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Old 05-22-2003, 11:08 PM   #1
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Another DIY PC fixture

Here's some pics of a PC fixture I made for the coral tanks. I know it's ugly, but it will serve the purpose for lighting the propagation tank. Ease of removal was a consideration too. It's made from 1/2" plywood and stainless screws. Ballasts are Sylvania Quicktronics from Lowes...one 2x32 and one 2x59. Bulbs are two 65w 10,000k and one 65w actinic. I left the ends of the fixture open to help dissipate heat. Total cost...about $175 (based on retail prices for bulbs from Champion Lighting). That's about the price of a 2x65 hood from most online retailers I checked. Anyway, here's the pics.
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Old 05-22-2003, 11:11 PM   #2
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More pics.
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Old 05-23-2003, 05:31 PM   #3
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Man, I want to set up some coral farm tanks!
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Old 05-31-2003, 02:11 PM   #4
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hey logan i went to pick up one of those ballasts and there were 2 of them that said the exact same thing. one was $18 and one $36. i want to do a 96w pc. the both said 2 96watt on the front of them. can you help me out
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Old 06-05-2003, 01:38 AM   #5
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almost any electronic ballast will run almost any fluorescent light, as long as the wattages are 'close'

keywords with that statement are electronic and almost

the $18 ballast you found might be magnetic, which might not be bad, but it's not as "sure fire" going to work as a similar ballast that is electronic

electronic ballasts also allow you to cheat and 'overdrive' a bulb, for example, you get a ballast that can do 2x59 watt bulbs (8 footers I think?) ... that equals a 118 watts, perfect for running a 96 watt pc ... you just short the two supply leads together

or you get a GE 432i that can run 4x32 watt bulbs, great for running a pair of 55 watt pc's, you just short the red wires together for one bulb and the blue wires together for the other

cheating ONLY works for electronic ballasts ... do this with a magnetic and you'll just blow a circuit or start a fire.

here's a descrip of the cheat I'm using;

custom diy'd hood with 4x 24" t8's (17 watts each) ... they are wired in series, two each ... so it looks like a pair of 48" t8's ... I then have those hooked to a ge 432I, using two supplies for each pair ... so each bulb is being overdriven by about 2x ... and boy does it make a difference, but they run so hot you can't touch them ... so I added a small fan to draw air through the hood (but not to blow on the bulbs, since this cools them too much and you get dark patchs), now they are warm to the touch (about 115F), which is an ideal temp

the bulbs are already past their prime (pushing 9 months), so I figured better to burn out then fade away!
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Old 06-05-2003, 10:38 AM   #6
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Sorry I missed the question on this post...must be slacking . What glmclell said is correct. The only ballast I have seen at Lowes or HD that will run a 2x96 is the one for a two bulb HO 8' fixture. I can't remember if it's electronic or not...thinking it's not. Either the 2x59 or the 4x32 will run a 96w PC just fine. The 2x59 will give you 118w and the 4x32 will give you either 96 or 128w. For example, the 4x32 has 4 "hot" leads. Each of them is good for 32 watts. You can tie as many of them as you need together to achieve the wattage you want. I don't think I'd want to overdrive a bulb much more than about 25%, but that's just me. I haven't had a lot of experience with overdriving bulbs so I would naturally be somewhat cautious to start with. I'll help you out any way I can with it...just let me know. The ballast I use is the Sylvania Quicktronic QT 2x59/120 IS.
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Old 06-06-2003, 01:25 AM   #7
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hey loganj, where did you get the PC sockets?

I know lowes doesn't carry them around here.

Or, did you just solider the wires on and use heatshrink tubing to insulate?
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