilot light replacrment bulbs. I noticed the auction page stated 6.3VDC. So, one does have to add a rectifier diode in series. I'll order some to give a look. Thanks
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  20. #20
    Senior Member nevetslab's Avatar
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    I just received a 5-pack of these White LED lamp bulbs that The Dude mentioned in post # 16. Never having seen them before, I wasn't certain if they're just a plug-in and it works part, or if you had to alter the bulb socket wiring. Checking first with a DMM, they light up in only one current direction under that test. I next tried it cautiously with a 1k resistor in series from a low source impedance generator, and found they begin conducting at around 2.2V RMS, and was working in both directions (swapping leads) with 6.3VAC applied. I then removed the 1k series resistor, and set the Fluke 8060A for 20mA AC range, and ran the generator up again. It pulls about 16mA @ 6.3VAC, so these ARE indeed a plug-in part to replace Type 47 incandescent bulbs! I haven't yet installed one behind the Red Jewel lens on a Fender, but will do so the next time I have one on the bench.

    So, thanks for the suggestion !!
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Dude View Post
    I put some in different Fender SF Amps, they are working fine and give a good pilot light, it's just plug'n' light.

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