Author Topic: 12volt fluorescent lighting 2  (Read 3034 times)

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JW

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12volt fluorescent lighting 2
« on: November 14, 2007, 11:44:35 PM »
Im still driving the bulbs with the IOTA 12v ballast. Today I got my special order FO40T8 bulbs. There 60inch T8's with daylight color(6500k).


 


 Actually I had a bit of a hard time with it at first. The FO30T8's are only 30inch long. They light up quick an bright.


 Now today at lunch, I hooked up the IOTA ballast to the new bulb.


 


At first I was blown away by the brightness of the bulb, then this arrent arc swirled around in the tube and made a black spot right in front of my eyes. This did not happen with the 3 other bulbs I got. Just one of those things I guess.





After that the bulb light-up normally and pulsed abit, it seemed fine.


 


I have noticed the flicker goes completly away if the 'longwire' on the ballast output connects to the side of the bulb with the writing. That's just my wiring recomendation, may not even matter. With the 30inch bulbs this was a non-issue, may just have to do with the bulb warming up.


JW

« Last Edit: November 14, 2007, 11:44:35 PM by (unknown) »

JW

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Brain Fart
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2007, 05:22:25 PM »
Like I said on Norm's Post.


http://www.fieldlines.com/story/2007/11/8/235534/841


 I installed like 32 FO40T8's, I used AC ballasts for this, they are the Intellivolt type.


When I connected these ballasts, they had 2 blue wires, 2 red wires, and 2 yellow wires, one for each red and blue pair, and yellow for the commons.


Now as im istalling these bulbs(lamps) Im thinking it doesnt matter which way the ends of the bulbs have to face when inserted.


 I just realized that the lable on the bulb should face the red or blue wires not the yellow.


 Im looking at the bulb life of 20,000hours for these bulbs and I bet somewhere in the fine print, WITH THE AC BALLASTS, the bulbs must be alighned for polarity for the longest possible working life....


Just a wandering thought.


JW

« Last Edit: November 14, 2007, 05:22:25 PM by JW »

Ungrounded Lightning Rod

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Re: 12volt fluorescent lighting 2
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2007, 07:28:31 PM »
The only difference between the ends of a fluorescent light is that one has a label printed on it.


You'll only get unequal wear on the lamp if the ballast is providing different amounts of heater current to the two ends or has a DC bias in the current down the lamp (or a goofy waveform that does something similar).  If that's the case, swap the ends of the lamp once a year or so.


Fluorescent lights start out a little flakey - dim and flickering - when first put into use.  But that clears up after a few hours.  (I think it's because some of the mercury is absorbed into the phosphor during manufacturing and shipping and has to be "baked out" by a couple hours operation to get the vapor pressure up to the design level, after which the tube operates normally.)  During the burn-in the arc acts more like a narrow, dancing, spark between the ends than a wide plasma column.  So the lamp will be dim and you'll sometimes see flickering, "crawling snakes", and other pathologies.

« Last Edit: November 14, 2007, 07:28:31 PM by Ungrounded Lightning Rod »

DanG

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Re: 12volt fluorescent lighting 2
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2007, 10:25:08 PM »
Many fluorescent tubes require a ground plane to be within a short air gap of the tube, the 1/4 turn standoff sockets are engineered to hold the glass envelope a certain distance from a metal reflector is a hidden purpose. Architectural constraints have them putting a painted conductive stripe down the side of the 'U' shaped tubes to ensure the arc has a 'guide' to follow in non-traiditional installations. However you end up hanging your lights having them bare as you are showing in the photos isn't the best, note the burned spot - having a spring steel hanger rod or bar might serve double purpose keeping the arc stable and help dealing with short and stray circuits with the HV ballast around salt water..
« Last Edit: November 14, 2007, 10:25:08 PM by DanG »

wooferhound

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Re: 12volt fluorescent lighting 2
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2007, 07:37:33 AM »
Yes, A ground should run in very close proximity to a Fluorescent light bulb for proper starting and operation.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2007, 07:37:33 AM by wooferhound »

JW

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Re: 12volt fluorescent lighting 2
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2007, 01:02:02 PM »
Huh,


 Thanks guys, I didnt think about a ground plane within the proximity of the bulb. Everything seems fine, and one of the bulb leads runs along the bulb, I have them sealed in a polycarbonate tube. I wonder if this would serve the same purpose as a grounding plane. Probably not. I loathe opening the poycarbonate tubes again. Even though, they have a nylon plug that I machined on a lathe to fit an o-ring.


 Anyway here's a pic of the aluminum housing I tig welded for the ballasts, before I painted it.





JW

« Last Edit: November 15, 2007, 01:02:02 PM by JW »

JW

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Re: 12volt fluorescent lighting 2
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2007, 02:35:58 PM »
uknow,


 The more I think about the fact, that one wire is running the length (damn I need to fix my spellchecker) of the bulb without anytype of shielding, makes me wonder about the signifigence [:)] of using polarity with the fluorescent. Its a situation were it should not matter, yet conditions are a little different, hmmmm.


 Perhaps, by observing a polarity of sometype, which is relevent, to the wire running along the bulb with no shielding? In all the cases, where I illumiated the bulb with the DC ballast, the bulb had no fixture. With the AC ballasts there was always a fixture with a grounding plane when I illuminated them. I cannot interchange the 60" tube into both.


