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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all, I jus tpicked up an All-Glass Aquarium 55/56 watt power compact light. 8000:) Anyway. I have an Advanced standard electronic ballast made for up to 4x40 watts tubes OR u-bent tubes. I know I can run this bulb and I assume I will have to overdrive it using 2 power wires. Basically, the ballast has 4 power wires (2 red, 2 blue) and 2 ground (yellow) wires. Do I treat this bulb like it were a regular tube, just bent in half. I am assuming I should use 2 power wires and 1 ground, bridged to connect to 2 terminals. By description sucks so I will give an example. THe light in question is straight pin, there does not appear to be any indication of polarity so I assume it is just like a normal florescent tube, bent in half.

Should I wire it thusly?
there are 4 pins in a straight configuration:

x x x x

Y (y) R R

the small Y in parenthesis is a tag from 1 yellow ground
The R indicate the 2 red power wires.

Does this make sense?
 

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How do you know you can do this? Is there some sort of documentation online that you found? I would be interested in seeing it since I was always under the impression that a PC ballast was differant from an NO ballast and that they wouldnt work with each other. Am I wrong?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
A friend of mine has told me it is possible and has done it many times. He uses the ballast from Home Depot shop lights. 8$ light remove the ballast(made for 2x40watt T8 tubes) one ballast will power a 55watt PC light. Also, my ballast states right on it "Includes U bent lamps" If you total up the max watts for my ballast, I can run up to 4x40 watts with mine. I have tried the Advance website but it has the annoying endency of freezing up my computer. Odd too, because I never have that problem anywhere else:(

I wil ask him also, I just was not mear my computer so I could not email him till now:) I will definately post back with my findings.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
A friend of mine has told me it is possible and has done it many times. He uses the ballast from Home Depot shop lights. 8$ light remove the ballast(made for 2x40watt T8 tubes) one ballast will power a 55watt PC light. Also, my ballast states right on it "Includes U bent lamps" If you total up the max watts for my ballast, I can run up to 4x40 watts with mine. I have tried the Advance website but it has the annoying endency of freezing up my computer. Odd too, because I never have that problem anywhere else:(

I wil ask him also, I just was not mear my computer so I could not email him till now:) I will definately post back with my findings.
 

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U-bent lamps are still NO lamps though. THey are just bent in a U shape instead of straight.


It would be cool if that was true, I just havent heard of it being done before. IceCap electronic VHO/PC ballasts have a wiring diagram on their website. Here is a link to wiring 2 PC bulbs... they didnt have a wiring diagram for 1
http://www.icecapinc.com/biax430-2.htm
 

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Dennis,

Fulham Workhorse electronic ballasts can be wired to almost any bulb out there. The wiring can be found here , uses red/yellow wires too, and may be useful to you in some way.

I want to try this Home Depot balasts. It sounds like one can set up a PC light very cheap! If I want to get the same ballast or light from Home Depot that you got what should I look for (model #, name on the box etc.)?

Also when you make the PC bulb that you have work, please post a diagram of how you wired it.

--Nikolay
 

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Dennis your friend is right, fluorescents are fluorescents regardless of their diameter. While the older ballasts used for T12 bulbs ran a lower frequency, most (if not all) new electronic ballasts run at similar high frequencies regardless of the diameter of the bulb they are designed for. The only major design difference at that point is the watts per circuit they deliver. Meaning that pairing up a 2x32W T8 ballast by combining the two power leads you will be delivering 64W which will power up a 55/65W PC perfectly. So as long as the ballast is electronic you should have no problem doing this at all, all you need to worry about is the wattage and maximum length of all the tubes used on a single circuit (when running bulbs in series for example).

You'd be surprised but I've actually seen 2x32W T8 ballasts used as replacements in commercial fixtures running 54W T5 bulbs. So although the technology may be a little different, you can still light up any tube with just about any ballast of the right power rating, you may not be getting the advantages that a specific ballast may offer when paired up with the right bulb but you will still benefit from the advantages the bulb itself has to offer.

