How to OD 2 24 w bulbs :) COMPLETED :)
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Old 11-29-2003, 10:30 PM   #1
enermac
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Hello all..

Im new to the aquarium world and have been working to setup my 35 gal tank for a freswater with a few plants and some nice fish.

Im concerend about my lighting not being adequate.

Currently my eclips hood had no lights installed So i purchased a mount from homedepot (i bought a 2 20W light kit It contains a 2 20W ballast..(magnetic)

I bought 2 bulbs 1 philips daylight 20W and a philips and Plant aquarium bulb

I have an Advance Standard Rel-2p32-sc ballast I got from a friend. it will run (2) F32T8 Bulbs at 32 watts each..

Can I use this ballast instead of the 2(20w) one and will it run the bulbs at 32w each?

I have looked at the board and searched throught the posts (vg info I dont know if i should be running them normally (or will the ballast just compensate and give them only 20W each) Im trying to achieve the MAX wattage from these bulbs as you can see im far off at 40W on a 35 gal tank(18 inches deep too Im assuming I could get 65W with an overdriven setup with this ballast..

Im trying to spend the least money here should i get another Rel-2p32-sc ballast so i can run one for eact bulb? or just buy a 4 wire ballast?

thanks for all the help
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Old 11-29-2003, 11:45 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enermac
Hello all..I dont know if i should be running them normally (or will the ballast just compensate and give them only 20W each)
You guessed right. Most electronic ballasts are load-sensing and will provide the "proper" output for the bulb it "sees".

But this is where you can "trick" that ballast. If you hook up two 24" bulbs in series, the ballast will think it is a 48" bulb and provide 40watts through both of them. Then if you hook up both outputs to these paired bulbs, you'll be overdriving them 2x, which corresponds to roughly a 1 1/2x improvement in output. So in this case, about 60 watts. The bulbs get a little hotter and the ballast will run a bit warm so a fan is recommended.

Here is the wiring diagram you'd use (except you have a 2 output ballast instead of a four)...
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Old 11-29-2003, 11:58 PM   #3
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Thanks curious.. does it matter which ends i use on the flouresent..? or are they totally interchageble (i think they are).

Also.. Im not going to mount the ballast in the hood (there is not much room) I was thinking of mounting the ballast inside my stand and just extending the wires? any problems with doing this?

It should be safe to line the inside of the hood with tinfoil as a reflector? or should i get some or that other stuff?(mylar??Sp?)


Thank for the help
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Old 11-30-2003, 12:38 AM   #4
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There is a very similar discussion occuring on this thread: http://www.plantedtank.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3552

I haven't found tin foil to be very shiny in actuality. Mylar would be a much better choice. Some people also use that shiny duct tape. On one of my hoods I just use white paint.

I don't think there is a problem with mounting it in another location, although it would seem like an inconvenience if you wanted to take the hood off.
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Old 11-30-2003, 03:42 AM   #5
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when i contacted fulham regarding overdriving i spoke with an engineer who explained that it was much worse, with regard to bulb life/wear, to put them in series vs running mutiple lines into each bulb.

example:
2 40 t12's with a workhorse 7:
according to them the bulbs would have much more wear if all 4 reds were spiced and the bulbs were run in series vs. 2 reds to each bulb and them placed in parallel.

based on data i have seen at reefcentral using vho bulbs the output is much higher with the bulbs in series. this did not surprise the fulham engineer who stated that they were somehow both being exposed to much more current. i never got the full explanation as i had to bail on the phone conversation and have never called back.

in my case it was with a fulham wh 7 and i was considering using 3 red's (theoretically 220/4 x 3 = 165W which divided by 2 again would be 82.5W but they actually see much more) to wire 2 80W t5ho in series vs. 1 red to each bulb (although one might think only 55W to each bulb they claim each get's 80W) vs. 2 reds to each bulb (110W to each per fulham). although one might think the setup with 2 reds to each bulb would drive them the hardest it was actually the 3 reds wired in series. i don't remember the numbers but the bulbs in series ended up being driven with significantly more watts.

any thoughts?
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Old 12-01-2003, 01:59 PM   #6
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That doesn't surprise me. When the bulbs are in series, the present a larger load to the ballast and it will provide more current. I hadn't heard of any comparison on bulb life between running 2x in series vs 2x each on their own. Since output is greater in series, its plausible that bulb life would be somewhat reduced.

