PDA

View Full Version : I have seen the light!


bjmumy
10/07/2000, 01:10 PM
I finally got my MH up and running this afternoon. It was in my garage, but I still saw the light.:D I got 2 Spiderlight reflectors from Pet Warehouse (they are having a big walk-in clearance sale this weekend) for $40 each this morning and hooked them up to the Advance MV ballasts I got earlier this week and had put in boxes and wired up yesterday. Now all I have to do is buy another 250W Iwasaki from Premium Aquatics and build my new hood and I'm all set! I just wanted to share my excitement with everyone. For those of you who don't have MH, I can't tell you how it will look over my tank, but it looks pretty cool in my garage!!!!!

http://www.geocities.com/bjmumy/mh.jpg

With the MV ballast, the Iwasakis look surprisingly more blue. This bulb isn't even broken in yet and it already looks more blue than other Iwasakis I've seen. You can't beat $23 each for the ballasts either.

Anyway, I finally understand what the big deal is about MH. I can't wait to get it over my tank!:D

MrSandman
10/07/2000, 02:25 PM
Where did you get that ballast from? I am also in the market for some MH's for my tank. How much was your set-up?

bjmumy
10/07/2000, 03:20 PM
MrSandman,

Here's what I have into my lighting setup so far:

2 x 250W Advance MV ballast from Graybar model number 71A3802: $23 each
2 x metal enclosures on clearance from HD: $3 each
2 x SpiderLight reflectors with sockets: $40 each
1 x 250W Iwasaki (new from eBay): $40
1 x 250W Iwasaki from PA (will get this soon): $60

So by the time I'm all done, my 2x250W 6500k Iwasaki setup with SpiderLights is going to be $232.

It's hard to judge, but so far I like the MV ballasts. They have no capacitors so they use more current to start, but use a little less power to fire the bulb, take up little space (w/ no capacitor), and the bulb definitely looks more blue to me on a MV ballast.

Brian

MrSandman
10/07/2000, 03:50 PM
where did u get the MV ballasts from? thats a pretty damn good deal on ballasts. I wonder if w/ no capacitors, the bulbs will wear out sooner or possibly blow on startup? and how big are your enclosures?

bjmumy
10/07/2000, 04:19 PM
Actually the only difference with not using capacitors is the extra juice it takes to start the bulb comes from the wall rather than from a capacitor which has stored up energy. So there is no worry that the bulbs will blow or anything. In fact, the bulbs are supposed to last longer on the MV ballasts. EYE says you should only use MV ballasts since the Iwasakis are actually MV bulbs. So the MV ballasts is what they were designed to run on and they supposedly run brighter, bluer, and longer on a MV ballast (time will tell if that's true). The disadvantage is that I am locked into the Iwasaki. I can't use any bulb but. Given their price and PAR though, I'm ok with that. I got the ballasts from Graybar. They have stores in most major cities. Their web address is www.graybar.com. They don't sell over the internet, but they will ship. They only sell to companies, so you'll have to pretend it's for work. My enclosures are 6x4x4". They allow plenty of breathing room around the ballasts, yet are nice and compact.

Brian

Staceon
10/09/2000, 09:01 AM
Brian,

Does the ballast get hot? Do you have to wire from ballast to socket? or does it come all ready wired?

Thanks...

Staceon
10/10/2000, 08:32 AM
One more time............:)

bjmumy
10/10/2000, 11:43 AM
Sorry I missed your last post, Staceon. No, the ballast doesn't really get hot. The longest I've had it on for is about 2 hours but the ballast enclosure barely got warm. It was cool enough that I could've left my hand on as long as I wanted. It was just a hair warmer than my Icecap 660 gets. I had to do all the wiring myself, but it wasn't bad. The ballasts have 4 wires: 120V, LAMP, COM, and COM. You just run the 120V wire and one COM wire to a plug and the LAMP wire and the other COM wire to the socket. I grounded the lamp holder and the ballast enclosures. It was pretty easy to do. It fired up the first time I tried.

Brian

Staceon
10/10/2000, 12:21 PM
Thanks Brian,

I may be taking this one to email because I found a graybar in my town.:) Anyway, where do you get the socket? And what type of wires do I use? Are there wiring plans with the box(like the IceCaps)?

On the wires...you are saying 2 of the wires go to the socket and two go to the plug in the wall? Can you explain that grounding part a little more?

Does the MV stand for mercury vapor? Why only Iwasaki? Can you run any kind of Iwasaki bulb(meaning "K" should not matter)

Any more pics?

Thanks for your help....

bjmumy
10/10/2000, 02:45 PM
Staceon,

The sockets came with the Spiderlights. I tried to get sockets through electrical supply places (Graybar included), but they all wanted $15-$20 for a socket!! I decided I'd rather have premanufactured reflectors anyway and you can get all of those with a socket and bracket (Spiderlight, PFO Reeflector, ALS, etc.). I used 16 guage wire for everything. I think that's what the leads coming off the ballasts are. The wiring diagram on the ballast is not very good. Here it is:
http://www.geocities.com/bjmumy/diagram.jpg

Here is a link to the pdf file spec sheet for the ballast:
http://www.advancetransformer.com/ecom_PDFS/out/7799043611.pdf

For the wiring, there are 2 wires that need to be plugged into the wall (hot and neutral) and there are 2 wires attached to the back of the sockets. I also wired a ground wire to the socket holders and the ballast housing which then went to the ground prong on the 3 prong plug. It was pretty easy, really.

MV stands for mercury vapor. 6500K Iwasaki bulbs are actually mercury vapor bulbs and are technically supposed to be run on mercury vapor ballasts (though they will also run on MH ballasts). The disadvantage of using MV ballasts is that I can't change bulbs. The advantage is that they are supposed to burn the Iwasakis brighter, bluer, and give longer bulb life.

I don't have any more pics, but if I get the chance, I will try to take some more tonight.

HTH,
Brian

Staceon
10/10/2000, 03:11 PM
Thanks for the info Brian,

The only electrical wiring I have EVER done is some wall switches and a NO ballast. Do you think with even this limited amount of experience I could do this DIY pretty easy?

