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Are these real?
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There might be a little bit of overdriving, but there are a lot of disadvantages to using old magnetic ballasts. Flickering bulbs (not everyone notices that), shorter lifespan of bulbs, less efficient ballast (gets hot) and others.

I would recommend going the electronic route... and yes, the unused ballast leads are just capped off (separately!) or otherwise securely insulated.

In my house, there was a 2x 40W magnetic ballast driven light. I switched out the two T12s with T8s which increased the light a little, but the flickering was very disturbing to me. Eventually I changed the ballast to an electronic one, and a single T8 overdriven by 2x is WAY brighter (and uses less energy) than both dual bulb solutions on the magnetic ballast.

The instant start of electronic ballasts is another nice feature. The blink-blink-blink of the tubes on magnetic ballasts when the starter tries to fire them is depressing to me and probably scares the heck out of your fishies. :smile:
 

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Are these real?
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Thanks WaterPest,

Appreciate the feedback. I'll probably run the T8's on the magnetic ballast for a few min, just to see. The T8 rated lumens are 550 more than equiv T12 bulb (near 25% incr).

I'm not suggesting using magnetic ballasts permanently for T8's. Flickering can occur w/ any ballast. May be less likely w/ electronic ballast. ODNO also shortens bulb life.

Doesn't this contradict the "conventional" wisdom that ODNO2x only increases light output by approx 100%?

I'm interested in what careful considerations others have given to safety designs of DIY hoods for ODNO; Re: mounting tube receptacles (endcaps) and other fire prevention issues. Since most hoods are made of wood, seems extra precautions are in order.

I may post the last question in another thread.
Flickering has to do with the frequency of the ballast. Electronic ballasts run crazy high frequencies compared to the line frequency of magnetic ballasts.

Anyways...

In you PM you asked about the yellow leads... This might depend on the exact ballast that you have. The 4x Advance ballasts have yellow "Common" leads, so it doesn't make a bit of difference how many you connect to one bulb. The "hot" leads are the two blue and two red ones. These determine how much you overdrive the bulb.

Regarding fire prevention, treat ODNO bulbs like you would treat T5HO, PC or VHO bulbs. Depending on various things you might need to increase circulation in your canopy (compared to using regular T8 or T12 bulbs), if a couple of bulbs are seriously overdriven, active cooling with fan(s) would be recommended, especially if your tank tends to overheat.
 
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