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navajo
10/07/2006, 09:23 AM
I tried posting this in the Lighting/Equipment Forum but got no responses. Thought I'd try it here.

Is it OK to remote the MH Ballast to the attic?

I bought a used setup a while back and it came with (3) 175 W MH bulbs and a monster home made ballast. It is encased in a silver aluminum box and gets a bit warm (as I'm sure you can imagine.)

I had it set outside the stand all summer and my water temp stayed at 79 DEG. But I recently brought home a new puppy so had to move it back under the stand. Now my tank temp rises to 83 DEG during the day then back to 80 ish at night. This is on a 210 GAL Display with 300 GAL sump and fuge in the basement. Not only do I not like the temp swings, but the AC stays on all day and night and it's in the 50's outside around here...

Anyway, I was thinking about remoting it to the attic where the heat wouldn't be a factor at all but am wondering about the climate up there.

It is an older house with the Louvres on the ends of the attic for air circulation. They do not let any water in but what about when it gets foggy? Also, will the high temps in the attic in the summer have any effect on the ballast itself?

It will be positioned about 40' from either end of the attic in the center of the house.

Sorry for the long post and thanks for any comments!

navajo
10/08/2006, 11:01 AM
Well, Gee Navajo, I don't really know but here's a free bump for ya...

Myrphie
10/08/2006, 12:34 PM
If I recall, I believe there is a maximum distance ballasts can be from the lamps. I think it's around 10', but I could be completely wrong, it's been a while since I looked into it.

xtrstangx
10/08/2006, 12:56 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=8299924#post8299924 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Myrphie
If I recall, I believe there is a maximum distance ballasts can be from the lamps. I think it's around 10', but I could be completely wrong, it's been a while since I looked into it.

I think it depends on the ballast, but I'd say 10' is a good average you shouldn't go past.

I wouldn't put them in the attic, IMO. What about the basement?

navajo
10/08/2006, 05:16 PM
Myrphie: Thanks for the heads up about the wiring distance. That WAS my original plan. Just splice in longer wires and run it where I wanted it. Then checked into it and the max distance for my set up WAS around 10'. (Good guess/recall)!

xtrstangx: I have measured and the existing ballast wiring is long enough to go to the basement or the attic. The only problem with the basement is that it is finished with a drop ceiling and there isn't enough room to fit it above it.

Any reasons that you think the attic is a bad idea? It also seems to me like a weird thing to do, but i can't figure out why... There's already wiring/outlets/etc up there.

xtrstangx
10/08/2006, 05:55 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=8301272#post8301272 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by navajo
Myrphie: Thanks for the heads up about the wiring distance. That WAS my original plan. Just splice in longer wires and run it where I wanted it. Then checked into it and the max distance for my set up WAS around 10'. (Good guess/recall)!

xtrstangx: I have measured and the existing ballast wiring is long enough to go to the basement or the attic. The only problem with the basement is that it is finished with a drop ceiling and there isn't enough room to fit it above it.

Any reasons that you think the attic is a bad idea? It also seems to me like a weird thing to do, but i can't figure out why... There's already wiring/outlets/etc up there.

The high temps in the attic are not good for the ballast and could possibly lead to failure in the ballast. Also the possibilty of moisture worries me.

Why not mount it on a wall? I have my ballasts mounted a piece of MDF in the corner of my fish room:
http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f165/nwreefer08/IMG_1435.jpg

navajo
10/08/2006, 06:20 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=8301484#post8301484 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by xtrstangx
The high temps in the attic are not good for the ballast and could possibly lead to failure in the ballast. Also the possibilty of moisture worries me.

Why not mount it on a wall? I have my ballasts mounted a piece of MDF in the corner of my fish room:
http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f165/nwreefer08/IMG_1435.jpg

Yeah, I was worried about the heat and moisture also.


The only problem with mounting it in the fish room is that the fishroom is approx 35' from the tank. I guess I COULD punch a hole in the walll and just mount it on the wall in the dining room.

MAN! It's the details that get you in this hobby huh?:lol:

OK, you have talked me out of the attic. Didn't really want to crawl up there anyway! :lol:

Will revisit the basement in a bit and do some more figuring.

Thank you so much for looking and offering your thoughts!

xtrstangx
10/08/2006, 06:32 PM
The only problem with mounting it in the fish room is that the fishroom is approx 35' from the tank.

You don't keep your sump down there do you? :eek1:

What about building a smaller matching cabinet (say 10" wide, 36" tall, and 24" deep), mounting the ballasts inside, with a good 3" or 4" fan to blow cool air in? Then you could keep it by the stand and have it all in one space.. Or you could keep this in the next room (make it into some sort of table? :lol: )

navajo
10/08/2006, 06:46 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=8301700#post8301700 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by xtrstangx
You don't keep your sump down there do you? :eek1:

What about building a smaller matching cabinet (say 10" wide, 36" tall, and 24" deep), mounting the ballasts inside, with a good 3" or 4" fan to blow cool air in? Then you could keep it by the stand and have it all in one space.. Or you could keep this in the next room (make it into some sort of table? :lol: )

Yeah, the sump and closed loop are in there too. Thus the Iwaki return and Hammerhead closed loop! :D It only works out to about 11' head.

Creative furniture... Hmmmmmmm... :lol:

Maybe something to think about. I definately want to move it out of the room with the display though. It is sitting about 6' from the thermostat. AC stays on eventhough you could "hang meat" in the bedrooms! :lol:

Looks like I need to find a way to make it work from the basement or dining room.

If I decide on the dining room, want to break it to my wife for me? :lol:

xtrstangx
10/08/2006, 06:54 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=8301787#post8301787 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by navajo
If I decide on the dining room, want to break it to my wife for me? :lol:

Just tell her she's getting a hutch or a china cabinet... she just can't put anything in the bottom of it :D

navajo
10/08/2006, 07:01 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=8301854#post8301854 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by xtrstangx
Just tell her she's getting a hutch or a china cabinet... she just can't put anything in the bottom of it :D

EXCELLENT IDEA!!! :lol:

Thank you!