The two wires that go into the wall....HOW do they go into the wall? Can I just take an extension cord and cut off the end and attach ballast wires to that?

What about where the wires meet? What do you use here? The little plastic screw things?(hows that for technical)

If I use the PFO socket, dont I have to take it apart(the end of the wire that is)? Meaning I know on my PFO socket that I have now there is a wire that comes out and has an quick snap device on the end that attaches the ballast.

How important is the ground?

Brian I am sorry if I am loading you up with so many questions, thanks for your help...

signu459
10/10/2000, 03:28 PM
Staceon,

To take the load off of Bj and for a little on site inspection you can check out my setup when you head up my way for HA. Although I don't have a MH set, I have PC's, the wiring is exactly the same. Mine is totally DIY, including the hood.

If you want get all the parts together; Reflector sockets, wiring, and Ballast and pig tail (pre wired plug) bring it up here and we can assemble it together.

It's gonna take a Raider to show a Bronco how to things anyway. He he :D (old highschool joke for those who don't get it)

aLittletank
10/10/2000, 03:31 PM
Staceon you have been asking all the questions that I was thinking :)

I was wondering what you used for a ballast case? ( metal enclosures on clearance from HD ) were these desinged for ballast? If not will any metal box do? if so I have some old ammo boxes that may work great, if you drilled a hole for the wires.

I checked and I have a graybar in Lansing as well :)

thanks for the info

Allen

bjmumy
10/10/2000, 03:34 PM
>The only electrical wiring I have EVER done is some wall switches and a NO ballast. Do you think with even this limited amount of experience I could do this DIY pretty easy?

Yes. That's about my level of electrical expertise and I managed ok.:)

>The two wires that go into the wall....HOW do they go into the wall? Can I just take an extension cord and cut off the end and attach ballast wires to that?

Yes, that's basically what I did. It was cheapest to buy 2 6' grounded replacement electric cords. One end has the 3-prong plug you plug into the outlet and the other has 3 wires (hot, neutral, and ground). The hot wire (black) goes to the 120V wire on the ballast. The neutral wire (white) goes to one of the COM wires on the ballast. The ground (green) attaches to something on the ballast box (any screw will do) and the ground wire coming from the socket.

>What about where the wires meet? What do you use here? The little plastic screw things?(hows that for technical)

Yep, I used wire nuts to connect all of the wires.

>If I use the PFO socket, dont I have to take it apart(the end of the wire that is)? Meaning I know on my PFO socket that I have now there is a wire that comes out and has an quick snap device on the end that attaches the ballast.

Yes, you'd have to cut off the quick connector and attach the wires manually. Attach the hot wire (should be black again) to the LAMP wire from the ballast. Attach the neutral (should be white) to the other COM wire on the ballast. Attach the ground wire (green or copper) to the ground wire going to the plug (which is also connected to the ballast box)

>How important is the ground?

I would say grounding the setup is vital. You want to give the juice somewhere to go if something goes wrong - otherwise it will go through you!

>Brian I am sorry if I am loading you up with so many questions, thanks for your help...

No problem. If something still isn't clear, fire away!

Brian

bjmumy
10/10/2000, 03:39 PM
Allen,

Any metal box will do. The boxes I got are for putting a breaker or switch outside. They would just mount to your house and have a cover held in place with a screw. Ammo boxes might work well also. I remember someone on this board used a metal toolbox even. You really just need something to contain all the wires and stuff that you can mount the ballast to that won't melt or catch fire (hence the metal part!). I'll try to take some pictures tonight.

Brian

Staceon
10/10/2000, 03:39 PM
Tim,

The tank that I am looking at this for is my FO(75G) that I am converting. To be quite honest I dont plan on getting the lights until next year. I want the LR, about 20 lbs now, to be around 200 lbs, and I want to add more LS, its about 4 inches now. I also plan on taking the sump out and replacing with a modified ATS like I have on my reef. Its sitting in the garage now waiting for me to get around to do the plumbing. Lastly I just have to for some reason finish my reef before I can start another one. I only have 2 places left for corals and already know what I want in those places. Hopefully HA will have one of them(black sun coral, but will probably take orange if looks good or red sea xenia).

Anyway, I really do appreciate your offer.

Once this thread is done I am going to print it out and save it in my "fish file" until the time is right.

Its really just a montary issue, other things are more important to take care of first. Like those nagging student loans....:)

Staceon
10/10/2000, 03:44 PM
Brian,

Great info, that really did help. Pictures for the DIY challenged would be great! Thanks again....

signu459
10/10/2000, 04:02 PM
Staceon,

Either way you can check out how I wired and setup mine, if you want!

bjmumy
10/10/2000, 07:16 PM
Ok, here is one of the boxes:
http://www.geocities.com/bjmumy/box.jpg
Notice how I ran both the wire to the outlet and the wire to the lamp through the 1 punch out hole. You can also see the send of the power cord in this pic.


Here's the label on the inside of the lid of one of the boxes I used:
http://www.geocities.com/bjmumy/label.jpg


Here are a couple pictures with the cover taken off of the box:
http://www.geocities.com/bjmumy/inside.jpg

http://www.geocities.com/bjmumy/inside2.jpg

And here's what the wiring to the socket looks like:
http://www.geocities.com/bjmumy/wiring.jpg


I hope you find the pictures useful!:D
Brian

MrSandman
10/10/2000, 08:31 PM
Whatever you guys do, DON'T continue this thread on email. I am following every part of it!! hehe..im also in the market for some MH's and found this thread to be very useful and perfect timing :D BJ, Im also electrically challenged just like Staceon...hehe..(now i don't feel so bad). Maybe you should go into business and buy lots of MH's components and assemble em yourself and sell em as complete sets?? I'm sure i would be the first in line. :) Just a thought.

