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Old 05-06-2004, 12:34 AM   #1
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DIY Halide

Hi all,

I really want to set up a 2x175 or 2x250 Halide set up abut really don't want to spend 500+ for a complete kit.

Can it be done cheaper by buying the parts and assembling your own canopy? I plan to build another canopy anyway. I have a 4x55 PC light right now and I could possible use this in conjuction with the Halides or go with a VHO kit.

Any suggestions?

Thanks
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Old 05-06-2004, 01:07 AM   #2
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Since you have the PC's already, I'd use them. Just get some actinic bulbs. I'm not sure what you can DIY a halide system for...depends on how much DIY you're willing to do and what kind of ballast you use. Building your own canopy and using MH retro kits might be the way to go. I'd look at every angle before I started buying parts though.
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Old 05-06-2004, 03:59 AM   #3
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I made my own MH light canopy. Its a simply wood box lined with aluminum roof flashing as a reflector and holes in both ends for fans. I just went down to my local electric supply store and bought Magnetech ballasts and mogul sockets and wired it myself. The ballasts are behind the tank on the floor so size or heat from them isn't an issue. The only thing I have to watch for is when I buy bulbs I make sure they work with a M57 probe start ballast. You can see some of the types of probe start bulbs at http://www.aquarium-lighting-guide.c...al-halide-ansi
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Old 05-06-2004, 09:55 AM   #4
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Do you think you will have a lot less $$ into it when you are done? Seems like some of the retro kits only really allow more flexibility. Of course, a lot of hood cost more than the ones on ebay.

See this: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...300900136&rd=1

This looks decent but not sure on the quality of the equipment.
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Old 05-06-2004, 10:06 AM   #5
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Quote:
Do you think you will have a lot less $$ into it when you are done? Seems like some of the retro kits only really allow more flexibility
True. Retrofit kits are not the best way to save money when DIY'ing MH lights. Buy the ballasts at electrical supply houses either local or online. Core and coil are the cheapest. Electronic are more efficient and cooler. The pricey part is the bulb. It can be done WAY cheaper than commercial units but requires a significant amount of DIY and electrical wiring.
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Old 05-06-2004, 10:30 AM   #6
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The wiring does not bother me. I just want to get the right equipment the first time around.

Can you suggest a good online dealer?
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Old 05-06-2004, 12:22 PM   #7
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These guys have 175W M57 ballasts for less than $40
http://www.atlaslightingsupply.com/MHBallast.html

These are a couple dollars more. You can get 250W for the same price.
http://www.prolighting.com/mehaba.html

Here's one for $36.19
http://www.apluselect.com/howardball...tal-halide.htm

'course theres always e-bay. here's a lot of 4 with staring bid of $15
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...sPageName=WDVW
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Old 05-06-2004, 03:12 PM   #8
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With the Solas quad volt ballast all you would need to do is get some type of reflective material, a MH bulb, attach a plug and mount it? Do the ballast need to be enclosed in anything? I have space under the tank in the stand.

Have you had any experience disassembling a prebuilt fixture? I have this JBJ PC fixture that is a cheap fixture but I wonder how easy it is to take it appart and re-mount?

Thanks
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Old 05-06-2004, 03:30 PM   #9
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Check out: http://aquarium.union.rpi.edu/articles/DIY_MH.html
At one point I found another link that answered alot of DIY MH questions I think it was on www.wetwebmedia.com it talked about 175, 250, 400 Watt DIY systems but I can't seem to locate it right now. Good luck!
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Old 05-06-2004, 04:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
With the Solas quad volt ballast all you would need to do is get some type of reflective material, a MH bulb, attach a plug and mount it? Do the ballast need to be enclosed in anything?
Yes and yes.
There is a simple schematic on the transformer. You need to be mindful of which wires you use for the primary (the quad volt part) and there is a capacitor in the mix too. It will need to be mounted in a well ventilated metal enclosure - core and coil ballasts get quite hot. You will also need a mogul base socket for the bulb. That's pretty much it though. Pretty simple.
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