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Old 11-01-2004, 01:58 PM   #196
ksand
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Cheap lighting - ODNO


Simkar 4-ft shop light w/ white reflector $7.98
Sylvania "Octron" F032 32W 48" T8 $2.98
Sylvania QT4x32 electronic ballast $27.97
...also tried:
Simkar 24" strip $9.97
Sylvania "Cool White" F18 18W 24" $6.98

Just tried wiring it up to see if it worked and, yes, it works! Tried 1, 2, then 4 leads to the 4-ft bulb and it got progressively brighter (my wife and son hid behind chairs when I plugged it in... sheesh). Did not get such a large increase in brightness with the 18W bulb... so that's why you recommend connecting the short tubes in series, to "fool" the ballast. Makes sense, since the ballast is rated for F032, F025, F017, and F040, so it must "sense" the F18 bulb and limit it's output accordingly... do I have that right?
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Old 11-01-2004, 04:00 PM   #197
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksand
Did not get such a large increase in brightness with the 18W bulb... so that's why you recommend connecting the short tubes in series, to "fool" the ballast. Makes sense, since the ballast is rated for F032, F025, F017, and F040, so it must "sense" the F18 bulb and limit it's output accordingly... do I have that right?
Right, the ballast is load-sensing so you can use different size bulbs on the same ballast and not blow the bulbs up. So if you just put one 18" bulb on it, it's going to limit current pretty low. Put a pair of those 18" bulbs in series, though, and then you should be able to overdrive them pretty well.
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Old 11-01-2004, 05:30 PM   #198
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Thank you, Gulf
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Old 11-02-2004, 12:51 AM   #199
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Default load sensing??

That was a great tip. I just finished a new hood for 15 tall tank with 2 F15 t8 bulbs using 2x32watt t8 ballast. I had one tube on each circuit and was not as bright as I though it should be. So rewired them to series with both outputs and voila! Brighter)
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Old 11-02-2004, 09:06 PM   #200
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Default Checking my wattage

So I have put two 15W 18" tubes in series in the rear of my canopy over my 10 gallon tank, connected to a 4X ballast. The light output is quite ferocious, even without the polished aluminum reflector which I have on order. I am worried I might actually vaporize my fish when this arrives. I'm going to do it though.

My question is, how many watts of NO lighting is this comparable to? I'm guessing about 55, as I am not sure even a 4x ballast connected to 2 lamps in series is going to realistically double output. Of course, it could be less. Anyone care to comment?

Additional information for those interested:

On the front side of my canopy, I have 2x 13 W compact fluorescents from AH Supply.

I dose PPMD every day (4 drops, standard formula).

I'm yeast CO2 injecting using the air connector of an internal Duetto filter into the impellor. The filter emits a constant stream of very fine bubbles deep into the tank. That might seem overkill but I have two low-end penguin-style filters on the tank that agitate the surface a fair amount, so I expect CO2 exchange is quite brisk. At some point soon I'll make a simple reactor that attaches to the Duetto's outflow (it seems like a great filter, very versatile in the ways it could be adapted for such a small filter) and `pipes' the water down to the bottom of a tank via a gravel-filled tube with small holes drilled on either side.

The plants seem to be very happy so far. The tank seems to be filled with small bubbles bobbing around in the water column but it's hard to tell if this is due to the Duetto or the plants pearling. Lots of bubbles was not an issue until I started CO2 injecting with it, so I am pretty sure it's not the outflow from the other filters although the currents they create are probably agitate things further. Not sure if this could be a potential hazard to the fish or not - if it is I'll build the reactor tonight.
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Old 11-03-2004, 12:24 PM   #201
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papa_loa, would you mind telling us where you ordered that reflector from?
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Old 11-03-2004, 12:57 PM   #202
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Quote:
Originally Posted by papa_loa
So I have put two 15W 18" tubes in series in the rear of my canopy over my 10 gallon tank, connected to a 4X ballast.
...
My question is, how many watts of NO lighting is this comparable to? I'm guessing about 55, as I am not sure even a 4x ballast connected to 2 lamps in series is going to realistically double output. Of course, it could be less. Anyone care to comment?
It's impossible to be sure without actually measuring output with a lux meter, but looking at the current draw and expected efficiencies at those levels, a doubling to around 55-60w is probably fairly realistic.
A 55w Power Compact bulb is essentially two 24" T5 bulbs in series so I do not believe it unreasonable to think two 18" T8 bulbs in series would be as bright. Especially with four outputs (most 55w PC's use 2 outputs from an electronic ballast such as a Workhorse 5).
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Old 11-03-2004, 03:16 PM   #203
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksand
papa_loa, would you mind telling us where you ordered that reflector from?
Ksand:

Sure, my pleasure - I went to hellolights.com, and ordered the 14 inch reflector because it appears to be wide enough to take two bulbs next to each other.

http://www.hellolights.com/ref1414lx314.html

I have no idea how well this reflector will stack up against the astounding Miro 4 reflectors that AHS sell, the angles don't look as favorable for reflectivity (it has a flat top), but they appear to favor a dual bulb configuration better. It's also a little shorter than the bulbs (it's 14 inches long vs 18 inch bulbs) but that also suits my purpose. I won't have to remove the endcaps again to install it.

I am sure there's going to be significant restrike and misdirected energy, but I think it's reasonable to expect that more energy will be reflected down into the tank than without the reflector.

Thanks for the confirmation, GulfCoastAquarian. By the way, your wiring diagram was indispensible in getting this system up quickly, so I am indebted to you.
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Old 11-03-2004, 03:40 PM   #204
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thanks, papa
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Old 11-11-2004, 12:46 AM   #205
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Quote:
Originally Posted by papa_loa
So I have put two 15W 18" tubes in series in the rear of my canopy over my 10 gallon tank, connected to a 4X ballast.
papa_loa could you please tell me where you found this ballast, and if it was rated to drive 4 18" tubes? I went to HD for my DIY project and found only those ballasts which can drive 2 18"tubes.
Sam, just to make sure i understand this right, if I were to buy another 2X ballast, it should be connected one tube to both terminals of the ballast rather than hooking up the two ballasts to the two bulbs? BTW, this is a great diy post, thanks a million.
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Old 11-11-2004, 12:58 PM   #206
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Originally Posted by baj
papa_loa could you please tell me where you found this ballast, and if it was rated to drive 4 18" tubes? I went to HD for my DIY project and found only those ballasts which can drive 2 18"tubes.
Sam, just to make sure i understand this right, if I were to buy another 2X ballast, it should be connected one tube to both terminals of the ballast rather than hooking up the two ballasts to the two bulbs? BTW, this is a great diy post, thanks a million.
The ballast used to drive 15w 18" bulbs is the same as the other ODNO projects. Find an electronic ballast used for 4 F32T8 bulbs. It is load sensing, and in addition to the 4' F32T8 bulb, it will drive 3', 2' and 18" bulbs.
When you put two 18" bulbs in series, though, it acts as one 3' bulb.

I'm not sure what you're describing in your second paragraph. You should never wire multiple ballasts to a single bulb, though.
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Old 11-11-2004, 01:06 PM   #207
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Default My ODNO Project

Hi, everyone. I just completed (almost) my ODNO project, thanks to the great information passed on by Gulf in this thread.

Last edited by ksand; 01-19-2005 at 03:20 PM.. Reason: Removed dead link
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Old 11-11-2004, 06:38 PM   #208
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GulfCoastAquarian
The ballast used to drive 15w 18" bulbs is the same as the other ODNO projects. Find an electronic ballast used for 4 F32T8 bulbs. It is load sensing, and in addition to the 4' F32T8 bulb, it will drive 3', 2' and 18" bulbs.
When you put two 18" bulbs in series, though, it acts as one 3' bulb.
So you wouldnt reccomend I use the 2x ballast to drive a single 15W lamp?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GulfCoastAquarian
I'm not sure what you're describing in your second paragraph. You should never wire multiple ballasts to a single bulb, though.
That answers my incorrecxtly phrased question, thanks.
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Old 11-11-2004, 08:39 PM   #209
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So you wouldnt reccomend I use the 2x ballast to drive a single 15W lamp?
No, not really. Most people (including myself) that have tried that have found it to be no brighter than 1x. When you put two 15w lamps in series and up it from 1x to 2x is when you really start to notice an increase in intensity.
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Old 11-11-2004, 09:02 PM   #210
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I had this happen, and I wonder if anyone else can confirm: I started with a single 4xF32 electronic ballast and hooked up two 4-ft T8's, two leads per tube. One tube was brighter, but the other tube had what seemed to be the normal intensity. I solved the problem by getting another ballast. Anyone else have success driving two bulbs with one 4x ballast?
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