TnReefer
10/10/2000, 09:40 PM
I know someone who works for Graybar.It's my husband!!!! He said he would get ballasts for everyone but his handling fee would be as much as your entire lighting system would cost.:) Graybar Electrics are pretty much all over the U.S.
Keep us posted on the MV ballasts. I need to get a lighting system put together for my new 120. Everytime I think I have it figured out what I want to use I read something in a post that makes me reconsider what I had decided on.
TnReefer

MrSandman
10/10/2000, 10:39 PM
AWW!!! talk about being excited one second and then slamming face first into the ground the next. why you gotta tease us like that? The only thing about ordering from graybar is that you have to be a business. :( Therefore i am outta luck. :(

RicoJ
10/11/2000, 12:29 AM
OK where do I find these Advance MV ballast from Graybar model number 71A3802 locally?

Thanks!

Rico.

signu459
10/11/2000, 07:40 AM
Rico,

Graybar is a store that may or may not be in your home town. If you don't have a Graybay, any electrical supply place that sells Advanced Ballasts will do. I think Andvanced has store locator on their web site http://www.advancedtransformer.com you can find a retailer near you there.

Good luck

David Newman
10/11/2000, 08:18 AM
FWIW, last year I went through the Iwasaki ballast research process, including asking the manufacturer for a recommendation. They suggested either a Magnetek (1030-92) or an Advance (71A3572). Both have capacitors. I went with the Magnetek which has worked well.Yesterday I sent the following e-mail to the manufacturer and will post any reply I receive:
"A few questions about which of these Advance ballasts would be most appropriate for use with the MT250DL lamp: 71A3572 or 71A3802. If both will work, would you expect any operating characteristics to be different between the two ballasts? Will either affect the life of the lamp?"

David

bjmumy
10/11/2000, 08:37 AM
David,

I don't know why they would have told you to use a 71A3572. That has a CWA type circuit. EYE specifically states NOT to use a CWA type circuit (even though that's what everyone who uses a MH ballast for the Iwasakis is using). It will be interesting to see what they say in response to your letter.

Brian

sradmin
10/11/2000, 08:43 AM
Far and away the best DIY lighting thread I have ever seen.:D This one should definately be archived.

BJ, Hats off to you!

Staceon
10/11/2000, 08:43 AM
Brian,

You the man! You couldn't have gotten any better pictures. Thanks again, when the time is right I will let you know how it went.

David Newman
10/11/2000, 08:44 AM
Brian, I asked about the CWA circuit and was told it would be fine. So far they were right.

I hope I get a response to the e-mail

David

RicoJa
10/11/2000, 10:20 AM
Well it looks like a lot less people are going to spend $$$$ on MH ballast like PFO if this little DIY project works well. $23 for a 250W ballast?!?! WOW! There is a Graybar about 5 miles a way from me. Too bad they only sell to businesses. bjmummy how did you get them to sell it to you as an individual? I am going to call Advance to see who else sells their ballast in my area.

bjmumy
10/11/2000, 11:20 AM
RicoJa,

When they asked for the company name, I just gave them the name of the company I work for. They just need a company name to put on the paperwork since they only sell to individuals. They won't ask you to prove that the ballasts are for the company you work for. Just don't tell them that the sale is to an individual and don't ask if they sell to individuals when you call and you should be fine.

Brian

Mushroom Boy
10/11/2000, 01:58 PM
Wow! Awesome info Brian with great pics to boot. I know which route I'm going to go when it's time to setup a bigger tank...

Paul.

signu459
10/11/2000, 02:52 PM
I told Graybar, when I got my ballasts that I ran my own business and gave them my name. The point is you will be able to get the ballast, they are not going to miss a sale for something that trivial. I think why they say they sell only to businesses is that they don't want to deal with DIY'ers like us. So act like you know exactly what you want and don't bother them with how to questions and you will be able to get almost anything you want.

RicoJa
10/11/2000, 02:54 PM
I called a bunch of placed in AZ including Graybar in Mesa, AZ and nobody had the bloody ballast. Are these that rare? Can they be ordered online? I am afraid of shipping cost though, ballasts are usually pretty heavy.

Rico.

bjmumy
10/11/2000, 03:13 PM
Rico,

Graybar can order them from Advance for you. When I asked them if they had them in stock, they said no so I asked if they could order some from Advance. They did and it only took about a week for the ballasts to come in.

Brian

RicoJa
10/11/2000, 03:28 PM
bjmummy,

I'll try it again with them. The guy was not super friendly. I asked him if he had it.. he put me on hold, when he came back he said "don't have it".. no I am sorry I am out of stock or let me call another store or anything.

Rico.

grafxguy
10/11/2000, 03:39 PM
bjmumy, where did you get the box for the ballast? Also, are there any holes in the box for ventalation? I don't need the halides but I may just make two for the heck of it. eric

bjmumy
10/11/2000, 03:48 PM
Eric,

I got the boxes from Home Depot. Lowe's had them too, but they were on clearance at HD:D. They don't have any ventilation holes. There is a gap at one end of the cover though that will probably allow some heat to escape. I've yet to run one for more than 2 hours, but in that amount of time, they didn't get very warm anyway.

Rico,

Hopefully the next time you call Graybar, you'll get a helpful employee! The person I spoke to was pretty helpful and friendly.

Brian

RicoJa
10/12/2000, 07:07 PM
Well according to Advance Transformers they do not sell to the public and ballast 71A3802 is not regularly stocked by most of their distributors. I found a distributor in my area that will special order it for me for $26.55. Not a bad deal at all considering that the PFO sells for much more than this and it is HUGE! This sounds like my next DIY plan! :)

Rico.

MrSandman
10/12/2000, 07:55 PM
I spoke w/ Greybar today over the telephone and got a price quote for the ballasts. Its going to cost me 25 bucks each not including tax. This is also a special order because they don't stock this item here either. They don't take credit card orders over the phone, so they either recommended i send them a check or come by their office. I told them that i will send a check thru the mail and they will process my order and get them shipped UPS ground for 15 bucks and it should get to me within 5-7 days. I cant wait to SEE THE LIGHT!!!! Now i just gotta get myself the lamps and other accessories. Im sure i will be referring back to this post many times more so please dont remove the pics :)

PopeShawnPaul
10/18/2000, 01:05 AM
Do we know the long term pro's and con's of this ballast? I don't want to go spend the money on it and then find out it burns bulbs fast or something. MY momma always told me, if it's too good to be true, it is. Hope she was lying.

