Anyone running a probe start bulb on a pulse ballast?

Discussion in 'Metal Halide Aquarium Lighting' started by veedubshafer, Feb 11, 2010.

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  1. veedubshafer

    veedubshafer Banned

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    As the title says. I have two 400w ballasts that I am using for a DIY metal halide canopy on my new tank. I keep reading that the manufacturers don't recomend it. But is anyone doing this? I want to know what your experiences have been if you do or have done this. Thanks.
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  3. Tangster

    Tangster 3reef Sponsor

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    people talk and say a lot of stuff what is the brand and Mod# transformer you have and MFU of the capacitor ?
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  4. veedubshafer

    veedubshafer Banned

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    Its a venture model# V90J7612 and MFU - is that how many microfarads the cap is? if so its 26.0
  5. veedubshafer

    veedubshafer Banned

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  6. Tangster

    Tangster 3reef Sponsor

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    Well starting a M/H lamp is like starting a car there On a probe start lamp there are three electrodes in a arc tube of a probe-start MH lamp, a starting probe electrode and two operating electrodes, To start the lamp, a discharge is created across a small gap between the starting probe electrode also called the starter electrode and the running electrode. The electrons then jump across the arc tube to the oppsite start ring electrode to help start the lamp like a welding arc. Once the lamp is started, a bi-metal switch removes the starting probe electrode from the circuit . Its like a set of jumper cables on a dead battery

    Now a Pulse-start MH lamps do not have the starting probe electrode Instead they have a high-voltage igniter that works with the ballast to start the lamp using a series of high-voltage pulses (typically 3 to 5 kilovolts). Without the probe electrode, the amount of pinch area at the end of the arc tube is reduced, which results in a reduced heat loss. Furthermore, using an igniter with a lamp reduces the tungsten starter from sputtering by heating up the electrodes faster during starting. Warm-up time is also reduced. Pulse-start technology was simply developed to increase lamp life and to have both the energy efficacies of high-pressure sodium lamps and the desirable color characteristics of MH lamps

    Now all this being said I am 99% sure you Capacitor will fire either lamp and if not a 10.00 electronic hard starter would do the Job. Backl several yrs ago when Ushio went to the pulse starter they would not fire up lamps would try but the starter cooled off and then they sputtered out just before they would fire off. I sent a ton of these out for old weaker ballast . and once a lamp is started then its just the heat of the gas in the lamp that keeps it running like a diesel motor no spark plug is needed to keep them running once started just the cylinder heat and pressure . Oh Sup-co hard starters is the brand name and you will need the smallest one and that Part number escapes me now . But again of your transformer Will fire the lamp then it will run the lamp if it will not then boost the starting capacitor with the hard starter .
  7. veedubshafer

    veedubshafer Banned

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    Damn Tangster! You spared no expense in that response. I am really grateful for guys like you who are willing to help out 100%. Now, all that said I am hoping maybe I can get ahold of a good used MH bulb and bench test it before I even put this setup over a tank. Either that or get a real cheap ebay bulb and try it. So, if anyone reading this has an old probe start 400w laying around i'll pay for shipping!
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  9. Tangster

    Tangster 3reef Sponsor

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    What brand of lamp are you wanting to run ? I have tons of used one here and several different brand and what type mogul or HQI D.E I do not have many D.E I never used them all that much and most break when installed or removed . As for my response ? I have to or it will be critiqued to death or something I said was wrong :) I'm used to it .
    I'm used to it . And after 45 yrs plus in the electrical and Mechanical trades I have ran up on a few weird animals that needed redoing to make or get working..LOL
  10. veedubshafer

    veedubshafer Banned

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    At this point i'm not sure what brand I am looking to run. I have mogul bases though. For a test mule I guess the brand wouldn't matter too much.
  11. Tangster

    Tangster 3reef Sponsor

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    You pay shipping both way I'll send you a few different used 400's to try and I'll put a return label in the box then just slap that on and return about 10.00 should do it ? depending zip code ? Have your postman to take it I'll send them Priority to keep UPS out of the Pick up they charge 10.00 a P/U P/M me for address and such I don;t think you will have any issues with any lamp probe or pulse its just some crap guys got all worked up about when USHIO did a change several yrs ago and it was a hard lamp to start since then USHIO are way down the list for quality lamps then they where top of the line ,
  12. veedubshafer

    veedubshafer Banned

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    Ok, sounds like a plan. My zip is 18071. Let me know how much to paypal you. You're a real REAL big help! Oh, and are these a decent ballast? On their website they seem to be pretty proud of their products heheh. Don't know how familiar you are with them.