Refurbished Current Satellite fixture woes - Equipment - Aquatic Plant Central

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Old 05-13-2007, 06:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Refurbished Current Satellite fixture woes

About 2-3 months ago I purched a refurbished Current USA 96W compact fluorescent fixture from TriCity Tropicals in California.

It's been flaky from day 1 - the light is dim and/or flickers for a while before coming on full power. The endcap always seems to be loose, and previously wiggling the endcap some would correct the flickering. Sometimes it goes away by itself.

Long story short, I suspect that this refurbished fixture may have a bad ballast.

My question to you all is - I'm no stranger to DIY lighting, and it wouldn't scare me too much to swap the ballast on this thing - but should I call and complain to TriCityTropicals and ask them to send me a replacement ballast? Should I just suck it up and buy a replacement ballast? (buying a replacement ballast brings the overall cost of this thing up to what I would have paid for it new)

(and this bulb is less than 2 months old - and I have tested the fixture on both the new bulb and the dual actinic that it came with - same flickering)

The other question is - Does this seem to be a normal thing with these Current USA fixtures? Are the ballasts usually this crummy?

Thanks.
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Old 05-13-2007, 01:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Refurbished Current Satellite fixture woes

Have you contacted TCT about your problems with this fixture? You said that it's been flaky since day one.

You should call TCT and explain your situation before any repair work was made. That would void any help that TCT could give you. Many people recommend TCT and that makes me believe that they will work with you. You've only owned it for a few months.

I have two of Current's Orbit fixtures and I haven't had any trouble with them (knocking on wood).

I wish you good luck with you situation.
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Old 05-13-2007, 03:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Refurbished Current Satellite fixture woes

I don't know what kind of response you'll get with a refurb.

I will say that the Orbit fixtures seem fairly simple to disassemble and Workhorse ballasts fit nicely.
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Old 05-13-2007, 04:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Refurbished Current Satellite fixture woes

My Current USA Orbit with Dual Daylight bulbs (6,700K/10,000K) 2x40 Watt Bulbs with Moonlight is the most luxurious thing that I have purchased for myself in this hobby. I purchased mine for a great deal (around $100-120) from Big Al's online. When I purchased this I had arranged to swap out and return for exchange the dual daylight actinic bulb that came with it. They were willing to do this AFTER I received the package. They WOULD NOT open the package before shipping.

For me, this fixture setup KICKS ASS!! (excuse my langugae for those that offend easily).

When I look at the Coralife light fixtures, I read the details on what comes with it and it just seems like I got a GREAT deal. I mean the Coralife looks nice and shiny, but I LOVE EVERYTHING that came with mine.

I still can't get over watching the moonlight late at night. Pure luxury to me.
There is no way I would have spent the extra $$ to get that separately. I love mine.

fishtastico, the vendor cannot fix what they do not know about. Smart vendors know that for every customer that they satisfy, that customer will tell others. That also applies to customers that were originally dissatisfied. If the vendor go out of the way to fix even difficult situations, that customer may go out of their way to tell even more people. (If you ever want to hear about a great auto insurance company that also does homeowners that went above and beyond so that the closing of my house would go through on time (AMICA), I will tell you all about it.)

fishtastico, I do hope everything works out well for you.
I hope yours ends up making you as happy as mine does me.

Jimbo205

Last edited by Jimbo205; 05-13-2007 at 05:21 PM..
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Old 05-13-2007, 06:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Refurbished Current Satellite fixture woes

Hi Jimbo205

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbo205 View Post
My Current USA Orbit with Dual Daylight bulbs (6,700K/10,000K) 2x40 Watt Bulbs with Moonlight is the most luxurious thing that I have purchased for myself in this hobby. I purchased mine for a great deal (around $100-120) from Big Al's online. When I purchased this I had arranged to swap out and return for exchange the dual daylight actinic bulb that came with it. They were willing to do this AFTER I received the package. They WOULD NOT open the package before shipping.

For me, this fixture setup KICKS ASS!! (excuse my language for those that offend easily)...
One of my Orbit fixtures is this same one. I agree. It really KA!!

I have a tip for you, Jimbo205. Have you looked at ADA's 36w 8000K square pin PC bulb? I originally set mine up with two of the dual daylight 6700K/10,000K bulbs. Then I saw these ADA bulbs and I ordered two. I put one of them in. The 8000K bulb is a bright white color. It makes the 6700K part of the bulb look yellowish and the 10,000K part appear blueish. This is what is to be expected, right? These 8000K bulbs KA! http://www.adgshop.com/8000K_PC_bulb_p/108-060.htm

I'm sorry fishtastico. I'm not trying to steal your thread.
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Old 05-13-2007, 07:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Refurbished Current Satellite fixture woes

Left C. besides looking at the calendar, and the fact that I really only use 1/2 of the total lumens (is that the right word I'm looking for?) how do I know when I need to replace the bulbs?

I am assuming that one morning as I am getting ready for work they will just say real loud,"HEY BUDDY! TIME TO REPLACE ME!". At which I will find the box the bulbs came in that I squirrelled away where my wife could not find it (under the tank) so she won't throw the box out; and then I'll look at the name on the box and then call up Big Al and say,"Hey buddy! I need this thing. A bulb. Let me read the box to you!" And then I will be really happy when they tell me they still sell the stuff and yeah, they have it for 1/2 what they sold it to me last time.

But that bulb sounds nice. Hopefully by then I can sneak in the 55 Gallon Tank past my wife and put it in the same spot as the 27 Gallon 1/2 Hex and see how long it takes for her to say something....... Yeah, right..... (ha, ha)

Thanks for the info.

fishtastico, do you still have everything that came with the box? Shipping paperwork? That may help a good bit. Give them the shipping number, order number, etc. and let them know how you feel. Be polite, but firm. Give them a shot. Wait to see what they will do for you. If many other people recommend them, you should be okay. Again, I wish the best for you.

Jimbo205
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Old 05-13-2007, 10:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Refurbished Current Satellite fixture woes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbo205 View Post
Left C. besides looking at the calendar, and the fact that I really only use 1/2 of the total lumens (is that the right word I'm looking for?) how do I know when I need to replace the bulbs?...
I run PC's until they quit or I want to try something else. I keep the still good bulb as a back up.
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Old 05-13-2007, 11:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Refurbished Current Satellite fixture woes

Thank you.
Now as the old dog that has EVENTUALLY learned a new trick, and FINALLY learned the definition of highjacking a thread;
this old man apologizes and will keep quiet until fantastico replies.
Left C. Thank you. Me too.
(right about now Mike & John N. are probably saying to themselves - Oh my gosh! Jimbo finally learned!!)

Last edited by Jimbo205; 05-14-2007 at 03:06 PM..
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Old 05-14-2007, 08:19 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Refurbished Current Satellite fixture woes

Call Try City and talk to George, he is very helpfull and if you did get a LEMON of a refurb, I am sure he will replace it with a different one. I have two Refurbs and I couldn't tell them from new.
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Old 06-21-2007, 07:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Refurbished Current Satellite fixture woes

hey guys.. George sent me a replacement ballast for my fixture but I'm having an absolute DEVIL of a time pulling the old ballast out! Brute strength force on the tiny little screwdriver is not going so well. Anyone ever do a ballast swap on one of these things?
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