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Old 07-19-2002, 07:18 PM   #21
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I don't understand what the big deal is about the ice cap ballaasts. I'm not complaining or picking a fight, but I would really like someone to tell me why everyone is so nuts-O freak-O about them. We have done a couple of set ups lately with faulty Ice Cap ballasts. We did have an electrician look to make sure that things were wired properly on our end. They would either not light the bulb at all or would only light it for a second. The ballasts (we've had 2 bad ones in the past two months out of the 5 set ups we did using them) were ultimately tested by the different stores they were ordered from, deemed bad and returned for a refund so that a different type of ballast could be purchased. I don't think this could be our fault seeing as how we usually pick items up from the petstore and go directly to the job, they are not sitting in a hot car for hours or being abused in anyway... perhaps the pet stores are up to something shadey, recycling old ones? or refurbs? They all look new. As far as what the store did with them after they were returned I have no idea but we now make a point of recommending our clients chose ballasts more wisely than to just go buy what a store owner tells them is the "In thing".
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Old 07-19-2002, 08:25 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by BlueAbyss
I don't understand what the big deal is about the ice cap ballaasts.
It has been my experience that Icecaps are very reliable. In the hundreds I sold over the course of three years with the LFS, we only had one come back, as opposed to some of the other (cheaper) electronic ballast we sold, that came back often. I also like the versatility of the Icecap, you can use this ballast to run VHO, HO, NO or PC. Icecaps operate differently than other ballasts, they fire the lamp more than other ballasts and this causes the lamp to be more intense and extends bulb life. Running NO bulbs with an Icecap, you can get near VHO intensity with the NO bulbs.

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We have done a couple of set ups lately with faulty Ice Cap ballasts.
I'm sorry your experience wasn't the same as mine. Icecap has become a very popular ballast, with increased production there will be increased failures.... Although I find two in a row unacceptable.

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We did have an electrician look to make sure that things were wired properly on our end. They would either not light the bulb at all or would only light it for a second.
Don't take this the wrong way, but on the one that didn't light at all, did you check the fuse? Icecaps have fuses in the body of the ballast, and it is possible that if there were any rough handling of the ballast before purchase, the fuse could have broken. On the one that lit for a second, did you make sure the endcaps were seated properly?

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As far as what the store did with them after they were returned I have no idea
If the store did not return the ballasts to icecap to be replaced, then there was something shady about the whole thing. We once purchased a used icecap for the store and it didn't work. We called Icecap to see how much it would cost to have it repaired, they sent us a new ballast and fixed the old one, free of charge (they said since it was for store use), they work very hard at customer service....
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Old 07-19-2002, 08:59 PM   #23
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yes actually we did check thr fuse and spent a very long time making sure the bulbs were seated properly seeing as how that seems to usually be what the problem is. we have had some problems with shady petstores around here, so it's very possible it's their fault, but it's not really worththe waste of time to find out, we offer to order a different type of ballast that we have found to work very well online for our customers if they chose, and then they reimberse us for it.


p.s. I am a terrible speller I appologize
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Old 07-19-2002, 09:03 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by BlueAbyss
we offer to order a different type of ballast that we have found to work very well online for our customers if they chose, and then they reimberse us for it.


p.s. I am a terrible speller I appologize

How about cluing us into this ballast, some others may find Icecaps too expensive for their liking or simply don't like them. And as far as the spelling goes, no sweat, we've been deciphering what fishfreek has been saying for a long time and nobody spells worse than him.
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Old 07-19-2002, 09:15 PM   #25
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as long as I'm allowed to say, I try to stear clear of touting specifc products on public forums. we order online, from a place called hellolights.com. They have excellent customer service even to go so far as to take a while discussing your tank and what your gaols are for it and how it relates to your lights. For people who really DON'T know what they need, and who don't feel comfortable with the (above mentioned) somewhat shady petstore owners. Their prices are very affordable in comparison to everything else we have found. We use the ballasts they sell made by lumen general, witht he prewired kits. they are "plug and play" sort of stuff, we can usually have a tanks lighting set up completely in less than 30 minutes. as far as what the actual ballast is called I will ask John when he gts here, I just know it from invoices as Lumen General Ballast. LOL. I mean someone else may think it is sucky, I mean they have proven themselves to be very reputable as far as we are concerned. Like I said hope this isn't out of line .. naming names. LOL
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Old 07-19-2002, 09:15 PM   #26
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IceCap... I've only used the VHO ballasts so that's all I'm familiar with. For MH I probably still prefer PFO even if they are a little less efficient.

