Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

I got this lamp off eBay last year and felt my best bet for future enjoyment was to re-wire for the US. I made one really bad attempt (seen here: http://oozinggoo.ning.com/forum/topics/mathmos-jet-rewire) and then it sat in the basement for several months. Don't judge me! :D

The conversion is embarrassingly simple and it's maddening it took me this long to do it.

I'd like to thank Autumn, Lamphead (Jim), Dr.What (Shawn) and Weebotech (Rob). I couldn't have done this without your help, pics and advice.

 

Supplies:

  • One steel nipple (I know, the name makes no sense) - 1/8" IP thread, 1" length
  • Two  1/8" locknuts


3 washers:

  • Two for the bottom of the lamp: 3/8" x 1 1/4"
  • One for the top on the other side of the lamp: 3/8" x 1 1/2"

 

 

I took out all UK wiring, socket and black clip that held it all in place. Now just dealing with the base of the Jet, I removed the top part of the base (comes off if you pinch the little clips below). Was easier to re-wire and assemble all parts this way.

 

The order of the parts went like this from top to bottom (with the nipple going through all parts):

  • 1 locknut
  • Larger washer
  • Mathmos Jet base
  • 2 smaller washers
  • Locknut
So from the bottom, it looks like this:

 

And from the top it looks like this:

Then, I threaded the cord through and wired it into the intermediate base:


There is some wiggle room here to adjust how close the bulb will sit to the base of the Jet globe - just adjust where everything sits on the nipple (seriously, why are they called nipples?!?!) a millimeter or two up or down. Mine's pretty close and with a 40W bulb, I'm going to need a dimmer - it gets really, really hot.

 

Make sure everything is secure and tight and then snap the top part of the base back on and you're good to go!

 

If I've done anything wrong here, someone please let me know! This is working out great, though I know, I know, I need a dimmer. ;)

I am running a 40W S11 bulb (same as what's used in the old Carlisles), like this:
http://www.lightbulbemporium.com/satco_s3629_40s11_n.asp  (edit: now running on 25W R14 bulb - the little reflector one). 

 

LOOKIT MEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Edit 03.31.2012 to add a few pics for the Astrobaby. The process is nearly identical. 

First, take out the cord and socket. There are two tabs that hold this into place. Next, with some force (and from the inside on the lamp), you have to punch out the bottom piece. I used the other end of a hammer and tapped it out. Don't remove any of the glue/sealant. Just leave that alone.

I didn't need two washers on the outside, just one. So the order from top down goes (with the nipple going through all parts):

  • 1 locknut
  • Larger washer
  • Mathmos Astrobaby base
  • 1 smaller washers
  • Locknut

Like so:

Then, thread your cord through the bottom, through the nipple and attach to the intermediate base. LOOK, WITH YOUR SPECIAL EYES:

Press the chrome base back over the bottom white plastic part and you're in business. I run my Mathmos Jet and Mathmos Astrobaby on a 25W R14 reflector bulb and they run very well. The Jet could use a little more heat, but the Astrobabies run perfect on 25W. 

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Yeah, get one, re-wire it and post here! :)

Mattmos said:

Well, I guess I'm up for a challenge with a Telstar

I re-rewired my fluidium and astrobaby tonight. I followed the same steps as erin, but I did not use a 3rd washer because it wouldnt fit on the fluidium, and I didnt think it was needed on the astrobaby(actually I forgot to put it on >.>). I later ended up fixing this and putting 1 washer on the top, and 1 on the bottom and pinched them together using the lock nuts to hold the stuff to the base.

The parts I used were a 1" nipple, 3 lock nuts, 2x 1 1/4th washers, and an arm for the intermediate socket. For the plug I used some replacement plugs I found at a local hardware store.

Great success! :)

Okay so I got a metal jet and a plastic jet from weebo today. The plastic jet was a breeze to convert, but the metal jet was a bit of a hassle.

The first problem you will run in to is the bottom of the base is covered.

The solution to this is to heat up the bottom with a hair dryer and start prying from the hole the cord comes out of.  I slowly worked one of these flat box knives around the bottom stopping about every time I got a quarter the way around the base. Eventually the bottom popped off and I was presented with this.

