Well, I was on the way to Home Depot when those last few posts came in, so I have what I have:
6" x 10' flashing for grounded reflector 4.48
2x florecent socket pairs 7.94
Machine screws for attaching ground wire to reflector 0.98
Washers for machine screws 0.98
8' power cord 6.14
2x Daylight T8 18" bulbs 13.18
Electronic 4F32T8 ballast (yeah, overkill) 29.97
Plywood leftover from other projects 0.00
Project total: $63.22
I hope to do assembly tomorrow. I'll let you know how it goes. I plan to run the two bulbs in serial, and overdrive them 2x. (15 watts * 2 bulbs*1.5 overdrive effect = 45 watts.) If I decide this is not enough, I may increase the multiplier. The max I could do with this ballast is 4x, creating 60 watts NO.)
The end effect will be similar in effect to the AH supply 2 x 36 watt Bright Kit for $62.99
. All I'm really saving here is shipping. I wouldn't recomend this course for everyone. The Professionally assembled kits have better studied performance characteristics, and come with a warranty.
If you DIY this one, note that there were slightly cheaper ballasts ($20 range) that would have worked for this project, but the one I picked up could replace the magnetic ballasts on my main tank (no overdrive) if the little tank doesn't stay up. One of the two ballasts in the main tank is slow to light, so I'll likely be buying another ballast if the little tank never comes down.
Originally Posted by mr funktastic
...it tricks the ballast into thinking that it is powering 4 instead of 2 and u get a bulb over driven 100%. or if u wired all 4 into one bulb(a little tricker to do) u get 400% overdrive(i think, correct me if i am wrong)
2x overdrive, 100% gain in effective wattage
3x overdrive, 150% gain in effective wattage
4x overdrive, 200% gain in effective wattage
These numbers are rounded, the efficiency of the bulb is hurt by elevated temperature, which goes up with overdriving. There are also issues with the ballast factor going down with more wires in use.
BTW mr funktastic, I like the detailing on your hood. Did you do that with a router or molding?