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Old 06-19-2003, 07:28 PM   #1
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got a poke

welp ... learned another thing about PC lights

I know anything that uses electricty radiates it in some manner and to some degree, but ionized plasma probably is one of the better radiators

I had my 96 watters over my 29 gal today, taking some pictures ... for a reflector I used a sheet of aluminum foil, which was just laying over most of the two bulbs (but not covering either end)

I was feeding my fish through a space between the aluminum and the edge of the tank, and brushed the aluminum with my thumb ... WOWZERS got a nice poke

timidly touching the aluminum with my whole hand, I felt only a slight tingle ...

this would seem to indicate the presence of either RF energy or high frequency ac voltage, since the amount of contact is inverse to the sensation felt

so I get out my old voltmeter, and measure 140 volts to ground on the sheet of aluminum ... this voltage must have gotten there somehow, either from electromagnetic induction (from the ac field in the plasma), or the aluminum is acting as an RF radiator and absorbing rf from the bulbs

I have a 60 mHz oscope at the shop, I'll have to bring it in and check to see if it's AC or RF ... voltage seems too high to be rf, so my guess is ac

I also measured 35 volts to ground from the tank itself

I don't have an ammeter, but my guess is there is very little if any current, since I obvisouly didn't get electrocuted ... time to ground my aluminum foil

any thoughts?
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Old 06-19-2003, 07:53 PM   #2
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Man you lost me with all that electrican talk. My guess is this was due to the foil acutally laying over top of the bulb? My reflector does not touch the bulbs. In fact the only thing touching th ebulbs are two metal clips.

I have never taken a voltage meter to the clips.
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Old 06-19-2003, 08:00 PM   #3
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what do you use for a reflector ... if you have a voltmeter, try touching one probe to your reflector and the other probe clipped onto something grounded ... even without direct contact there will be some voltage induced in any metal near bulbs

well, the foil is touching the bulbs, but heck, glass is supposed to be an insulator

when it gets closer to lights off for the fish I'll try moving the reflector away from the bulbs, to see how far it has to be away before there is no more voltage
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Old 06-19-2003, 08:11 PM   #4
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And get a grounding probe to ground your tank.
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