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Salvaging ballasts from screw in pc lamps.


Von digity

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I found this very interesting DIY article that I thought I'd share and/or see if anyone has the balls to experiment with. http://www.cucumber.demon.co.uk/lights/diy/ is all about using the electric control gears, or ballasts from those screw in PC lamps to power new bulbs. This is especially cool since the ballasts on these bulbs normally aren't bad by the time the bulb has died (so its like your basically throwing away a perfectly fine working piece of electronics when the bulb dies).

 

What do you guys think, or do you (think at all)...

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sweet Von, I was wondering if that could be done... I just happen to have a busted 19w in the garage that I'm going to go pull apart :-)

 

-skeletor-

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Cool. You gotta post pics when you do this. I'm really infatuated with these ideas of ways to re-use stuff. It would be fun to do a reef this way (which may be my next reefing attempt) and see how resourceful one can truly be.

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Dang VON youre my hero!

 

but how do i used a x watt ballast (with 4 wires) to fire up a 11 watt pc (with 2 connectors) if you know?

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As a poor college student, I am going to give this a try!

 

REMINDER - try not to break the glass on these bulbs, they contain a small amount of mercury.

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gedemeister, I'm not sure how you'd fire a 2 pin bulb on one of these, or even if you can. Seems like small t-5s are fine, as well as larger 4 pin pcs like 18 watters. But, I guess you could always try and see if it works. If I'm scared about something blowing up in my face, I test it in a controlled environmet like an old metal file cabinet, so if it were to blow up, I won't get shards of glass in my eyes and other worse case senarios like lost limbs. And maybe keep a fire extinguisher nearby for extra protection.

 

Cseeton, good heads up on the mercury warning.

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starting_dude

Very interesting read .. I wanted to try this too ..

then, it came to me .. what am i trying to achive here?

 

The t5 ballasts are much costlier and hence we can use these? If i can use this, my question is why can't i use normal chepo $10 ballast to drive t5?

 

Sorry I am sure i missed the point..

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Originally posted by starting_dude

The t5 ballasts are much costlier and hence we can use these? If i can use this, my question is why can't i use normal chepo $10 ballast to drive t5?  

 

Because your then buying new materials (the cheapo ballast) to run your bulb opposed to re-using something that would normally become waste (like these cf screw in ballasts)... I think there is some incompatibilty with using those cheapo tar ballast and t-5 (which is much like CF) technology, I could be off, but I know there is a reason. It may work, but the bulb life may be shorter and yada yada. Kinda like overdriving tar NO ballast to fire VHO's.

 

Now, if you want to fire HO t5's which don't come smaller than 24" you have to find an appropriate donor ballast rated @ 24 watts. I'm not sure if you could find that and how well it would fire a HO t5 vs a ballast specifically designed to run 24 watt HP t5s. Just food for thought.

 

Another question is are CF ballast ok to run t5HOs on?

 

BTW its really cool that there are other people who have thought about this and are interested.

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I know this has been said before but....Von Digity=DIY Pimp:P Btw, CF ballasts are the same as regular ballasts. Only HO and VHO ballasts are diff. afak.

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tonyrodrigues

I am currently running a 9w actinic bulb for moonlight using a ballast I ripped out of one 9w screw in bulb. Just twist the 2 wires that are the closest together.

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Thanx tony!

 

Some questions, what did you do to the ballast print board to protect it from water? How long have you run the bulb on that ballast?

 

 

Did you mean like this:

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Update!

 

Just finished testing this on a 9 watt artinic pc bulb and a 9 watt Screwin ballast.

 

Works perfectly, and it was free! :happy:

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Oooh, bravo Mr.Bond... bravo.

 

I'm glad you guys figured it out before I could. I mean, I did try and I failed. I wired a 13 watt ballast to a 13 watt pc, wrongly. But I guess I'll try again with the updated info. Cool beans guys!(whatever that means).

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  • 2 weeks later...

skeletor,

 

any idea as to the K rating on those bulbs. I like this idea and remember seeing a 37watter at home depot that i might try to fire a 32w pc with.

 

Also, anyone try firing 13w pc with the outer two wires to each pin. I am looking at the ballast and am now thinking that the inner two are for the starting circuit. i am most likely wrong on this, but it is just a idea.

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My idea worked, i had to go to home depot to try it. Bought a 13w phillips pc and hooked it up to an old curly lamp ballast. Used the outer two wires and when i fired it up, it let the starter curcuit in the bulb work. When i used all 4, the bulb became instant start. Now which way is better for the bulbs? I cant wait to try it with a 32w pc on the 42 (not 47) watt home depot bulb.

 

This might be a revolutionairy cheap lighting idea.

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i`ve now got to home made ballasts running my 2 bulbs , i`m waiting for a actinic to arrive & then i`ll make a 3rd ........also i have installed 2 CPU fans either side of the stock hood to deal with the added heat .

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Originally posted by starting_dude

thats great gedemeister ... You think it is as bright as it should be?  

By the way where do you get PC bulbs cheep? (or free :) )

 

Yep looked like it was the same intensity as with the normal ballast, but that’s not very scientificis it …;)

 

Ballast was free, was an old ballast from an “dead” screw-in bulb (bulb part dead, but not the ballast), got the bulb for ~ 1,5 us dollars..

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Guys please consider...

 

1. Safety (don’t make a fire hazard, because you’re cheapv :P )

2. Ballasts may not last as long as “normal” ones, because there not made for it...

 

Anyway, my next experiment will be t5 tubes ..

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could someone please draw a diagram of how to hook the ballast up to a 2pin bulb and a 4pin bulb. The two different used bulbs I took apart had 4 wires. It seemed they were seperated into 2 sets. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanx in advance.

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all you have to do is join the 2 wires on the left together ...& join the 2 right wires together ........you will notice that the 2 sets are closer to each other ........dont worry about polarity`s either .....it doesnt matter .........thats for a 2 pin bulb ......

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