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Old 03-30-2003, 07:48 PM   #1
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Lighting not intended for aquariums

I like to discuss and start brainstorming some ideas on lighting for aquariums. Keep this in mind, I have a electrical engineering background and can help create something electrically, hopefully at low cost. I have seen ballast sold at electrical supply house way below cost of aquiring one ready made. We can design one and then place it into the DIY folder for others.
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Old 03-30-2003, 08:02 PM   #2
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Cool, I am looking into majoring in electrical engineering at NC State or Georgia State. Is it a good road to take?

On subject, I built my own lights for the most part, I am using two self ballast bulbs, this wont help you but it is good to know that you can use them.
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Old 03-30-2003, 08:16 PM   #3
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I have been around electrical for most of my childhood. My grandfather was into electrical and electronics. He set me with the influence. To answer your question, Yes the field is wide open. Not to mention the salary. It depends on which field. I designed alarm system for a while, not a good field now and currently am doing self employment in field of computer hardware...that's why the software area is weak on my part.
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Old 03-30-2003, 08:18 PM   #4
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Cool, my fathers freind designs and builds small motors, for all kinds of applications. His latest was for a company to wrap up their cookies!

And get this, he is into SW aquariums and has a 16 inch violatin Lion
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Old 03-30-2003, 09:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
I have seen ballast sold at electrical supply house way below cost of aquiring one ready made.
Exactly. With a little know-how you don't need to shop at aquarium supply stores for your lights. I bought my MH ballasts from an electrical supply outlet. You will need to get your bulbs from specialty sources since they are a very high color temperature. You can get 400W ballasts from ebay. They have loads of them. They are from warehouses and so need some DIY to make them work for an aquarium but you sound more then qualified to do it.
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Old 03-30-2003, 09:57 PM   #6
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I remember reading in a post on here...not sure which one and too lazy to look unless we need it ...that there was a MH bulb that would fire on a mercury vapor (read: cheap) ballast. Can someone explain the difference between probe start and pulse start?
On another subject, I have posted about the 2x32 & 4x32 electronic instant start ballasts for PC's until I guess everyone is sick of hearing about it. I read that PC bulbs will light on a rapid start and even a magnetic ballast too. Anybody have any experience with this? Don't the magnetic ballasts light the bulbs at a lower frequency which increases flicker and reduces bulb life? Or am I confusing this with the Icecap sales pitch?
Another thing I have noticed about MH ballasts is that many of them are capable of operating on different voltages. A pile of them at a Shaw Industries plant that I was at this weekend were stamped 120/208/240/277 for voltage. I have seen others that were like this too. The point? If there is an industrial complex in your area, and you know someone there, you might ask if they are replacing any of their MH lights...might get the old ones really cheap. Lots of the places around here are changing to fluorescent lighting. I'm looking .
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Old 03-30-2003, 11:49 PM   #7
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Logan, It is correct you cannot mix MH and MV. They use different "current". Voltage may look the same on both ballast. With Voltage and Current combined = wattage.

Here's an example:

Wattage stay the same. Voltage higer , Current lower.

Wattage stay the same. Voltage lower , Current higher.

Make sense?
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Old 03-30-2003, 11:57 PM   #8
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Probe start are the basic core & coil type used in most USA applications. Pulse start are the norm in Europe. Pulse start have a higher initial start votage to start those german 10000k bulbs. Ushio says a pulse start are needed to fire their bulbs but I know they will run on at least some core & coil ballasts. Electronic ballasts are equivilent to pulse start.
A 250 Iwasaki is designed to start on a 250W mercury vapor ballast. There are 2 diff ballast #'s. I will try and find the info on that.
(found it)
The interesting thing about the Iwasakis is that it can be run off of a Mercury Vapor ballast. This actually makes it run brighter and presents it as being bluer to the human eye. The ballast manufacturer I prefer is Advance and the ballast model number is 71A3572 or 71A3802-600. The 71A3572 will keep the lamplife for a short while longer, uses less current (4.2a to 2.5a) and has a lower voltage dropout (90v to 65v). However, the price for the 3802 is $26 and the price for the 3572 is $50, so I usually go with the 3802.
from: http://aquarium.union.rpi.edu/rpi.html under "articles" MH for $100
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Old 03-31-2003, 04:58 PM   #9
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Barney, I think you may have oversimplified that to the point that I don't understand it. What exactly are you calling "current"? Amperage?
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Old 03-31-2003, 05:29 PM   #10
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My apologies... :| Current is Amperage.
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