MrSandman
10/18/2000, 01:07 AM
David,

Any response to that email yet?


BJ,

hows the install coming along w/ your canopy? i also have to build myself a new canopy and was wondering how you are fitting everything in there. Any supplemental lighting?

Im just trying to get some last minute questions answered before the ballasts come in the mail this week.

therman
10/18/2000, 03:17 AM
does anyone happen to know which 400w MV ballast would be the right one for iwasakis?

David Newman
10/18/2000, 06:46 AM
No response to the e-mail yet. I'll send it again.

bjmumy
10/18/2000, 08:09 AM
Originally posted by PopeShawnPaul
Do we know the long term pro's and con's of this ballast? I don't want to go spend the money on it and then find out it burns bulbs fast or something. MY momma always told me, if it's too good to be true, it is. Hope she was lying.

KW has been running this ballast for awhile now with no problems (at least he hasn't reported any). As far as the ballast burning out the bulbs too fast, the opposite is true. EYE recommends this type of ballast because it burns the bulb brighter, bluer, and longer than a MH ballast which technically shoudln't even be used for the Iwasakis (even though we know they work just fine). With regards to it being too good to be true, remember, we've already discussed the negatives of this ballast. If you go this route, you are limited to the Iwasaki 6500 bulb only. Also, even though it doesn't use more power than a MH ballast, it does draw more current (meaning you need to separate the ballasts from the rest of your reef equipment or put everything on a large breaker). If after contemplating these negatives it still sounds good to you, go for it.

Brian

bjmumy
10/18/2000, 08:21 AM
therman,
I just looked up a ballast for 400W MV bulbs on Advance's website (www.advancetransformer.com)and it appears they don't have a HX-NPF type ballast in 400W for 120V use. You might want to call Advance or EYE to see what the best DIY MV solution is for 400W.

Mr. Sandman,
I've been working on my new hood for a few days now. I hope to install it next weekend. I'm basically building a big box. I was going to build something similar to Playfair's hood (with the light bulges) but since I got the deal on the Spiderlight reflectors I decided to mount the bulbs perpendicular to the tank. So I just made a big box that has a front that swings up to expose everything. I think it should give me pretty good access. For supplemental lights, I have an Icecap 660 and will keep 2 110W VHO actinics over the tank.

Brian

murphd3
10/18/2000, 11:37 PM
One little suggestion: The only part of the DIY plan that looks like it could cause a problem is the use of wire nuts to connect to the socket. I used to install some high-end car stereos and used heavy duty butt connectors covered by a good length of inner-wall glue heat shrink tubing in any place that may get wet. This gives a totally weather-tight union and looks better too. What do you guys think?

Murph

bjmumy
10/19/2000, 08:20 AM
murphd3,

I won't be using wire nuts to connect to the socket and don't think it's the best idea to do so either. I would like to use some sort of quick release plug for that connection when I permanately connect those wires. If you know of any heavy duty quick connect plugs that don't cost a fortune, I'd be interested in hearing about them. The only things I've found cost a fortune.

Reefer madness
10/19/2000, 08:37 AM
This is a very informative thread. I am an avid DIY hobbyist and assembled all three of my MH's.

IME ammo boxes work great. I had access to them for free and quickly converted 2 of them to ballast cases. One can holds two 175W ballasts and the other holds one 250W. I used the wire bulkhead fittings to run the wires through the sides and drilled small holes along the bottom sides and on the top to create a convection current that would exhaust some heat. The part I like best is that it made it possible to ground everything through the box and it's very accessible since the entire lid is removable.

If moisture is a big concern for your setup, I believe radio shack sells wirenuts that are primed with silicone. I don't know for sure how much they are or even if that is the intended application, but I did see them there. It may be worth more investigation.

I did find an article by Sanjay Joshi that extensively details part numbers and applications for MH ballasts. For anyone in the purchase stage, I would recommend checking it out. I used it when I found a downed HID lamp after a Supertyphoon in Guam. By cross-referencing the ANSI numbers I discovered that it was a workable 250W ballast :)

http://www.personal.psu.edu/faculty/s/b/sbj4/aquarium/mh/mhlighting.html
Just my 2 pennies worth, HTH.
Scott

KW
10/19/2000, 08:41 AM
For quick disconnects, I used some high quality plugs. Not quite as pretty or as easy to use as real quick disconnects but, they work fine.

bjmumy
10/19/2000, 09:03 AM
KW,

What are you referring to when you mention "high quality plugs" and where did you get them?

Brian

David Newman
10/19/2000, 10:00 AM
I use wire nuts for connections inside the hood, and Molex connectors outside the hood. After all connections are made, I put silicon in the wire nuts and over the ends of the Molex plugs. Not long after wiring my current hood, I went down to check the tank and heard some hissing and crackling. Inspection revealed that I had missed one of the Molex plugs with the silicon. I unplugged, let it cool down and then put in the silicon. No problem since.

David

David Newman
10/24/2000, 08:19 AM
I just received a response from Eyelighting.

This is the e-mail I sent to them:

"A few questions about which of these Advance ballasts would be most appropriate for use with the MT250DL lamp: 71A3572 or 71A3802. If both will work, would you expect any operating characteristics to be different between the two ballasts? Will either affect the life of the lamp?"

And this is the response I received:

"Thank you for your interest in EYE lamp products. In answer to your
question, the better ballast for use with this lamp is
#71A3572(-001D)Advance mercury CWA. This will best maintain lumens and color
over lamp life.

John Petrak
Sales Engineer"


FWIW
David

RicoJ
10/24/2000, 08:47 AM
Outstanding thread guys!!! This is definitely one for the archives.

Does anyone know which ballast would be appropriate for the 400W Iwasakis?

Rico.

KW
10/24/2000, 09:36 AM
I'm not really sure what the jargon is for these items, so I'll make-up my own ;) When you plug-in an electric devise you stick the "plug" into the "socket."

