Halogen heater teardown
Today we'll see what we can get from an oscillating halogen heater.
This unit is another nature-strip find. It powers on and oscillates, but produces no heat.
The lower face-plate on the heater is made of plastic and clips on and off with no screws
The top is metal and features three buttons. It was attached to the backing of the heater by two screws.
These buttons activate three heavy-duty 240V switches.
With the face-plate removed we could see the motor and oscillating assembly.
It is a simple, but effective mechanism that uses an eccentric coupling linked from the motor to the base.
The movement is controlled by an AC motor running at five to six RPM.
The heater has a safety cutout in the form of a tilt-switch. This switch protrudes from the bottom of the base and connects the live wire only if it is sitting on a flat surface.
I will definitely use the oscillating assembly for something, but I wont be using the ugly plastic base.
The metal screen looks handy, although it is delicate.
With that removed we could see why the heater was not heating.
One of the heating elements was fried. The other element looked fine, but I assume they run in one circuit and won't operate unless both elements are functional.
The ceramic connectors above are interesting, they are solidly constructed with strong springs.
No use comes to mind, but I sure they will find a purpose eventually.
What can we do with it all?
It has taken a while to write this article and in that time I have already built one project from these parts and I am half-way through another.
I'll start with the half-finished project because I reckon it's quite unique.
Here are the basic components of my steam punk security camera. I want it to look something along the lines of an 18th century navigational device.
You can probably guess that this is the oscillating mechanism from the heater. I have extended the moon-shaped cutout in the mounting plate and made a longer coupling to increase the field of movement to about 90 degrees.
There is still lots to do. I need to install some switches as end-stops to tell my home-automation system where the camera is pointing. I also need to attach the leather-look phone holder.
I'm also considering swapping the motor for a 12V stepper. As well as providing more incremental movement, it will also remove the potentially dangerous 240V power requirement. It can instead be powered from the 12V supply on my base station.
The smart-phone operates as an IP camera, transmitting a constant video stream. My home-automation program controls the pan of the camera and downloads snapshots or video when it senses unexpected movement.
Stay tuned for an article when it's finished.
I have used the casing from the heater to build one of the prototype base-stations for the AAIMI Project.
You can find the article for that build here.
Finally, I plan to utilize the metal mesh screen and the reflective backing from behind the heating elements to build a bench lamp.
The mesh creates a beautiful effect as a lamp-cover. It also allows light to escape in only one direction. You can mount the lamp horizontally at eye-level and it illuminates the bench perfectly with no glare on your eyes.
I am unsure what type of globes to use. I have tested it with car headlamps and they worked well, but I would need to look into their efficiency before going further.
That is an article for another day.
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