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  1. #40
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    Aug 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by VTP99 View Post
    For what it's worth jp you can check the output of rapid start ballast. Simply check between your start and end leads. Normally red and blue. Look for the open circuit voltage on the ballast label. Use a 1000volt rated meter.
    I have no idea what you mean by start and end.

    You can also check between the socket leads for the heater circuit volts. ( Hot Cathode ) Which will be low voltage.
    It doesn't work that way with most electronic ballasts. There is no heater power. The lamps are started without any pre-heat hence "instant start". There are some electronic ballasts that do pre-heat but they're less common.

    Electronic ballast stink. They do not like line spikes. They will shut down and have to have the primary volts reset.
    Neither do LED power supplies. Yes, some electronic ballasts are more picky about line dips. Some will flicker, some not at all, and some actually reboots.

    Neon tubes are consider ( Cold Cathode ) no heaters. 15,000 volts transformers compared to say 1,000 volt ballast. Using high voltage to strike an arc.
    It's more to do with the construction of the electrodes. Most T8s do not use pre-heat and they start the same way as neon.

    Quote Originally Posted by itsiceman View Post
    Was looking at Fluke 80 series, 233 or 28II meters
    They list 1000V and at or over 50 kHz
    Is testing for voltage across the pins good for nothing with troubleshooting?
    The input has some capacitance and higher frequency, more current flow through it.

    Do it and it will act up and restart, fry, or lose calibration. Hey, its your tool, not mine, so do as you will.

  2. #41
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    wedged in freezer shelf
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    If we can't measure anything are we are reduced to part changers when it come to these lights or its just too complicated to teach us in a HVAC Forum Thread?
    “If You Can Dodge A Wrench You Can Dodge A Ball”

  3. #42
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    Sep 2008
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    Western PA
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    25,924

  4. #43
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    Jan 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by ICanHas View Post
    I have no idea what you mean by start and end.


    It doesn't work that way with most electronic ballasts. There is no heater power. The lamps are started without any pre-heat hence "instant start". There are some electronic ballasts that do pre-heat but they're less common.


    Neither do LED power supplies. Yes, some electronic ballasts are more picky about line dips. Some will flicker, some not at all, and some actually reboots.


    It's more to do with the construction of the electrodes. Most T8s do not use pre-heat and they start the same way as neon.


    The input has some capacitance and higher frequency, more current flow through it.

    Do it and it will act up and restart, fry, or lose calibration. Hey, its your tool, not mine, so do as you will.
    Was not talking about electronic ballast. I'm talking about rapid start magnetic ballast. You have most likey never wired a 6 lamp ballast. The start and end is the beginning and ending of the circuit with the lamps within. Also talking about H.O. lamps having heaters. Most older w/i freezers had these types of lamps because of the ambient temperature. All new stuff is going to LED like it or not.

  5. #44
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    1,295
    It's not too complicated to teach; it's just kind of pointless to check.

    When all you have, when it comes to fluorescent lights, is a ballast and bulbs; why waste more time checking to see if the ballast is bad?

    I used to do a lot of electrical work for my old company under the master electrician, even though I was an Asst. Project Manager. We would always change out the bulb and if it stayed lit then we knew it was the bulb, if not then it was the ballast.

    I can understand everyone here not wanting to be a parts changer, but when it comes to two parts that complete a system there is no point in making it more complicated.

    Everyone here is used to working on complex systems and checking temps, pressures, mechanical operation of equip, airflow, etc. When it comes to these lights you guys want to stay complex because that is what you are used to. You have to remove the bulbs to check the ballasts anyway with your meter, why not just install new bulbs and see if they work instead?

  6. #45
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    Mar 2007
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    You carry an assortment of bulbs on the truck?
    “If You Can Dodge A Wrench You Can Dodge A Ball”

  7. #46
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    When I worked for that company we did, or we had a general idea of what bulbs it took and brought different kinds of them.

  8. #47
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    My last four were dim or not lit bulbs. A bulb or ballast wouldn't have fixed the first two. I ordered two bulbs for the last two. Still waiting to see how well I guessed with them.
    “If You Can Dodge A Wrench You Can Dodge A Ball”

  9. #48
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    1,295
    I don't know how to take your last response. With sarcasm or sincerity?

    So, you are saying your first two had power supply issues?

  10. #49
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Chicago, IL
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    4,564
    Quote Originally Posted by itsiceman
    You carry an assortment of bulbs on the truck?
    Usually theres an identical bulb (or 100) somewhere in the store. Pull it and use it for testing your problem fixture

  11. #50
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Chicago, IL
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    Quote Originally Posted by VTP99

    Was not talking about electronic ballast. I'm talking about rapid start magnetic ballast. You have most likey never wired a 6 lamp ballast. The start and end is the beginning and ending of the circuit with the lamps within.
    LOL. I changed out one of those in a zero zone case a few months ago. Those things are huge. The old one had caught on fire. 20 lbs of burning tar sure gets a store evacuated in a hurry.

    Owner asked what could be done to make sure that never happens again. I suggested LEDs and didn't even get to talking about pricing and utility incentives and the owner was already asking when I could install them.

  12. #51
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    Mar 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroTolerance View Post
    I don't know how to take your last response. With sarcasm or sincerity?

    So, you are saying your first two had power supply issues?
    The first odd ball one I had recently had two lights customer said light was out removed the "out" bulb and found the socket was burnt. I ordered a socket and ballast just in case. If I remember right when I replaced the bad socket and replaced the bulb it lit but the other one went out or dim or some other weird thing like that. It ended up being miss wired inside the box somehow but can't remember anymore. Another was identical side by side coolers with a interior and canopy light. One canopy was about half power and customer had already done the musical bulb game. This one ended up being a wire that wasn't even connected to one side of the bulb. My last one had two of three bulbs dim and making something like a candy cane pattern light show. One bulb would work in the other sockets so I just ordered two bulbs but not without the fifty questions about what I tested since the bulbs hardly ever go bad ........ Tested What

    Ok so forgot one inbetween where I had a gfci that was tripped. Reset it and cooler took off running. I banged on everything started and stopped the condensing unit noticed the lights were off and had turned them on. Then once and only once I had the gfci reset unit plugged in and off at a power switch. Hit the switch on and nothing ...gfci tripped I'm thinking could it have been the lights with some kind of in rush or something since the C/U was on a delay? Redid everything similar and no trips afterwords.
    “If You Can Dodge A Wrench You Can Dodge A Ball”

  13. #52
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    6,784
    How about this one !
    Customer complains his 3 door beer cooler light including the sign banner on top keeps going on then off.
    Guess what I found ? Last service tech wired the ballast hot wire to the compressor circuit.

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