But you have to realize that most bulbs will still last for at least a year, if not more. The thing that makes ODNO attractive is cheap bulb replacement. So replace the bulbs every 12 months and you've got a setup that works for you.

As for reflective material, tin foil is worse than white paint. You actually have to go pretty far to beat white paint. Even aluminum flashing isn't as good as white paint. In my opinion, if you're not using a specular aluminum reflector, white paint is the best way to go.
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Old 12-02-2003, 03:46 AM   #7
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Question about grounding...

I was testing my bulbs on the magnetic cheepo ballast and it will only turn on one tube when i touch the metal bulb holder... ie ground the case..

I just purchased a 2 prong plug for the hot and neutral only...
Should i run a 3 prong with ground and run a wire from the metal case to the plug in wall .. when i setup my OD with the advance electonic ballast?

Thanks..
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Old 12-02-2003, 12:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enermac
Question about grounding...

I was testing my bulbs on the magnetic cheepo ballast and it will only turn on one tube when i touch the metal bulb holder... ie ground the case..

I just purchased a 2 prong plug for the hot and neutral only...
Should i run a 3 prong with ground and run a wire from the metal case to the plug in wall .. when i setup my OD with the advance electonic ballast?

Thanks..
In my experience it's best to run a ground from the reflector to the ballast, and from the ballast to a three prong plug in. Some people have done with out the ground, but I always fault on the safe side when it comes to water and electricity myself...

Ron
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Old 12-02-2003, 12:50 PM   #9
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The magnetic ballasts require a ground to start, while the electronic ballasts do not. The ground to the reflector simulates the same situation as touching the metal bulb holder. Grounding the e-ballast case is purely for safety and I definitely recommend it.
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Old 12-02-2003, 01:39 PM   #10
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thanks guys il definetly ground the ballast and the case
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Old 12-05-2003, 09:39 AM   #11
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Hey everyone..

Well i Finished my fixture tonite. its all installed and ready to run.
Im using 2 t8 bulbs (the t12's didnt fit under the eclipse hood) Im using an Aqua-glo and Power-glo bulbs from Hagen.

Over all it was just more time consuming than anything. Drilling the holes in the hood from homedepot to correspond with the holes avalable in the eclipse hood.

I wired up everything in series and have grounded the holder ->ballast-> wall.

Over all im extremely happy with the lights they are really really bright.. and should look excellent under the tank (work in progress :lol: )

Every screw in the hood is covered with silicone as well as the wires are wraped in electrical tape.

I wanted to initally have the ballast inside the stand but I decided that it would be alot of work to remove the ballast every time I wanted to remove the hood. So im going to let it dangle (the ballast is a small one and it does not weight much at all..

I will also be adding a grounded timer and GC plug for safety.

Here are some pics.. let me know what you think












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Old 12-05-2003, 09:43 AM   #12
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Question... Is the ballast supposed to hum?? (i can only hear it if i put my ear right up to it?

Suprisingly the bulbs and ballast are running pretty cool i can keep my hand on them no problem for quite a while..
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Old 12-05-2003, 11:20 AM   #13
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The ballast should not hum. It should however whistle Dixie.
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Old 12-05-2003, 01:20 PM   #14
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I've only heard magnetic ballasts hum. Electronic ballasts cycle at 20,000Hz, which is just about out of the human hearing range.

What you said you grounded the holder to the ballast to the wall, where did you connect it to the holder? With e-ballasts, I simply ground from the ballast to the wall. Try disconnecting the ground to the holder and see if the hum goes away. The bulbs might be picking up feedback from the 60Hz wall outlet.
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Old 12-05-2003, 03:49 PM   #15
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Hey sam... I just tried that... i removed the screw i used for the ground wire at the bulb holder... the noise is still there..

I dunno... It does almost sound like its cycling. But i cant hear anything unless its up to my ear. I dunno its kinda weird and the ballast always did it from the first time I pluged it in.

maybe it has to do with the way Ive wired it up???


2 Blue wires from ballast to 1 morette tied together with the 2 blue wired from the hood

1 red wire from the ballast to 1 morette tied toegther with 2 red wires from the hood

maybe the blues need 2 separate pairs???
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