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Old 05-15-2003, 04:20 AM   #1
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DIY PC (loganj)

i saw the other day loganj had posted that he knew how to wire up a 96 watt pc bulb using a balast from lowes. logan if you read this i'd be interested in doing this if you have the time to explain.
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Old 05-15-2003, 11:26 AM   #2
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There are a couple of different ways you can do it. The usual way is to use a 4x32 electronic ballast and use three taps. Basically this ballast has 4 hot wires and each one is good for 32 watts. The ballast is designed to run four 32w T-8 NO bulbs. If you tie two of the hot taps together, you get 64w and can run a 55/65w PC. Three of them = 96w. OK, we know that works so lets move into the realm of untried theory . You can also get a 2x59w ballast designed to run two 59w 8' bulbs. I think you could slightly overdrive a 96w PC with this ballast. The question is whether it would prematurely burn out the start filaments. These are instant start ballasts so they are kinda rough on start filaments anyway. The 4x32 is about $30 and the 2x59 is about $24 from Lowes. Here's a link to a site that gives the wiring diagrams. Let me know if you hit a snag anywhere.
http://www.fulham.com/NewFiles/wire12.gif
Logan J
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Old 05-15-2003, 01:24 PM   #3
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alright i think i got it i am going to try out the 4x32. thanks a ton i really appreciate it. i'll send you some kudos.
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Old 06-13-2003, 02:40 PM   #4
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hey logan i picked up the 4x32 ballast and a pc socket. now what i can't figure out is when i tie the 3 hot wires together i then have 2 yellow wires and another hot. so i cover the forth hot wire. now my question is this: sicnce the pc has four wires running into it how do i seperate the wires running from the ballast into four to connect to the pc. do i simply tie the 3 hot wires together and then attach them to two of the wires on the pc while connecting the two yellow wires to the other two pc wires. i have worked with electrical wiring before but it has been a while and i don't want anything to blow up on me if you know what i mean. thanks kyle
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Old 06-14-2003, 01:35 AM   #5
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I assume your 96 watter is 2G11 base?

looks (vaguely) like this:

[ O O O O ], four pins in a straight line?
1 2 3 4

wire it like this

[ O-O O-O ], pins 1 and 2 are connected and go to the "supply" leads,
1 2 3 4 pins 3 and 4 are connected and go to one of the yellow leads

instead of trying to connect all three wires from the ballast to the socket, tie all three together with a fourth in a wire-nut, and then run that fourth single wire into your socket

pins 1 2 and 3 4 don't really have a polarity, so just as long as you 'jumper' or short the first two and last two you'll be OK, each "set" controls the filament for each half of the bulb (think of it as a 6ft long bulb folded in half)

[btw]

you 'might' be able to run all four leads into your PC if you use a fan to draw air _over_ the bulb (don't blow air onto the bulb, this will cause cold spots) ... you'll get a bit more light and a bit less life ... or you could use the remaining supply lead to run whatever bulb you can find that runs at 13-32 watts (anything bigger will probably overload the ballast because of bulb length ... a 4x32 ballast can run approx 16 feet of bulb ... has to do with the voltage output or something)

{fyi}

we short the pins because an electronic ballast fires off a high voltage spike to "instant start" the bulb, vaporizing the little mercury drops (which are on the filament(s)) ... instead of heating the filiment to soft start the bulb like a PRS or RS (programmed rapid start or rapid start) ... if the pins weren't shorted, the ballast would vaporize the filament as well as the mercury, and burn out the bulb...

even with shorting the pins, the filament still burns a little each time the bulb is lit, due to something about electrons jumping from the plasma ... don't let this worry you, most PC's are rated 10k to 20k hrs used on an instant start, assuming a 12 hour run time between starts ... if you were to switch the lights on and off rapidly to get that cool strobe effect your pleco's love, you'll burn up the filament in no time
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Old 06-18-2003, 07:55 PM   #6
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kribz, my appoligies for posting some inaccurate information in my original reply to your question

the 2g11 socket has it's connectors in a line like I diagrammed, but the bulb itself has the pins in a square grouping

see the attached pictures of a 2g11 socket recently wired

ps: the white wires go to the yellow lead off the ballast, and the red wires go to red or blue leads (if you have an ice cap, it has other colors, check their manual for more info) ... combine both red wires in a wirenut with one or more leads from the ballast, same thing with the white wires ... the exception to this would be if you were using a programmed rapid start or magnetic ballast, in this case, each wire would need to have it's own lead.

also, some sockets are "jumpered", which means they are already shorted internally, and don't need four wires like mine do, just two, one for the hot, one for the neutral.


l8r
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Old 11-29-2004, 08:47 PM   #7
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Wiring PL-L Lamps

PL-L lamps are the ones with the 4 pin base. These are basically a normal fluorescent folded in half so that both ends come back to one socket.

Here are a couple of tricks when hooking them up.

1. Always try to use wire that is rated for 600 volt insulation. This will help them remain trouble free and last a long time.
2. Most sockets are rated for #18 wire. This is best.
3. Try to find wire that is good with heat. The base can get hot enough to melt or damage lamp chord or other "cheap" wire.
4. The installation recommendations say that there should be at least 4" of wire between the socket pin and the next connection or device. So, for example, if you have to make a jumper with a wire nut, leave at least 4" of wire from the wire nut to each connector and to the ballast. Keep each ballast wire at least 4" long.
5. If you use an electronic ballast, the socket should have a shunt to reduce the amount of current going through the lamp starter. This shunt will increase lamp life and reduce tube blackening.
6. As with any fluorescent, there should be nothing in contact with the lamp other than the socket or a lamp clip designed for the purpose.


Typical wiring of two lamps looks like this...


Blue --------------------------- Pin 1.
Blue --------------------------- Pin 2.
Lamp #1
(Other) -----------X------------ Pin 3.
(Other) -----------|---X-------- Pin 4.
| |
|---|-------- Pin 1.
|-------- Pin 2.
Lamp #2
Red ----------------------------- Pin 3.
Red ----------------------------- Pin 4.
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Old 12-07-2004, 10:43 PM   #8
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How hard is this to do?

I have NO electrical experience what so ever...

I'm also 17 haha.

Do you think it would be possible for me to do this?
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Old 12-07-2004, 10:53 PM   #9
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Ok I'm sorry if this is a stupid question but what exactly is it that you guys are doing? A 98 watt PC bulb? Does this stand for something other than personal computer? It obviously has something to do with lighting, and probably more specifically having to do with a reef so I don't know anything about it. But I'm always interested in this type of stuff and would just like to know what exactly it is you are wiring up!

-brent
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Old 12-08-2004, 06:54 PM   #10
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PC = power compact

They are wiring the balast and then will be connection the bulbs
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