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Old 07-02-2003, 10:55 AM   #11
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yea, I had planned on using a round (ish) metal wastepaper basket as the reflector ... I saw several at Bed Bath and Beyond that were steel / aluminum and very shiny on the inside ... some even had a pebbled effect which would help diffuse the light

my other alternative is to make one of those horizontal pendant boxes out of wood, and use an aluminum reflector inside, using like 1/4" stand-offs along with some fiberglass insulation between the reflector and the 'box' to help keep the wood safe

finding the "cheap" ballast refrenced in these old articles is becoming a challenge ... the one indicated as costing ~$30 now seems to be around $80 ... and the $50 model I can't find for under $100 ... I guess that's inflation for ya
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Old 07-02-2003, 11:01 AM   #12
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Try this link:
http://www.lightingcloseout.com/prod...2&CategoryID=3
250w MH core/coil for about $45.
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Old 07-02-2003, 11:15 AM   #13
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okie ...

I had originally linked to that ballast in an earlier post

I didn't see an H37 designator on it, so I wasn't sure it would run the Iwasaki I guess I'll call and ask

I'll be going into my office later today, and will try calling some local stores too, maybe one of them has one laying around or something

------
I noticed that I can get a 175 watt mercury vapor fixture for $30 (outdoor security light) ... but a 250 watt fixture costs $200+ ... I was hoping to find a complete outdoor fixture which I could just gut the ballast and socket out of ... but no such luck
------

thanks for all your help logan!
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Old 07-02-2003, 11:42 AM   #14
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IMO I would not try to go too cheap...The MH setup that I posted, states at the bottom to do at your own risk...he he

I should have posted that it was only for reference as to how cheap you could do it...but, for only a few dollars more per fixture, you can get a true MH ballast and not run the risk of blowing anything and be more energy efficient..

The link that loganj put on here is very interesting and good prices.. I wish there was a discount site for the correct bulbs...
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Old 07-02-2003, 12:52 PM   #15
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Ebay has a good bit of MH stuff. I missed 2 Blueline 10,000k 175w bulbs by $2 yesterday...they went for $77. Aquatictech.com still has the ad for the Icecaps for $109 for the 175w and $118 for the 250w. I have to wonder if this wouldn't be a better way to go even though it requires a bit more initial investment. You get to a point on this stuff where cheap is just that...cheap, as in low quality. I'm sure the Advance and Magnatek ballasts are good, but are they really that much cheaper than the electronics? According to what I have read, the Iwasakis will fire on most MH ballasts. That would require some more research though as we all know you can't believe it just because it's printed . In a recent discussion with Kevin about MH lighting, he expressed the opinion that coral growth might be better under the 6500's, but that coloration would be better under 10,000k bulbs. I would rather have a little slower growth rate and better color. I expect the 6500's or even 5500's would do very well over plants though. If you get MH ballasts, you'll have more versatility as far as which bulbs you use. If you went with the MV ballasts, you're stuck using the Iwasakis. Some dilemma....
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Old 07-02-2003, 02:57 PM   #16
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good point ... electronic ballasts make a BIG difference in the quality and quanity of light given by fluorescent bulbs, due to a higher operating frequency (seems brighter to the eye because there is less "off" time between pulses) ... the same probably holds true for electronic mh ballasts as well

too bad I missed that Monday sale, maybe they'll have a similar deal next Monday as well

-----

I don't forsee any coral in my aquaria future, so it's just freshwater fish and plants I'm looking to grow... which gives more latitude as far as the "quality" of the light - as long as it's bright enough the plants should grow ... I thought 5000k was nice untill I saw how much nicer 6700k looked ... I wonder what 8500k would be like ... maybe too much blue for freshwater?
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Old 07-02-2003, 06:58 PM   #17
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Not sure on MH...I have an 8800k PC on one of the coral tanks and I can't tell the difference in it and a 10,000k.
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Old 07-03-2003, 02:23 PM   #18
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hrmm ... so much for doing this project the weekend after next

I ordered my ballast from lightingcloseout - it should get here next wednsday or thursday

I tried to order my bulb from reefgeek but they're closed ... so I tried hellolights and they're closed... so that means it won't get ordered till monday and won't arrive till the monday after unless I upgrade shipping

-----

at least I've got my PC lights to work on
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Old 07-03-2003, 09:46 PM   #19
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And I thought I was a hopeless tinkerer and DIY geek...I believe you have me beat.
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Old 07-03-2003, 09:59 PM   #20
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diy is great!

lighting seems to be ideal for DIY since it's SO overpriced to buy pre-made stuff ... but finding the right combination of pieces, parts and the know-how to wire it up is the trade-off I guess ... since I'm not so busy that my time is actually "valuable", I can 'invest' it in building stuff and save a big dime or two along the way!

-----

lol ... if I can build it, I will, to a point at least ... sometimes mass-manufactored stuff is hands down better in almost every regard then anything that could be diy'd (heaters and pumps for example) ... that stuff I leave to the big corporations

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oh, i forgot I've got a stand to build and a tank to move (just need to evict 4 more goldfish) ... so I should be busy enough for this upcoming weekend, and the one after
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