Well, I bought a plug and a socket for each wire that I wanted to be able to disconnect. Home Depot had some really nice ones for about $10.00 per socket or plug. It would probably be less expensive to butcher some extension cords and then solder the pieces in place and seal them with heat shrink tubing.

There is most likely a better way to do it, but the above is quick and easy.

MrSandman
10/24/2000, 10:32 AM
David,

I wonder why it would best maintain lumens and color
over lamp life. Did the sales engineer say why? I personally just hate hearing something contradictory, without an explanation. Kinda like going into a auto shop and having the mechanic tell you that you need a complete overhaul "because it'll make your car run better".

David Newman
10/24/2000, 10:41 AM
I agree, but no, he didn't explain (and I'm not confident I would have understood if he had). The only other thing he told me a year ago was:"If you use a Metal Halide Ballast you run the risk of damaging the built in starter of the MT250DL. Due to higher open circuit voltage." I don't know if that built in starter has anything to do with it.

David

MrSandman
10/24/2000, 11:10 AM
Hmm...i was totally under the impression that both the 71A3572 and 71A3802 were Mercury Vapor ballasts? Am i correct? If so then i guess it would be safe to assume that there would be no risk of damaging the built in starter of the MT250DL. Do you think you can post the engineer's email address so i can find out? I would really like to find out what the differences are between the two so i can weigh the benefits of each myself. Thanks!

bjmumy
10/24/2000, 11:11 AM
David,
Thanks for the great follow up. That's interesting that an EYE representative would advise us to use that ballast as the instructions that come with the bulb specifically state not to use a CWA type ballast. At any rate, I guess his point is to use a ballast that is specifically made for an H37 mercury vapor bulb.

BTW, for anyone interested in learning more about the details of HID ballasts, there is a great pdf file on Advance's website that explains the different circuit types and everything. It's a good read for anyone planning on a DIY MH setup. The file is here: http://www.advancetransformer.com/techcenter/hid/HID.pdf

My hood is almost done (I just have to put polyurethane on it now) and I will be installing it this weekend. If anyone is interested, I can post some more pictures of the setup in operation.

Brian

David Newman
10/24/2000, 11:43 AM
I hope he doesn't mind. His e-mail is [email protected]
His name is John Petrak and he's been extremely helpful (and patient). The other e-mail I've used is [email protected]

Let us know if you learn anything.

David

JohnL
10/24/2000, 03:34 PM
[arc]

therman
10/26/2000, 10:16 AM
For everyones information,

John Petrak emailed me back about the 400w ballast. apparently CWA ballasts are fine to use with the 6500K bulb. The info on the slip that comes with them is outdated.

Tim

[Edited by therman on 10-26-2000 at 10:40 AM]

Olgranddad
10/26/2000, 11:33 AM
Out of curiousity what is the part number for the 400W ballasts? I am starting to make decisions about what life I plan on keeping. At this point I don't know what the light requirements are so I can finalized them. I'm deciding between the 250W and 400W ballasts.

Thanks

Olgranddad

npaden
10/26/2000, 01:30 PM
I have seen this thread hanging around for weeks and never clicked on it because of the title. :( Oh well, I will share my DIY Iwasaki setup for everyone now, if maybe a little late.

I got my ballasts off ebay for $84.03 including shipping. They are 400W MH ballasts that also are supposed to work for the MV as well. Here is a closeup pic of the ballasts:
http://padens.homepage.com/hp/gear/photo/ReefTank/diy.html?item=7.3
Notice it says right on the label that it is good for MH or MV bulbs.

I didn't know to look at Graybar for the MV ballasts or would have probably used those. I called some other electrical and lighting companies in town and they wanted $60 or more each on MH or MV ballasts. I also was not positive at the time on the Iwasaki bulbs, so thought using the MH/MV ballast would allow me to switch if I ended up not liking the Iwasaki bulb. I might have to spend the $ on a MV ballast just to see if you can actually tell any difference in the color or intensity of the bulbs on the different ballasts. I haven't seen any results using a PAR meter or anything and I don't have one either though.

I used a $12 metal tool box from Home Depot for my enclosure box. Here is a pic of the enclousure box:
http://padens.homepage.com/hp/gear/photo/ReefTank/diy.html?item=7.1
I was able to fit both ballasts into the tool box including the capacitors. I drilled some holes in it for ventilation and right now I have a small fan that blows over the toolbox on the same timer as the ballasts so it keeps it from heating up to much.

I didn't use a disconnect on the wire going to the sockets and that is a pain as now if I ever need to pull the canopy I will have to undo the wires going to the sockets from the ballasts. If I pull the canopy I will change this and put in disconnect type plugs on.

Here is one more pic (http://padens.homepage.com/hp/gear/photo/ReefTank/diy.html?item=7.2) a little closer that the other that shows the ballasts sitting in the toolbox. I used "Hi Temp" automotive silicone to adhere the ballasts and capacitors to the toolbox so they wouldn't move around. It is strong enough to keep them in place, but if I wanted to, I could pry them out of the toolbox.

Total price on my 2X400W setup with bulbs ended up just under $250 and this really is an easy DIY. The longest it took for anything was drilling the holes in the toolbox. Total time might have been around 1 hour.

FWIW, Nathan

Phillstone
10/27/2000, 08:36 PM
What is the purpose of encloseing the balast in a metal box? If I were to remote mount these away from the tank wouldn't it be better to let them get air flow to help disapate heat?

