Timeline of the Thorn Popular Pack?

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Tom
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Timeline of the Thorn Popular Pack?

Postby Tom » Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:31 pm

Some of us would like to know the years that this iconic fitting evolved from its inception in 1954. Any ideas?

Here's my guesswork...

1954 Original model launched with 5' BC holders, 2' and 4' models came later with bipin 'tombstone' lampholders and matching endcaps? Were there 3' and 8' versions? What attachments were available? Not seen a twin version!

1960-69 replaced by Atlas (also branded Ekco) Superslim in 2', 4', 5' and 8' (not sure if there was a 6' then) Single and twin, with quickstart options, 5' 65w followed in later models. Opal diffusers, trough refelctors and louvres that clipped onto the tube in 1' sections available have been seen on these fittings!

1970-75 Grey Atlas (and a few Ekco and even Mazda!) Pop Pack launched, 6' available, ballast and starter switch. Upon switch-on, the starter closes and preheats the tube's cathode filaments. Upon opening, the magnetic field within the ballast collapses, causing a voltage pulse which strikes the tube. This is often repeated twice or more, causing the distinctive blinking at startup.">switchstart and SRS options. Later versions had square starter socket.

1975-81 As above in white branded Thorn without recessed logo on side. New ballast and capacitor designs with push-fit terminals. Vivatronic start on later model?

1982-92 T8 model launched with universal lampholders for T8/T12. Early models with original screw down cover plate, quick release turnbuckles introduced about 1985? HF option introduced about 1987?

1993 onwards. All went downhill from here!
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Re: Timeline of the Thorn Popular Pack?

Postby Kev » Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:47 pm

Im pretty sure the grey sided Atlas was 65 on! Good guesswork. I think the BC Fluorescents maybe earlier. I have some GEC 5' 80W fittings that are dated 1955!

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Re: Timeline of the Thorn Popular Pack?

Postby Paul » Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:49 pm

The Thorn PP MkI was introduced in 1954 - there was a photo on the Thorn website at one point which has now gone :-(

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Re: Timeline of the Thorn Popular Pack?

Postby Kev » Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:11 am

SO what was before that? I know fluorescent lighting came out in england in 1939! So what was there?

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Re: Timeline of the Thorn Popular Pack?

Postby SuperSix » Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:56 am

Well there did seem to be primitive fittings or people made their own. i've seen bits of wood or mirror suspended from ceilings with the choke on the top and the tube terry clipped on to the underside! The Pop Pack which wouldn't have actually been called the Pop Pack was the first batten fitting that came ready to be fitted. What was it called?

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Re: Timeline of the Thorn Popular Pack?

Postby Tom » Sat May 28, 2011 12:32 am

Just taken a look at Thorn's site and they've now included a brief history animation see http://www.thornlighting.com/poppack/COM/2547.htm#

Yes I know they've missed out at least a couple of models including the iconic grey sided and plain white T12 models from the 1970s as well as the original T8 versions with those turnbuckles! Ah well, suppose they just wanted to keep it brief!
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Re: Timeline of the Thorn Popular Pack?

Postby Kev » Sat May 28, 2011 8:03 am

Thats a load of crap. They have got the current model that you can still buy available in 1981. Also while i was on their site i was going to email them and tell them exactly what i thought of the new pop pack but seems their email doesnt work. New thorn are just utter junk i try and avoid it! Oh and over priced utter junk!

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Re: Timeline of the Thorn Popular Pack?

Postby Tom » Sat May 28, 2011 4:10 pm

Yes I have to second with you on that Kev! They showed the current model about 12 years too early! It would have been the old Pop Pack with the new universal T8/T12 lampholders that was out in 1981 yet this fitting was not shown! Neither was it's predescessors, the 70s T12 and grey sided Atlas models! It was whittled down to just 3. This really is lame!

Mind you, I wouldn't mind getting my paws on that mint BC model shown, or the Superslim for that matter!! :D

Another thing that makes me laugh is their statement that 9 'new' fittings can be insatlled in the time it would take to install 4 'old' models! With the BC original, this may be the case in view of fixing the back plate, hooking on the retaining chains, wiring him up, mounting that heavy old body to the back plate with bolts and then connecting the loose BC holders to the tube before finally fitting the end-caps! Yet I'm sure any one of us could install a Superslim just as quickly as this new fangled POS! If you want a new batten now, go for the outgoing model in ballast and starter switch. Upon switch-on, the starter closes and preheats the tube's cathode filaments. Upon opening, the magnetic field within the ballast collapses, causing a voltage pulse which strikes the tube. This is often repeated twice or more, causing the distinctive blinking at startup.">switchstart, or even better, go for Fitzgerald! :D
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Re: Timeline of the Thorn Popular Pack?

Postby Kev » Sat May 28, 2011 4:59 pm

@Tom i completely agree say maybe 5-8 years ago i was Thorn all the way! Do you remember the current MK16 model came with the green plastic inside? They were not bad but just i started getting more and more disapointed with the quality of modern Thorn. I think the current weather pack (Although available in switch start which is good) they are a bit crap and bend down the sides when you put the clips on. But this new thing they have out is completely pathetic.

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Re: Timeline of the Thorn Popular Pack?

