[ROVERNET - UK] electric dipper switches

Alan Gale agale at iinet.net.au
Wed Jan 11 23:19:35 GMT 2006

My understanding is that electric dipping mechanisms were a common 
feature on many british cars of the 30s.  It is not a high beam - low 
beam arrangement.
To quote from the owners manual:
"The headlamps are equipped with electrically operated dipping 
reflectors.  With this arrangement, the near-side reflector is dipped 
and turned to the near-side of the road by he the operation of the 
steering column switch while the off-side lamp is simultaneously 
switched off."
Obviously passing motorists was a rarer thing in those days and having 
one light go out was not considered a problem.   It would not be good to 
keep the dipping switch on permanently - it would no doubt heat up and 
burn out over time as it was only designed for a momentary operation by 
the sounds of things..

I have been advised to chuck them out and replace the whole mechanism 
with a quartz-halogen arrangement which gives proper high and low beam, 
but am resisting this at the moment..  it will be interesting explaining 
this to the road safety inspector when it comes time for the 
registration inspector. 

Q: What happens when the lights are dipped?
A:  One goes out.
Hmmm - .

I cannot give clues about where to find any of the mechanisms - maybe it 
would be worth posting an inquiry on some of the pre-war motoring lists 
or by making enquiry to some of the specialist electrical suppliers.
Good luck and thanks for the response.

Alan G.

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