Just curious, Phill

MrSandman
10/27/2000, 09:24 PM
BJ,

Ok, i just received all of the parts i needed and went ahead and installed the light per your instructions. WOW ITS BRIGHT!!! hehe..i was seeing spots for a while. It was kinda bluish too. I even got 2 24" PFO reflectors so that i can hold my 1 MH and 2 PC's on one reflector x 2. I can't wait to get it over the tank. I'm very tempted to do a "Rube Goldberg" and just stick the set-up over the tank w/o the hood just to see how it'll look, but im just scared i may end up leaving it that way..hehe.. I have one question. Have you ever left the lights on for a long time? I was wondering how hot the ballast got. Reason being is that, i got a metal enclosure from a friend of mine that where the ballast can't stand up on its square "ring". I want to lay it on its side inside the metal box and have it rest on the coils, but was wondering if it'll get too hot for the box? any help would be great.

bjmumy
10/27/2000, 10:11 PM
Phill, the reason for enclosing them is to avoid electricution:D. I just wouldn't feel comfortable leaving them exposed. As long as they were in an area where nobody could touch them and no water could get anywhere close to them, I spose they'd be ok exposed. But I think it's in your best interests to put them away in something for safety's sake.

MrSandman, the ballasts do get warm. When I left them on for 2 hours, the boxes got kinda hot, but not hot enough that I couldn't hold my hand on them indefinitely. I don't think heat would be a huge problem in letting the coils sit on their sides, but I think they were meant to rest on the coils rather than the cores. I don't know how good that would be for the ballasts long term. Congrats on your new setup! This thread really took off more than I thought it ever would. I was just excited that I had a metal halide bulb going in my garage and wanted to tell somebody that would understand my joy.:D

Bamm Bamm
10/30/2000, 12:37 AM
Well I was just curious if there is any updates on these setups i was thinking of going to home depot this week to see if they happen to have the stuff i would need....Dan

therman
10/30/2000, 01:16 AM
called graybar to find out the price for the CWA ballast for the 400w....turned out to be like $78 :(

might as well just buy PFO at that price.

Colin
11/01/2000, 04:24 PM
I did some calling around, and a place called 'Light Bulb Supply' here in Oklahoma City can get (does not stock) the Advance 71A3802 for $29.95. The 71A-3572 is in stock for $56.25. The guy said the big difference was that the 3572 was a 'multi-tap' ballast and could run off of multiple input voltages, whereas the 3802 only ran on 120VAC. Is this the only difference, or was he simplifiying things?

This also means that if you don't want to deal with Graybar or don't have one around, there are other alternatives that are close in price. :)

--Colin

Bubafat
11/01/2000, 05:49 PM
Anyone know the part #?

Thanks

Buba

Snailman
11/01/2000, 06:59 PM
Colin... Maybe we could all get together and make one big buy from your place and get an even better price. :)

Colin
11/01/2000, 07:54 PM
Heheh. Of course shipping would be outrageous. You guys should check locally with lighting supply stores and see if they can order them for you. This place is an open to the public type joint, and I have a feeling that most retail places sell those ballasts for about $30.

--Colin

MrSandman
11/02/2000, 02:35 PM
Ok, just got an email back from an eye representative. I posed the following questions:

I currently have several ballasts manufactured by Advance Transformers part number 71A3802. I was just wondering if your 250W 6500K bulb item#57787 w/ a lamp designation# of MT250DL would work with them? If not, then can you please point me to the ballast which is compatible and give details as to why? I was told that the 71A3572 (CWA) is also a compatible ballast. Can you explain how and why it is better to run your bulbs off of these?

He responded with:

"The MT250DL lampworks best with a mercury high power factor ballast
Many people do use CWA ballasts due to availabilty
Both the ballasts you have will work ok
Magnetk's 1033-24S with the high power factor Capacitor would give the longest lamp life
Â*
TOM GOLENBERKE
SERVICE MANAGER
EYE LIGHTING INA"

David Newman
11/02/2000, 02:42 PM
Well, now we have more confusion. John Petrak recommended the Magneteck 1030-92, which is what I wound up getting. When the Electrical Engineer and the Service Manager (both at Eye)don't agree, how are we supposed to figure it out?

David

MrSandman
11/02/2000, 03:01 PM
hmm..good question. would you happen to know what the differences are between the 2 of them? maybe one of them is a CWA type and the other is not?

David Newman
11/02/2000, 03:13 PM
The one I have, which Petrak recommended, is CWA. Don't know about the other, but when I asked Petrak about the CWA, he told me Magnetek didn't make an appropriate ballast that wasn't CWA. So, instead of reducing the number of choices, we now have 4 possibilities with no clear understanding of which is best, or why. Maybe we could contact someone else at Eye and get a couple of more choices to further confuse things.

bjmumy
11/02/2000, 03:13 PM
I think the two people at EYE don't agree because there is no wrong answer. We can conclude that we should be using ballasts designed for MV bulbs and that's about it. I think they are telling us different ballasts because it really doesn't matter. I would advise choosing a ballast based on price and availability. If you're sure you're going to stick with the Iwasakis, make sure you get a MV ballast. As to which MV ballast you choose, I honestly don't think it will matter. If there is one ballast that is really better than all others, I would have to believe that EYE representatives would respond with a unanimous answer when asked.

Just my $.02

Brian

David Newman
11/02/2000, 03:38 PM
Brian, you're probably right. You and I are using different ballasts and we know they both work well.

salty toes
11/02/2000, 04:01 PM
bjmumy


how much did you pay for those boxes at home depot?

bjmumy
11/02/2000, 05:58 PM
Originally posted by salty toes
bjmumy


how much did you pay for those boxes at home depot?

They were on clearance for $3.00 each. The normal price was about $10.

Colin
11/02/2000, 06:56 PM
What exactly is CWA?

--Colin

bjmumy
11/02/2000, 08:14 PM
Colin, read this (http://www.advancetransformer.com/techcenter/hid/HID.pdf). I found it very helpful in learning about HID ballasts.

