(Topic ID: 214223)

Questions about fixing broken spotlight


By Nokoro

1 year ago



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  • 4 posts
  • 2 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by wayout440
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#1 1 year ago

Hi. I have a couple of probably basic questions about fixing this spotlight on my X-Files. I hit it with the ball, and it stopped working. When I fiddled with one of the wires, it worked briefly, which makes me think there is a broken connection. I plan to either resolder the wire or get a new spotlight. So, here are my questions:

1. What is the best way to get the heat shrink tube off? Should I just cut it with an exacto?

2. Do I need more heat shrink tube when I'm done? Is it there just for cosmetic reasons or does it serve a purpose?

3. If I need more heat shrink tube, what is the best way to heat it? It sounds like a hair dryer is too cool. At Home Depot they had a butane torch. If I use that will I damage other stuff? I was planning on doing all of this with the spotlight still in place -- I'll slip a piece of carboard under it before I solder -- but perhaps that's not a great idea.

Thanks!

pinspotlight (resized).JPG

#2 1 year ago

The heat shrink is to prevent the wire connections from shorting against anything and for additional strength. It will need to be replaced if you remove it. The best way to work on this spot is to remove it. Disconnect the wires from the underside of the playfield, fish them through the playfield, and remove the spot from its mount. You can then work on the assembly on a bench.
I prefer a heat gun set low and a little distance from the work to shrink tubing cleanly and evenly. If you have a high wattage hair dryer set to high that often works well. You can also use the body of a soldering iron held near the tube while rotating it, just be careful not to touch the soldering iron to the tube. Whatever method you choose, practice on some scrap wire first. The replacement tubing should be just big enough to pass over the wire connector joint. Avoid using a torch.

#3 1 year ago

Thanks. I figured I should probably remove it. I’ve done it before; I was just trying to avoid the hassle.

The torch did seem like overkill, which is why I asked. I’ve never worked with heat shrink tubing before.

#4 1 year ago
Quoted from Nokoro:

Thanks. I figured I should probably remove it. I’ve done it before; I was just trying to avoid the hassle.
The torch did seem like overkill, which is why I asked. I’ve never worked with heat shrink tubing before.

You can use a torch, a lighter, a candle....and others. Anything hot enough to start the shrinking process, which is usually around 225F or so, depending on the product. The easiest and quickest to heat shrink uniformly is hot air, IMO.

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