Postby SuperSix » Sat May 28, 2011 5:17 pm

Well if this new one is MK16 then there should be 16 variants! I'm assuming they're counting minor changes like the introduction of the turn button cover clips as a new model because there certainly isn't 16 distinctly different models.

No way could you install 9 in the same time is used to take to do 4! You've got to screw the mounting plates to the ceiling, then come down to get the batten, then go back up and attach it to the mounting plates before putting the cover on and inserting the lamp.

Definitely Fitzgerald all the way for me now, I'm a little disappointed that they've started using rotary lamp holders on standard lightpacks but they still seem good! :D

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Re: Timeline of the Thorn Popular Pack?

Postby Tom » Sat May 28, 2011 5:28 pm

Has anyone actually seen the 'new' Pop Pack in use yet? Or even worse, had the misfortune of installing one? I personally hope I never see the day and this new fitting will be a flop! From what I've heard, it probably already is LOL!

@Kev I remember that dark green finish on the insides of the mk16s! I'm sure the metal was thicker back then! This was back in the late 90s when they were still supplied with UK made GE tubes and starters!

I think Thorn are missing a trick here. They should re-release a couple of the old models as a 'classic' range. It's worked well for clothing and trainers with old styles being re-launched to big success so maybe retro light fittings could work? imagine a new Netaline!! :D
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Re: Timeline of the Thorn Popular Pack?

Postby SuperSix » Sat May 28, 2011 5:34 pm

I've seen them myself now, not installed but that did mean I could have a good look at them, really thin cheap rubbish.

I thought about a new Netaline! :D Only trouble is I know they'd make is T5 HF!

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Re: Timeline of the Thorn Popular Pack?

Postby Kev » Sat May 28, 2011 7:43 pm

Yeh thats true they would try and ECO it or something with a stupid T5 and clame it is better lol

@Tom and ofcorse you had Atlas control gear aswell! The new Pop pack was so bad one of the guys who works in our office who generally wants an easy life and is VERY layed back sent it back because iven he said this is crap doenst look like it will last 5 minutes he laughed at it! It annoys me because i know it is replacing a semi decent fitting! They are already having to continue making the mk16 because they have had so many complantes about the new one.

Who cares about how long they take to install, That doenst bother me i just want a good well made built to last MAGNETIC fitting!

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Re: Timeline of the Thorn Popular Pack?

Postby FrontSideBus » Sun Dec 04, 2011 3:43 pm

When I binned the low voltage halogens in my work & play room (kept the transformer though, gives 104amps @ 13v) I nearly went for a new model PopPack. In the end though I just went with an Ansell unit that looks like a Tamlite clone. Good job I didn't go with the new Thorn as everybody reckons they are s***e...
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Re: Timeline of the Thorn Popular Pack?

Postby Kev » Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:19 pm

Yes i would rather have a SS tamlite than one of the NEW PP Pro POS! The only people that seem to be using them are retarded archatects!

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Re: Timeline of the Thorn Popular Pack?

Postby MetalHalideHater » Sun Dec 11, 2011 6:36 pm

The ansell is better than the new pop pack, believe me I have both

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Re: Timeline of the Thorn Popular Pack?

Postby Kev » Sun Dec 11, 2011 6:38 pm

But i thought you never had any HF mhh?

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Re: Timeline of the Thorn Popular Pack?

Postby Danny » Sun Dec 11, 2011 6:42 pm

Yeh you said you never had any HF Ballaats?? :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: Timeline of the Thorn Popular Pack?

Postby Jack_T » Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:02 am

MHH, you're not doing very well today LOL :lol:

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Re: Timeline of the Thorn Popular Pack?

Postby MetalHalideHater » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:46 pm

The ansell was not HF. It is SS as was the PP. Not the really new one.
Last edited by MetalHalideHater on Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Timeline of the Thorn Popular Pack?

Postby Jack_T » Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:47 pm

MetalHalideHater wrote:The ansell is better than the new pop pack, believe me I have both

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Re: Timeline of the Thorn Popular Pack?

Postby Bluto » Thu May 03, 2012 12:15 am

Just going back to the original PopPack timeline , does anyone remember the version somewhere just after the Superslim - (Im guessing somewhere around early 70s) - which had no external starter socket? The starter had a lttle push-on connector / socket and was held in a clip inside the batten? I used to look after an installation of 5fts like this . Obviously changing the starter meant removing the tube and cover plate , so could be a bit of a nuisance and not very convenient. I wondered if these were the first of the "new" type (ie ; first of the true PopPacks after Superslims) ?

Jeremy.

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Re: Timeline of the Thorn Popular Pack?

Postby Paul » Thu May 03, 2012 6:35 am

I have a 5ft Ekco PP like this - I think this was a special model designed to be anti-pilfer protecting the starter.
PP's of the same era had starter sockets on the side, not the square one but a round hole with the socket held to the side by metal tabs.

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Re: Timeline of the Thorn Popular Pack?

Postby Danny » Thu May 03, 2012 4:03 pm

This seems to be the 'Popular pack' of ALL topics as its the only topic to have hit 1013 views!

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Re: Timeline of the Thorn Popular Pack?

Postby FrontSideBus » Thu May 03, 2012 4:29 pm

Need to get the forum going with some popular topics! The gallery comments section seems to be where it's all at.
Regards, Mark Jones.


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