Brian

MrSandman
11/02/2000, 09:22 PM
In short, CWA=Constant Wattage Autotransformer. Its basically a specially designed ballast that can account for the fluctuation in voltage input into a ballast. Typical ballasts can safely account for a 10% voltage drop, but a CWA can account for up to 25% i believe. When u exceed these limits, your light will self-extinguish and you will have to let your bulbs cool before being able to restart again. If you have high powered equipment on the same breaker as your lights then you will get these voltage drops. If you have poor wiring in your home, you can also have this problem. If you live in an apt where the main elect. line is shared by other tenants, then u can also have these problems. As for me, my home is fairly new and the lights are on their own breaker with nothing else shared. So i don't need the CWA. That's my interpretation of it. I'm sure i missed some other points but i think that is one of the main advantage points in having a CWA ballast. my $.02 HTH.

salty toes
11/03/2000, 06:38 AM
one more question.

whats the footprint on those boxes?
by any chance are they 8x8x2?

thanks

bjmumy
11/03/2000, 07:59 AM
Originally posted by bjmumy
My enclosures are 6x4x4

johnny
11/03/2000, 08:34 AM
Has anyone orded one of the ballast from Graybar in the last few days? I've called about 10 branches of Graybar and they all say it's going to take a few weeks. Any help anyone can give would be great... I'm getting desperate here!

bjmumy
11/03/2000, 08:41 AM
They normally don't stock these ballasts. It took a week or so for mine to come in when I ordered them a couple months ago too. I guess you'll just have to have some patience.

salty toes
11/03/2000, 09:11 AM
hey johnny

i called graybar to try and order one more for you, and they told me the same thing, they said that its gonna take about 2 weeks to get that item to me, (no reason as to why givin) do you still want me to go ahead and order it.....?

[Edited by salty toes on 11-03-2000 at 09:39 AM]

johnny
11/03/2000, 10:56 AM
hey ST... if they can ship it to me so I don't have to drive down there that would be fine. If they can't ship it ot me, it's kinda far to drive. But if they can ship it... go ahead and order it please. THanks!

Nick

Colin
11/03/2000, 06:51 PM
If it's any consolation, the local lighting store I called also said it would take a couple of weeks.

--Colin

MrSandman
11/03/2000, 07:52 PM
I sure hope Advance Transformers isn't brewing up a "Southdown Tropical Play Sand" type scheme on us. Next thing you know, they are gonna raise their prices and stop selling it to Greybar. :mad2:

Snailman
11/03/2000, 08:02 PM
Originally posted by Colin
The guy said the big difference was that the 3572 was a 'multi-tap' ballast and could run off of multiple input voltages, whereas the 3802 only ran on 120VAC. Is this the only difference, or was he simplifiying things?

He was simplifiying things a bit more. The post from Eye that said to use a "high power factor" ballast. The 3802 has a power factor of 50% and the 3572 has a power factor of 90%. The other thing apperas to be the 3802 draws a lot more current (4.2a to 2.5a) and has a higher voltage dropout (90v to 65v) than the 3572. If you compare the Advance data sheets for the two lamps there are many differences. So the hunt is on for the lowest cost place to buy the 3572. :)

Snailman
11/03/2000, 09:07 PM
Has anyone found a data sheet on the Magnetek 1033-24S or 1030-92? I have been to several of their web sites and have not found a listings for either of these transformers.

mellotang
11/03/2000, 10:55 PM
I went to graybar today and tried to get the ballast but they didnt have it in stock but they will have it in on monday. I was only able to get the 71A3572 ballast, the one with the capacitor, so I will let you guys know how it works. Since I work in the construction field I went in their after work with my bosses business card, wrote the model # of the ballast on the back, handed it to them and said my boss told me to pick this up. He asked if we had an account with them, which we didnt, so I said no and he opened an account. You may wonder why I am telling you all this info. but I would assume that it would work with any old business card, just go in dirty and wearing a pair of workboots.

goodluck
Seth

MrSandman
11/03/2000, 11:12 PM
Yeah, i got mine all over the telephone. I just made up some business name and gave them my home address. I doubt they care, nor will they make the time to verify that u are a business. All they care about is the sale. How much did you get yours for? I got the 3802 model, but i was just curious how much the other one was?

johnny
11/03/2000, 11:48 PM
MrSandman, what branch/city did you get yours at and how long did it take... seems like 2 weeks is the best they can do, but some places have been saying 5 weeks!

Nick

mellotang
11/03/2000, 11:51 PM
Sandman,
The price was $45, a little more expensive then yours but it is still better then $150 for an icecap. How much was yours... $23? I would have had to wait a little longer for the 3802 so I figured I would try the 3572.

Seth

MrSandman
11/04/2000, 12:22 AM
Johnny,

I got mine from a greybar located in Long Beach, California. It was, as expected an item that they did not stock and had to special order. It only took them a week to special order it from Advance Transformers and to get it to me. I was very surprised at the quickness, but then again at the time i ordered it, there was not really a high demand like there is now.

Mellotang,

Yeah, i paid 23 bucks for mine.
I doubt there is much of a difference between the 2 ballasts. The one you got i believe is the CWA type, which is probably a more reliable ballast, but as long as you keep them on their own breaker either one should be fine. There has been so much confusion as to which one is the right one, but imho you can't go wrong with either one.

signu459
11/04/2000, 09:34 AM
Wow this is a great thread!

Here is a little tid bit that may be usefull for those that are putting together or are looking to replace their bulbs. I have found a place that can get me the 250W Iwasakis 6500K bulbs for about $55 each + shipping to you. I know this isn't much of a discount but it is better than nothing, I guess. These are brand new bulbs that have never been used and will come directly from Iwasakis distribution center. Here is the catch. The only way I can do this is to order 12 at a time. I will take two of them but I really don't want to sit on $550 worth of bulbs until they all burn out. So is anyone interested in going in on a case with me? I may also post some on ebay and see if I can actually make a few bucks on them. Shoot me an email if your interested.

[Edited by signu459 on 11-04-2000 at 09:42 AM]

signu459
11/06/2000, 12:33 PM
I have had three people contact me concerning the bulbs. Including the two I am taking for myself i have 8 of the 12 spoken for. That leaves four bulbs for the taking.

