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Touch Lamp Is Erratic

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by default, May 11, 2007.

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  1. default

    default Guest

    Not "wearing out." One component may be changing value over time
    changing the threshold it senses as a touch.

    Touch lamps can be temperamental. Dirt or humidity can change the
    characteristics - I don't know the type you are talking about but some
    lamps use a fiber or paper insulator between the metal shell (part you
    touch or connects to it) and power line connection to the lamp -
    humidity goes up lamp triggers because the paper is slightly
    conductive (exacerbated if you've ever spilled something remotely
    hygroscopic in it)

    They can also trigger with fluctuations in the power mains - look for
    a coincident event like a heater switching on or lamp dimmer used or
    something else along those lines. Power outages or glitches are
    another cause of false triggers.

    The things are too cheap to be worth fixing - and there's a shock
    hazard involved while troubleshooting it and again after it is back in
    use if the repair is less than safe.
     
  2. W. Watson

    W. Watson Guest

    I have a lamp near my bed that is controlled by touching a part of the
    metal. I like it. Each touch brightness until it then turns off. However, it
    has started turning on in the middle of the night. Anyone know what cause
    might be? Does something wear out and need to be replaced?
     
  3. W. Watson

    W. Watson Guest

    It sounds like I should open it up and replace the necessary components.
     

  4. You can get the whole module at Home depot for less than the cost to
    repair. BTW, sometimes they are triggered by two way radios in police
    cars or other VHF mobile radios when they are within a block of you.


    --
    Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to
    prove it.
    Member of DAV #85.

    Michael A. Terrell
    Central Florida
     
  5. Guest

    I experience the same problem. Traced the cause to the cat.
     
  6. W. Watson

    W. Watson Guest

    Thanks. I live in a very hilly area in a pretty small community. This
    happens at night and wakes us up.
     
  7. W. Watson

    W. Watson Guest

    Thanks for the mention of Home Depot too. I live 40 miles from the nearest
    one, and happen to be going there today for another reason. I'll check out
    these fixtures.
     
  8. That or low flying UFOs.
     

  9. Unidentified Furry Object?


    --
    Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to
    prove it.
    Member of DAV #85.

    Michael A. Terrell
    Central Florida
     
  10. Ken Fowler

    Ken Fowler Guest

    It's probably not the module. Touch Sensitive switches are very sensitive to High Frequency radio
    signals. You probably have a nearby Amateur Radio or CB Radio Station operating in the middle of
    the night. It could also be a two-way mobile radio passing by on the street. I have heard that
    there are some bypassing methods and that there are modules with less senstivity. The problem is
    that the "Touch" element is an antenna which reacts to the extra signal from your body when you
    touch it. Maybe you could wrap the whole thing in aluminum foil.

    Ken Fowler
     
  11. default

    default Guest

    I had one of the Heathkit modules long before they became a Chinese
    export. The Heath one had a low pass filter so it would only work
    with a 60 hertz hum signal - but no telling how the Chinks do it.
     
  12. W. Watson

    W. Watson Guest

    I found two different modules at Hope Depot by West Tec or Tec West. One is
    placed in the socket and the other is about the size of a match box. The
    latter has two wires coming out of it. I don't think it will work on my
    lamp. I'll look for the former one in a local h/w store. First, I'll open
    the lamp later and see if it operates that way.
     
  13. W. Watson

    W. Watson Guest

    Well, I guessed wrong. It's the matchbox type with wires. However, I have
    not bought a replacement unit. It may be as someone said above that it is
    dependent upon some SW signal around here. Oh, well, maybe I'll put a switch
    in it life we did for my wife's.
     
  14. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    If you use a push-on, push-off switch, you can maintain that "touch on,
    touch-off" feeling. ;-)

    Cheers!
    Rich

    PS: Bottom-posting is the norm here.
     
  15. W. Watson

    W. Watson Guest

    That reminds me of the old Bob Hope joke about a new car. He said the mfger
    put a button in the car that really doesn't do anything for the car, but
    pushing it makes you feel better.
     
  16. default

    default Guest

    My wife had one of those touch three way dimmer switches. Worked fine
    for a few years then started coming on at odd times. Thing would come
    on at the low power setting for no apparent reason. She's back to
    using the switch.
     
  17. W. Watson

    W. Watson Guest

    Strangely, mine suddenly started acting properly again. I think someone
    mentioned above the possibility of nearby RF interference.
     
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