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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:34 pm 
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Thank you for all your kind comments and lantern identifications  :)

Just to confirm that the Telensa telecells that are replacing the old one-part cells with NEMA sockets are simple like-for-like swap-outs:

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Image of a "NEMA telecell" from the Telensa web site.

...and the Telensa telecells that are replacing the old two-part thermal cells (and the more slimline cells that replaced them in the same 14mm hole over the years, e.g. the Zodion cells) is a conduit telecell:

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Image of a "conduit telecell" from the Telensa web site.

The conduit telecells require the existing 14mm hole in the canopy to be drilled wider (to 20mm) to accommodate them, and this is the thing that worried me as I thought many of Colchester's elderly lanterns and/or their equally ageing brackets wouldn't cope.

Therefore it is excellent to see that the additional drilling hasn't caused any problems so far (except for the two-part celled Philips MA range), and even lanterns with known problems like Colchester's Alpha Sixes (weakness of the spine at the column end - a fault fixed on later versions not installed in Colchester) and the Alpha One (awkward to re-cell due to the shape of the shoe) seem to have been re-celled without difficulty, with the possible exception of that rather sorry-looking Alpha One at the end.

Heritage lanterns are getting the mini telecells, which hide the unit's working parts under the canopy with only the aerial exposed:

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Image of a "mini telecell" from the Telensa web site.

It could be argued that Essex County Council should have realised that this re-celling operation would have meant every lantern in the county will need to be visited once within a space of a couple of years. With such a rare opportunity like this, they could have thrown additional money at the re-celling contract and asked the crews to replace any elderly lanterns they encounter.

Having said that, once each lantern has a telecell, at least the lanterns themselves can report back to their base stations and the central computer that they have stopped working. Given the advanced age of much of Essex's lighting stock, and that such old lanterns tend to show their age by frequently developing faults, I fear that Essex central computer is going to be a busy one!


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PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 12:34 am 
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Quite probably. There's a lantern up this way with a dodgy leak transformer - and over the last 2 weeks it has only worked this last Monday night and the previous Tuesday night, and then the Wednesday night before that... in that example it would report back then it had failed, but probably on the day the crews is due to attend it it will have reported back to be working!

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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 3:48 pm 
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This probably should be in the London and Southeast thread, but the Epping Forest district of Essex (which is bordered by my borough, London Borough of Redbridge) has also replaced all the photocells on its lanterns with the Telensa tele-cells.  Lanterns which have received this treatment include GEC Bricks, Z9454s and 9554s, some 1960s (possibly Eleco) lanterns, MA90s and 50s, SGS203/4s, Arcs and Iridiums. I'm going past some Z9454s, MAs and a few of the 1960s lanterns tonight, so will get some pics being as it'll still be daylight now when I go past there.

As promised, the pics:

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:43 pm 
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Thought I'd get the East Anglia gallery started with 3 photos I took from a lovely little place just outside the village of Little Baddow near Chelmsford called Paper Mill Lock:

Lovely little mercury lantern - no idea what it is

The mooring point is lit by a single GEC Z9538 on a hockeystick

The navigation path by the tea room is lit with another Z9538, this time mounted on a telegraph pole. Very rustic indeed!


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:51 pm 
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Your first link/lantern is actually by Coughtrie and is a domestic rather than street lantern. We have discussed this specific lantern before on the forums although I can't remember where.  :?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 8:15 am 
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Could this be it - the PW?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:01 pm 
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Yes, that's it.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 9:19 pm 
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Brentwood's streetlights to be switched off overnight (Retweeted by @UKASTLE)


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:10 pm 
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Alex wrote:
Brentwood's streetlights to be switched off overnight (Retweeted by @UKASTLE)

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A road of GEC Z5646s in Chelmsford sporting new Telensa Telecells, which since the 1st of September switches them off at midnight and back on at 5am.

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Chelmsford has scores of GEC Z5646s, as well as the China-hatted GEC Z5647s, which is in contrast to Clacton which also has the GEC Z564x series, but only in the 80w mercury Z5641 variant.

In early 2010, Essex County Council succeeded in winning £164 million in PFI credits to pursue its street lighting PFI, but a few months later and with a change of government, the money was withdrawn by Whitehall in a Comprehensive Spending Review.

Having had the rug pulled from under its feet, Essex County Council sought other ways of reducing its energy bill, and settled on a £6.6 million capital outlay to replace the photocells on all its street lighting stock with Telensa Telecells and a central computer. This enabled a return to part-night lighting on Essex's streets, for the first time since the 1980s.

A trial switch-off commenced in the largely rural districts of Maldon and Uttlesford in 2007 and after being declared a success, the city of Chelmsford and Braintree town were switched off on September 1st. Colchester and Basildon will follow on November 1st, Clacton will follow on January 1st 2014 (that'll come as a shock to those returning from New Year's Eve parties!) and Harlow's lights will be switched off on February 1st 2014.

Many of you will notice that some of the places on that list - Chelmsford, Basildon, Harlow and Colchester, are quite a contrast to the largely rural districts of Maldon and Uttlesford, and the application of part-night lighting to Essex's biggest towns has caused an avalanche of newspaper reports, as well as a Facebook group and an online petition.

As an alternative to part-night lighting, and in the absence of a street lighting PFI, Essex did look at replacing its lighting stock with LED lights out of its own budget, but the cost of the lanterns themselves - put at £31 million (in comparison to the £6.6 million needed for the Telensa Telecells) - meant the scheme was prohibitively expensive.

But I don't mind that, because it means lovely old lights like the GEC Z564x can soldier on for many years to come!


Last edited by David on Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:26 am 
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Perhaps the January 1st switch-off means from the end of that day into January 2nd.

Whilst its good that the old stock gets to remain in service (those SOX Z5640s do look good lit up), the daytime appearance of such lanterns with something that is essentially the size of a bird stuck on top might seem a bit ungainly. Although not as bad as if they'd gone for the Zodion system, as certain lanterns would have had to have master nodes on them and these are the size of a small pigeon.

I personally think that, in the same way as the government allocates grants under the "green bus fund" to cover the cost difference in buying an electric or hybrid bus in comparison to buying a normal diesel one, there should be a "green lighting fund" that gives out grants every now and then to councils to fill the cost gap between buying a number of normal SON lanterns and buying a number of LED lanterns. Some LED lanterns can cost £600 whilst the equivalent SON lantern can be £150 - so for the same price as 1 LED lantern, a council could get 4 SON ones - or TEN Thorn Jets running 42W CFL. Even reduced energy bills would be hard to merit such a substantial cost differential.

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