MrSandman
11/06/2000, 02:51 PM
BJ,

I just finished building my canopy this weekend and installed the lights per your instructions and all i can say is...WOW. although i am not using VHO for supplementation, i am using 4 x 55W PC's and the light is very nice. Its not yellow at all, but rather white. I think the MV ballasts really make a difference. Only time will tell. I got some cool ideas from your other thread (Part II) and it worked out great! Thanks.

mousefish
11/07/2000, 11:36 AM
I have been working on a 400W DIY metal halide. During my search, I came across this website:

http://www.affordablelighting.com

They have really good prices for surplus ballasts and lights. I purchased a 400W F-can type (enclosed and potted) ballast for $71 plus shipping. I believe they carry the two MH ballasts in Josh Sanjay's article on DIY metal halide (72C6082-N-P and 1110-2475C-TC)

Craig

johnny
11/07/2000, 12:45 PM
Now that we solved the DIY MH bulb, anyone have any ideas on DIY VHO lighting?

MrSandman
11/07/2000, 04:52 PM
My thoughts exactly Johnny. Anyone out there care to start a new thread on their DIY VHO adventure???

SSEAL
12/05/2000, 10:35 PM
ARE ANY OF YOU CURRENTLY USING THIS LIGHT SYSTEM ON THERE REEF TANKS AND IS YOUR REEF LIFE DOING WELL?

I AM A LITTLE CONFUSED REGARDING MV & MH LAMPS.

IS THE IWASAKI LAMP MV OR MH???? I FIND THE IWASAKI LAMP UNDER MH FROM LIGHTING SUPPLIERS. PLEASE SHED A LITTLE LIGHT ON THIS FOR ME.

I READ ELSEWHERE THAT YOU SHOULD NOT USE MV FOR REEF TANKS.

CURRENTLY I AM LOOKING FOR A MH LIGHTING SYSTEM AND IF THIS SYSTEM WILL DO THE JOB I'M GOING TO BUILD IT.

BY THE WAY EXCELLANT THREAD!

signu459
12/05/2000, 11:48 PM
SSeal,

First to answer your question. Teh Iwasaki is what is called a MV conversion lamp. It is sold as a MH lamp by EYE lighting (Iwasaki), however it must be run on a MV ballast. I hope that clears it up for you.

BJ,

Quick question for you about the Ballasts. I got mine in the mail today (YAHOOOOOO). Just to make sure I am reading the wiring diagram right I wanted to run this by you. There four wires comming from the ballast. One marked Lamp, one marked 120V and two marked COM. According to the diagram one of the Com's and the lamp go to the lamp. And one of the Com's and the 120V go to the power source or plug. Do I have this right? Also where and how did you ground these bad boys? Did you attach right to the core?

I am so fired up, I have all the lamps, the two ballasts, the mogul bases and reflectors. I actually just screwed in one of the lamps into the base to see what it looks like. I'm like a kid in a candy store. I will let you all know what the Iwasakis look like with the new 96 Actinics I just got.

signu459
12/05/2000, 11:53 PM
One other thing. How did you attach the ballast to the inside of the box? I was going to run screws though the holes in the magnet and into the box ( also a ground I suppose). Is that what you did. Also did you put more than one in a box and did you vent it or add any type of fan?

johnny
12/06/2000, 02:48 AM
signu,

Your wiring statement is correct. To ground I ran a wire from the bottom hole on a 3 prong outlet to the reflector/socket etc. For the ballast I placed mine in a metal enclosure (HD) that has a 2"x1" slot on the top. I used a few dabs of silicone to get it to stay in place, silicone dries rubbery allowing the ballast to move a bit, but not really rattle. They do get hot, so far no prob with the silicone melting... the 2x1" slot is enough venting. Be careful though, once you turn the ballast off, it takes a good 20mins before you can turn it back on again (maybe it's just the way I have mine wired up though). At first I thought they were a little too yellow for me, then I realized it was just the reflection from all the algae in my tank! ;)

Nick

Snailman
12/06/2000, 07:17 PM
SSEAL [welcome]

SSEAL
12/09/2000, 07:24 AM
signu459

What model of ballast did you purchase. Where did you buy it and how much did it cost.

I contacted Graybar regarding both ballasts 71A3802 and 71A3572. They wanted about $77 for either one.

bjmumy, paid $23 for his 71A3802 ballast...good deal.

Anyhow, I am really looking hard for a good deal on the 71A3572 ballast. Best price I have found so far is $50 each.

If anyone finds a better price on the 71A3572 ballast please let me/us know.

Also, thanks for clearing up my concerns on the Iwasaki lamp.

signu459
12/09/2000, 10:12 AM
I got the 3802, so far I like it. I paid $25 each, I had to get them from the Cincinatti Braybar because the one near me sucks. Cincinattie shipped them to me for around $8. As far as the 3572 if can get them for $50 that is good deal IMO, the best I found was $55 I think.

Good Luck!

Colin
12/10/2000, 07:30 AM
$50 is a good price for the 3572. I found it locally for $55, and bought one for $44 (favor from a lighting distributor).

--Colin

johnny
12/10/2000, 01:02 PM
Is the 3572 the one for the 250 with a capacitor? Or is the 3572 the one for the 400W Iwasaki?

Nick

signu459
12/10/2000, 04:59 PM
3572 is the one with the capacitor and it is also a multitap ballast for the 250

jscott
12/11/2000, 12:46 AM
I'm so glad I came across these postings. You folks have sure been a help. A buddy of mine just dropped me off two 400W MH's the other day. They do fire up, but they're in gawdawful, painted aluminum fixtures. I've been re-engineering these things in my head for awhile. I think I'll be able to get around to guttin' the things this coming week. I'll let you know what I find out about serial numbers on the transformer and capacitor. There are no existing numbers on the bulbs and I need to find out what bulbs are compatible with this stuff, if I can even use 'em. If things work out, I'm gonna hafta go get the rest of these my buddy has layin' around. He's got several more and they're free! Needless to say, I'm keepin' my fingers crossed. Any other words of advice/warning would be most appreciated. Take Care...

Tcook
12/15/2000, 01:01 AM
Just got my 71A3802 ballasts today from the Graybar down the street. Paid $25 each. Can't believe they sell them to the gen public for $73 each. They look like old pieces of junk..but as long as they do the trick! Now I just have to wait 6-8 months to use up my new 175watt bulbs before I make the switch.

Doug
12/15/2000, 09:35 AM
Hi Jscott and [welcome]