As far as wiring goes, your diagram looks good however I would place a jumper wire to connect the two yellow (return) terminals to the one yellow wire. This distributes the power between both terminals and reduces heat and wear, specially if you plan to overdrive a bulb. Consider the left two pins as one end of a straight bulb and the right two pins as the opposite end, it's just a folded tube as stated above.

Hope that helps
Giancarlo Podio
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Perfect, just as I was thinking. I have also been thinking of switching to t5 tubes for my 10 gallon but have not found them in colors and lengths I like yet:( I will wire it up this evening and see how it works.

Thanks everyone:)
 

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Dennis, Gpodio,

For us less than technically inclined could you post a diagram of how to use a 2x32 electronic ballast on a 55/65 watt PC.

--Nikolay
 

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Discussion Starter #11


Here is a bad Paint diagram of how to wire it. The ballast in question would be from a 2x32T8watt shop light, about $10 from Home Depot. My ballast has the same wiring diagram, but is rated for alot more wattage (each wire is capable of powering up to 1x40watt)so my wiring would use one set of wires, the other set can power another bulb if so desired. I had a 55/65watt PC and a 2xODNO 20 watt going at the same time. My ballast cost more though. about $35 The black and green wires are obviously the power feed line(connect to plug in wall) HTH:)
 

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Thanks Dennis!

I'll probably check out these Home Depot ballasts today!

On your diagram.. the image on the top right.. Is that an alternative way to hook the PC up? Where do the 2 blue wires go? And where does one of the yellow wires go?

--Nikolay
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The image on the top right is an example of my ballast. Basically, it has the same number of wires as the 2x32 but it is capabable of running 4x40, it just has a higher wattage per wire. Since earch wire is capable of powering 40 watts, I only need 2 of them. That means the other two can be either capped of and not used or used for another bulb. I might run another NO florescent tube for a little more light and better coverage, Or I could power 2 PC's, or 2 more NO tubes, etc. THe yellow is the same way. If you are going to use a shop light ballast, you would wire up the top left diagram. PIck up some extra wire too, so you can mount the ballast externally. I often mount mine on the back of my DIY hoods, but its not ideal;)

HTH
 

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Bummer, the only Home Depot that I checked had the 2x32 watt electronic balast T8 fixture for $26. Too much compared to a $25 Workhorse 5 (a ballast that powers up to 128 watts) that I can get locally without paying shipping.

I'll look in some other local Home Depot stores today...

--Nikolay
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Nikolay,

Are youlooking at the 4' shop lights or the boxed ballasts. We are actually talking abou tthe shop light, the whole fixture. The price is around 10 dolars and it has a slim line, electronic ballast for 2x32 T8 bulbs. Generally the lights come unassembled so you could probably open a box to check the ballast type. I don't know the brand name of the fixture or ballast but rally all that matters is that it is electronic and that the total watts of the ballast is a little greater than the wattage of the bulb(s) you want to run.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Niko,

Have you had any luck? Another thing I meant to share, but forgot, was you should also be able to power T5 tubes. Shame T5 does not come in many colors or in 18" length:( Actually PC bulbs are either T5 or T6, electronic ballasts should power any type of florescent tube as long as the wattage rating is close. IT is better to have a little more power going to a bulb than under powering it. Florescent tubes are capable of handling a lot more power than they typically get. Thats why you can ODNO. It does effect the life of the bulb though.
Anyway....... Hope you are having luck:) Nice to see there are a few suffering with not going to the AGA too. I have felt very sad everytime I see Jay's or Sean's updates :(
 

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Dennis,

I did look for the fixture not a balast only, but as I told you - the fixture was $26. I couldn't go to other stores yesterday and today though. I'll let you know what I find.

Lemme see those updates AGA now!

--Nikolay
 

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Dennis,
Do you still have the diagram? I am curious now as to how you wired it myself.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
That all depends on the type of ballast you have? How many and what color are the wires? Is it electronic?
 

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Yes its electronic. 2 red and one blue. Then 1 white and 1 black (thinking power and ground) its a 2x32
 
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