I've found my 3 IceCap 660's to have operated flawlessly. Whenever they flick on and off I've always found a problem on my end. Either a water droplet in the endcap, a loose wire, etc.

I've heard from others that if there's a problem they they take care of it. Even on ballasts that are past warranty. My refugium is lit by a really old 660 that I picked up and IceCap rebuilt it for $35.00.

I can run NO, VHO, HO, even PC off a 660. I can mix and match bulb types and the IceCap is smart enough to figure out the power requirements for each. Because of the method of lighting the bulb (from a previous post) I can use my bulbs MUCH longer. All of my 660's have paid for themselves already just because the useful life of the bulbs has been extended.

If someone GAVE me another ballast I wouldn't use it because I know it would cost me more money in the long run that spending to $180 for a 660.

Currently I'm really pushing all of my Icecaps to the limits and none have failed. I'm running three 72" VHO's on each one and they are performing flawlessly. Try that with any other ballast and if it works you'll get my attention.
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Old 07-19-2002, 09:25 PM   #27
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our most recent problem was with a 660 that the guy was charged $500.00 for at the pet store, and then 3 hours of us trying to figure out what was wrong with it , at $30.00 an hour because the pet store owner he bought it from told him ice caps doesn't sell faulty equipment. I think in the long run a differnt ballast would have been cheaper for him. We have never dealt directly with the ice caps company so I can't say anything in refernce to intergrity or customer service practices. The only way we've been involved is as a go between between unhappy customers who should have askedo ur advice before they ordered their equipment instead of after, and the pet store owners they ordered them from.

Our experience with a 660 was that it got very hot very fast, made popping noises when you plugged it in, only lit the lights for a split second, and stank of scorched plastic. It was also running under what the limit in the little guide book that came with it said it could run, so I don't think we were pushing it too hard. We were afraid that it was our fault so had a certified electrician look at it. He said it was wired right, we seated the bulbs 2 or 3 times to make sure they were right, tried it on a couple of different outlets even. I am pretty sure it was not our fault that it didn't work, lol.
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Old 07-19-2002, 09:27 PM   #28
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Quote:
as long as I'm allowed to say, I try to stear clear of touting specifc products on public forums
No problem soon a prodcut review section will be up and you can toute all you want in there.

Naming products or vendors is fine. Just make sure you give facutal information.

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we've been deciphering what fishfreek has benn saying for a long time and nobody spells worse than him.
Gee thanks kevin. Oh BTW maybe you need to double check your own spelling some. I see you spell been like benn
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Old 07-19-2002, 09:32 PM   #29
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as long as I'm allowed to say, I try to stear clear of touting specifc products on public forums.
Provided you do not make false negative statements about someone or any company or their products, you can say just about anything you want to. If your uncomfortable singing one companies praises, I understand, there will always be someone that wants to be negative and tell you how that product is a waste of money, time, etc... but if you don't tell us what products you like, how will we know to give them a shot? Also I'm sure if your a satisfied customer, http://www.hellolights.com wants very much for you to express this as much as possible.
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Old 07-19-2002, 09:45 PM   #30
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Gee thanks kevin. Oh BTW maybe you need to double check your own spelling some. I see you spell been like benn
HEHEHE after editing the post I have no idea what your talking about.....

Jenn,
I have never known a VHO ballast not to pop when plugged in, it is the electricity arcing to the plug, before it's fully seated (I think), that is alot of electricity going from 0 to full power real fast, these are instant start ballasts. As far as the scorched plastic, either something inside the ballast fried, (which is what sounds like happened) or the endcaps melted. Since Icecaps are known to run very cool (and you said it was very hot), I would suspect the ballast simply fried, whether it came from the factory that way or the pet store pulled a fast one????? If you decide to give them another tey, I highly recommend buying them online, you will not be able to purchase from Icecap itself, but you will get a helluva lot better price than $500.00, as Guy said, $180.00 is about common for them and I've seen them as low as $159.00....
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