I popped off that metal ring. Since I wasnt going to use it I just crushed it up with a pair of pliers until it came off. On the inside of the base there is a socket that is also glued down. So I turned around the base and turned the hair dryer back on. About 10 minutes later the glue melted and the socket just popped out when I pulled them with a pair of pliers.

While the glue was still soft I put a washer on a long nipple and lined it up with the hole and then I removed the nipple and pushed it down in the glue with a screw driver. Then I assembled the nipple and the socket arm and pulled. I then put a lock nut on the cable and pulled it through the hole. Then I soldered the cable to the socket.

Afterwards I connected the socket to the socket arm and pulled it down into the base. Then I tightened the lock nut I had put on earlier. Then I put the plastic cover back on the bottom of the base. You are now a proud owner of a shiny finger print covered jet that works in the USA.

I have just added a few pics and instructions for the Mathmos Astrobaby as well! :)

Go Erin!!  : )

Jet, I'm going to be doing something similar (new nipple and cord, set aside the original) on a new Mathmos TelStar after the new bulb burned out in 90 days and finding the replacements all seem to be 25W, which is just too cold to replace the original 40W / 120V bulb it came with.

I dug up some bi-pin bases http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DPCACVM/ref=wms_ohs_product?ie=... that say they are for 12V but seem to be fine on 120V. Bi-pin bases run from $1-$5 each, ceramic, plastic, 120V, all kinds available. These happen to take a range of sizes, not just one base size. (Like 20W "G4" bulbs are 4mm bases.) So with one bi-pin base, I can use something like 4mm-11mm base bulbs, which will allow me to use 20-30-35-40-45-50W bulbs without any other changes. Since I'm planning to experiment a bit with waxes and fluids, I want to option to use different bulbs as well, at least for now. And these are small enough to fit even in the tight TelStar base.

I don't really like bi-pin bulbs because they're usually not cheap in the stores, but they are often dirt cheap on eBay direct from China, as well. Lots of choices, lots of options. Even 10W bulbs.<G>

Why modify the lamp at all?  You only need to buy a UK power strip from Amazon or some other retailer for $15-$20.  Change the plug on the power strip to a US 110VAC plug and change the lamp bulbs from 240VAC to 110VAC. This leaves the original Mathmos lamp in tact. I would not even consider changing the original lamp wiring or modifying it in any way which could potentially devalue it. 

Another alternative would be to buy a 120V-240V converter such as the VCT VT-100UK 100 watt converter from Amazon for about $30.00 .  You could even feed a UK power strip with it and run at least any  two normal 35-40 watt lamps plugged into the strip.

"This leaves the original Mathmos lamp in tact. I would not even consider changing the original lamp wiring or modifying it in any way which could potentially devalue it."

1-Original lamps, of the correct wattage and form, are not always possible to obtain, at any price, much less at any reasonable price.

2-It is quite simple to rewire any lamp, including a Lava, without making any permanent modification, so the lamp is easily returned to pristine condition--if it was and if that is your intent.

For some of us, having a simple solution that allows for a lamp with the correct heat range to be replaced at under a dollar, without having to beg it from obscure vendors, is more important than having an invisible part (hidden in the base) be "correct".

Especilly since the original lamps, with a rubber o-ring seal and a weak plastic cap, WILL normally vent vapors and WILL normally need to be opened and topped off in some manner, at some time, if they are in any kind of regular use.

Hi Erin!

Slightly off topic question, but how did you add more than 3 photos?
I want to upload my Telstar rewire, but I can't work it out....
Thanks in advance. (Also, thanks for the head start info. to get me motivated to do my own rewire!)

Lizzie

I'm not sure... I just kept adding them. I used the "choose file" option. 

Lizzie said:

Hi Erin!

Slightly off topic question, but how did you add more than 3 photos?
I want to upload my Telstar rewire, but I can't work it out....
Thanks in advance. (Also, thanks for the head start info. to get me motivated to do my own rewire!)

Lizzie

Give it another try. There are no restrictions regarding a 3 photo limit.

Lizzie said:

Hi Erin!

Slightly off topic question, but how did you add more than 3 photos?
I want to upload my Telstar rewire, but I can't work it out....
Thanks in advance. (Also, thanks for the head start info. to get me motivated to do my own rewire!)

Lizzie

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