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Old 10-11-2005, 02:52 PM   #1
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DIY Lights / Ballast Mis-match

I have a coralife 55/65W Single Bulb PC ballast that they sent me incorrectly when i needed a replacement dual bulb ballast. So, im thinking of using it to make a light for my 10 gallon QT. Is it overkill for a QT, Yes. But it will look better than my crappy incandesant hood...

So, the question is this:
Can i use any combination of PC bulbs, wired in paralell, as long as the total wattage does not exceed the 55/65 watt rating on the ballast. My (limited) knowledge into electrical circuit desgin tells me that i can do this. the ballast should be capable of putting out power upto its rated limit, and shouldnt have a problem with a lower wattage load.

my plan is to use 2 or 4 13W PC bulbs, wired in paralell. that will put me at 26W for 2 bubls, or 52W for 4 bulbs. or the other option would be to use a single 36W bulb. either way, im limited in space because of the 20 inch width of the 10g tank...

the ballast is already prewired for a straight pin bulbs, so the 36W looks the easiest... but im always up for making things more difficult. :P

anyone have any corrections for me? opinions? etc?

~mike
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55gal FOWLR,
DIY stand and Hood,
AquaC Remora,
Coralife Lunar Aqualight (4x65W),
60 LB Hirocks Base Rock, 40 LB LR 50/50 Keys/Gulf
150 LB Playsand (~3-4 in DSB)
2 x Blood Red Fire Shrimp, 2 x Cleaner Shrimp
2 x Black and White Percula Clown, 1 x Orange Spotted Blenny, 1 x Red Stripe High Fin Goby
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Old 10-12-2005, 05:16 PM   #2
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more bulbs wired in paralell are a little more difficult for the ballast to initaly fire.. if the total watts are less then the total (even your 4 bulbs are less total) it should be able to fire them.
If your bulbs add up to a little less then the total the ballast will likely overdive them.. you might end up having more light then expected.

you say its already wired for straight pin bulbs.. does this mean that its already wired to a strait pin endcap? Ive never seen a picture of this ballast, I kinda doubt you need help with wiring it but if you want any suggestions a picture of the ballast and the wiring diagram on it would help. HTH
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Old 10-12-2005, 05:30 PM   #3
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Oh and an oppinon.. you can fire more then just PC bulbs with that ballast IMO.. it should fire any floresent bulb (depending on if its program fire or instant start would change the lifespand of the bulbs).. T-12, T-8, T-5 and T-5 HO's should all be options on top of PC bulbs IMO.
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Old 10-12-2005, 09:06 PM   #4
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well, im at work now, but i can try to get some pics when i get home.

it is already wired with a straigt pin endcap...

also, i have been doing some reading on the net, and it seems that the bulbs in parallel might pose a problem for the ballast. i am going to do some more investigations, but i think i might end up with a 36w bulb, since that will fit over the tank...

~mike
__________________
55gal FOWLR,
DIY stand and Hood,
AquaC Remora,
Coralife Lunar Aqualight (4x65W),
60 LB Hirocks Base Rock, 40 LB LR 50/50 Keys/Gulf
150 LB Playsand (~3-4 in DSB)
2 x Blood Red Fire Shrimp, 2 x Cleaner Shrimp
2 x Black and White Percula Clown, 1 x Orange Spotted Blenny, 1 x Red Stripe High Fin Goby
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Old 10-12-2005, 09:09 PM   #5
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http://www.repairfaq.org/sam/flamp.htm#wd9a

this is the article that i was reading that makes me think twice about attempting parallel bulbs.

~mike
__________________
55gal FOWLR,
DIY stand and Hood,
AquaC Remora,
Coralife Lunar Aqualight (4x65W),
60 LB Hirocks Base Rock, 40 LB LR 50/50 Keys/Gulf
150 LB Playsand (~3-4 in DSB)
2 x Blood Red Fire Shrimp, 2 x Cleaner Shrimp
2 x Black and White Percula Clown, 1 x Orange Spotted Blenny, 1 x Red Stripe High Fin Goby
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Old 10-13-2005, 02:28 PM   #6
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here are the pics of the ballast:

Also, i spoke with a friend who knows a bit about lighting, and he said i should have no problem with running the 4 13W bulbs in parallel...

~mike
Attached Images
File Type: jpg overall.jpg (60.5 KB, 71 views)
File Type: jpg label2.jpg (63.8 KB, 57 views)
__________________
55gal FOWLR,
DIY stand and Hood,
AquaC Remora,
Coralife Lunar Aqualight (4x65W),
60 LB Hirocks Base Rock, 40 LB LR 50/50 Keys/Gulf
150 LB Playsand (~3-4 in DSB)
2 x Blood Red Fire Shrimp, 2 x Cleaner Shrimp
2 x Black and White Percula Clown, 1 x Orange Spotted Blenny, 1 x Red Stripe High Fin Goby
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Old 10-13-2005, 10:14 PM   #7
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Ill just tell you.. Ive seen it done sucessfully with 120V ballasts.. I dont see how it could harm the ballast to just wire them up and try it.. I think it will work.. In other words.. I agree with your freind.. :P
I like the hot leads on the ballast.. those are some heavy duty wires..
good deal.. The only setup that might work other then your PC bulbs would be a 4 15watt T-8 bulbs (18 inches long over 20 inch tank) wired in parallel (2 to each power lead) pairs..
I would assume the power leads are the top ones on the right.. the bottom set being return leads (your ballasts doesnt have a wiring diagram proper. )
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Old 10-14-2005, 02:59 PM   #8
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i agree that the wiring diagram leaves bit to be desired, however, keeping the paired circuits the same (inside-inside and outside-outside) i should be able to run the bulbs either way... after all, if you flip a straight pin bulb and install it, it will still light up. this is AC we are talking about, so there shouldnt be an installation direction requirement on the bulbs.

~mike
__________________
55gal FOWLR,
DIY stand and Hood,
AquaC Remora,
Coralife Lunar Aqualight (4x65W),
60 LB Hirocks Base Rock, 40 LB LR 50/50 Keys/Gulf
150 LB Playsand (~3-4 in DSB)
2 x Blood Red Fire Shrimp, 2 x Cleaner Shrimp
2 x Black and White Percula Clown, 1 x Orange Spotted Blenny, 1 x Red Stripe High Fin Goby
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Old 10-15-2005, 09:26 AM   #9
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sounds like you have a plan :P your paired circuts idea runs along the same idea as my hotleads and return leads idea.. so I still agree.. LOL
let us know (or at least me it seems LOL) what you end up doing and how it goes :P
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