Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Hey guys! New member here! Got a couple questions I know will probably be easy answers for some of you...

 

I am in the market for a new lava lamp for my studio apartment (the first of many). I had the lava bug back in the early 90s and had a midnight series, black base, clear liquid and purple wax as my first lamp. Had a few here and there back then but had all but forgotten about them until I started watching re-runs of "That 70s Show", and now I absolutely have to have another one!

Now, Im not the type to just go out and bu the first thing I see at target or walmart, I always research purchases like this, and it is looking like I may have been smart in doing this... Lava Lite seems to have gotten really bad since the 90s by looking at the posts here and in various reviews around the internet.

I have found numerous posts here referring to production being moved back into the US here but the main source of this information was from last year. Has this move happened? Are the Lava Lite lamps sold at target and walmart back up to par with what they should be now? Are the forumlas perfect for good flow again?

Second, I just found out about Mathmos the other day and got all excited. This excitment quickly left me when I found Mathmos's US site with no listing for the Astro that is oh-so-drool worthy... What is going on there? Are they going to produce the Astro for the US market here or what? I would much rather save my pennies for a perfect Mathmos then play the gambling game with a target bought lamp...

 

Thanks in advance! This is a wonderful site and I look forward to this new interest becoming an obsession ;)

Jamie

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Heatsinks on the mosfet could go either way due to the environment its in and the design of the pcb. It could help sink heat out of the chip. OR sink heat into the chip from the surrounding hot environment.

Important thing about these very small package power transistors is heatsinking which has to be designed into the pcb as it does not have a metal back to heatsink like larger packaged mosfets its internally designed to sink the heat it generates internally out through some of the power in/out pins and into the copper tracks of the pcb which if not large enough cant sink the heat, get too hot which causes increased resistance, that resistance creates more heat, more heat creates again more resistance and so on and on till it pops the mosfet.

from looking i would say dont heatsink it at least for now, i play to pick up a thermocouple so i can monitor what temperature some of the components run at. i know its hot as hell after 6-8 hours running.

Also be warned, unclipping the pcb from the bottom of the lamp is real hard, the clips are rock solid and tight as... and there is a single wire to the touch button which will come out the bottom with the pcb (easy to resolder it ya break it)

And a small flex cable running to the temperature sensor which is glued inside the base on v1 lamps anyway, cable not long so be carefull (semi easy to resolder it)



Autumn said:

How about slapping some heat sinks on the board? That would help if its a thermal issue. I may disassemble mine and do that...

You want a good deal Spencer's has neon 52 oz. Neon lamps there lava lites but run pretty well the green runs the best for most me i get lucky with lava lamps so i do pretty good

those neons look nice from the pictures on here. So far only the 20oz versions are availiable to buy in the uk for the moment ;(

Samantha Gregory said:

You want a good deal Spencer's has neon 52 oz. Neon lamps there lava lites but run pretty well the green runs the best for most me i get lucky with lava lamps so i do pretty good

You will also need a power adapter for a Mathmos. The uk runs on 220v

I have a 52 oz. Neon green and it runs really well

The smart astro adaptor supplied (with mine at least) will work worldwide. its rated to work at 100 - 240v  50-50hz.

It will have a uk plug but a cheap travel adaptor/gender changer is all you need. or on mine i can unclip the 3 pin plug and theres a figure 8 connector so you can use a cable you probably have lying around which also makes it take up less plug space.



Metallica man Trevor said:

You will also need a power adapter for a Mathmos. The uk runs on 220v

I tried this with the Gen 2, and it did not work... the LED would flash every few seconds but that's it. until I flipped the switch too 220v then it worked. I also emailed Mathmos uk there reply,

The Smart Astro does have a switching power supply, however, we do not sell it into the USA market nor any other 110V market at present, and as such is set to run only on 220v.

Mine works fine using that method.

Metallica man Trevor said:

I tried this with the Gen 2, and it did not work... the LED would flash every few seconds but that's it. until I flipped the switch too 220v then it worked. I also emailed Mathmos uk there reply,

The Smart Astro does have a switching power supply, however, we do not sell it into the USA market nor any other 110V market at present, and as such is set to run only on 220v.

Hmm odd

whoa, thanks for all the replies guys!

 

Spencer Gifts has closed the two locations closest to me but I will be checking the one at the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN this afternoon.

How are the "classic" size neons? I seem to recall seeing more than a couple posts here and some amazon reviews stating that the flow is slightly better in the neons... Plus I really like black bases for some reason.

 

Also, for what its worth, I got a response back from Mathmos yesterday regarding Astro sales in the US:

I did specifically ask that they be brought in on our next purchase though I don't know that they were actually included in the order.
I'd recheck the site in about a month.
If they come in it at all it will be around then.
Sorry I couldn't be more definitive.
All the best,

Michael Barreto
Customer service representative

Jamie, I am not far from you in Duluth, MN where we have Neons of every color on the shelf.  So check MOA and if you are not successful let me know and I can get one to you with ease.

Yeah also the neon 52 oz. Are only 24.99 a great price for what your getting and cool i want to go to the mall of America it sounds awesome there from what i heard from people who have gone there

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