A SIGNALLING LAMPby@archibaldwilliams


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Visual signalling is effected at night in the Morse code by means of a lamp fitted with an easily-moved shutter, which passes or cuts off the light at the will of the operator. Readers who know the Morse code might well go to the trouble of constructing in duplicate the simple apparatus to be described, as the possession of an outfit will enable them to extend their signalling capabilities. The stand for the lamp is admirably supplied by the ordinary camera tripod.For the illuminant we may select any good acetylene cycle lamp. For this a holder is made of 1/2-inch wood, according to the sketch shown in Fig. 189. The width of all the four parts should be about 2 inches greater than the front glass of the lamp. B and C should be sufficiently far apart to allow the lamp to rest on the rim above the carbide chamber; and the front, A, should be at least an inch higher than the top of the lamp glass. [Illustration: FIG. 189.—Signalling lamp with quick-moving shutter.] The hole cut in B must be so situated as to bring the front of the lamp close to the front of the holder, so that the greatest possible amount of light may be utilized. The hole in A should be rather larger than the lamp front, and, of course, be accurately centred. Mark these two holes off carefully, and cut out with a pad saw or fret saw. A socket must be attached to the centre of the underside of the base to take the camera screw; or, if such a socket is not easily obtainable, a hole should be drilled in the base to take an ordinary wood screw of good size, the surplus of which is cut off so as not to interfere with the lamp. The Shutter.—The woodwork is so simple that nothing further need be said about it. The more difficult part of the business is the making of the shutter, which must be so constructed that it can be opened and closed rapidly by motions similar to those used in working the telegraph key described in a preceding chapter. Speed of working is obtained by dividing the shutter into two or three parts, each revolving on its own spindle, but all connected so as to act in perfect unison. The thinnest sheet brass or iron obtainable should be used, so that the tension of the spring used to close the shutter need not be great. Our illustration shows a two-part shutter, each half an inch wider than the hole in the front, and jointly a similar amount deeper. The upper half overlaps the lower, outside, by a quarter of an inch.
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Archibald Williams

Archibald Williams was a prolific British author and journalist who lived from 1871 to 1934.

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