 On both the AC and DC types of ballast there is polarity specification. Such as the the AC ballasts connected a single bulb with either a red or blue wire to a yellow wire, that was common(yellow wire) on that end of the circuit running multiple bulbs. The DC ballast only powers one bulb, and has a long and short wire of the same color per circuit.


 It may be possible, that since there is no shield inbetween the power leads, to the bulb, observing polarity on the output side of the ballast compensates for a probable negative effect on the bulb. Since without the fixture there is no gounding plane?


BTW,


 Why I posted again in the first-place, I can solder tined-copper wire to the brass pins on the end of the bulb with no problem. Im using a high-watt soldering iron, it has a light that is on as you hold the trigger, maybe its a 1000watts, im not sure. Im using rosin-core solder.


JW  

« Last Edit: November 15, 2007, 02:35:58 PM by JW »

JW

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Re: 12volt fluorescent lighting 2
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2007, 03:15:17 PM »



JW

« Last Edit: November 15, 2007, 03:15:17 PM by JW »

JW

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Re: 12volt fluorescent lighting 2
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2007, 06:46:10 PM »
"I have noticed the flicker goes completly away if the 'longwire' on the ballast output connects to the side of the bulb with the writing."


    In this case, the 'longwire' from the ballast output, had more to do with the fact,that it ran alongside the bulb, for most of its distance, and the label on the bulb, happened to be facing the same direction..


   The bulb could be reversed, so that the label, faced the 'shortwire' of the ballast output wire, with no adverse performance of the bulb. As long as, the longer of the two ballast output wires(from the ballast), ran alongside the bulb for the far end connection. This refers to un-shielded wires.


 So its not the direction the bulb is facing, with respect to output polarity of the ballast, Its which wire runs along the bulb for the most distance. But if the bulb is in a grounded fixture it doe'snt really matter. Again, this is my opinion, from what im seeing, with what I am working with.


JW  

« Last Edit: November 15, 2007, 06:46:10 PM by JW »

JW

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Re: 12volt fluorescent lighting 2
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2007, 06:48:30 PM »
If it was the AC ballast, id use the red or blue wire for the length of the bulb, and the yellow(common) for the end with no bulb exposure.


JW

« Last Edit: November 15, 2007, 06:48:30 PM by JW »

Flux

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Re: 12volt fluorescent lighting 2
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2007, 01:07:27 AM »
Without knowing the circuit of your ballast it is impossible to comment, but many ballasts have restrictions on the wire length and capacity to ground of the "hot" connections.


Some ballasts will strike the tube perfectly well without a ground plane, others may not fire both ends without one. The black spot strongly suggests that one end was not conducting.


There is absolutely no difference in the ends of a good fluorescent tube, but if it has run in a wrong mode for a while you may reduce heater emission from one end, it doesn't take long to strip the heater coating if you strike an arc across the heater ends and that is usually indicated by a violent purple glow.


Normally running one connection the length of the tube will do the same job as a ground plane but again it depends on the circuit. If the information suggests which is the "hot" leads of the ballast then keep them to the near end and run the other the length of the tube.


Soldering a wire to the end caps is an old trick and well worth doing, here in the UK we used to have tubes with a metallised strip along them for an early non resonant instant start ballast but they no longer exist.


Flux

« Last Edit: November 16, 2007, 01:07:27 AM by Flux »

JW

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Re: 12volt fluorescent lighting 2
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2007, 08:02:28 PM »
Hi Flux,


 Just to test my theory, today I reversed the output polarity on one of the bulbs, in the name of consistancy.


 Heres what I have been working with. All the ballasts are the IOTA high watt type, 48watt is whats specified on the invoice. I bought 4 of them. One was yous'd for the test bench. One is unused, and 2 are used in the housing.


 I also got 4 of the 60inch bulbs rated at 40watts. The bulb on the test bench developed the black spot. I feel the same could happen with the 30inch 30bulbs, but I think, I just happened to get lucky with that one.


 As I was installing the pair of finished 60in bulbs,(the other day) that were already in there polycarbonate tubes, on the boat, I screwed up, and(by accident) drilled a hole thru the poycarbonate tube. Needless to say this was endlessly frustrating. As I was fiddling around, tying to remove the tube-assy, I flexed it to much, and shattered the bulb inside...


 I was thinking to myself, well at least its enviromentally friendly, as it can contain the shattered bulb without exposing contents to the enviroment.


 I then proceeded to repair the 1/8th in drill hole in the poly-carbonate(comparable to Lexan) tube, with 3M 5200 marine sealant. Which did workout verywell by the way, adheasion was excellent.


  I had a virgin fluorescent bulb(never-lit) that I re-installed back into the polycarbonate tube assy. Before I broke the other bulb, I energized the pair. So by this point I have a total of 3 bulbs left. One on the test bench with the blackspot on the end. One previously illuminated bulb in a poly-tube-assy with no blackspot. One virgin bulb in a tube-assy with no blackspot.


 Today I wraped-up the installation of the system on the boat. Everything worked fine. Both bulbs light up nicely. The job looks good.


 But before I finalized The wiring hookup, I made sure the longwire on the ballast(output) went to the wire running along the bulb. Now, in order to do this, I had to reverse the ballast output polarity on the bulb that I did not break. Guess what? I noticed a black spot on the end of that bulb, I cannot be sure it did not show up the first time it illuminated it. It did have a noticable flicker the first time I lit it.


 The virgin bulb looks great wired that way, I ran both both bulbs for about 2hours tonight. Im very confident the bulb with the blackspot could be replaced without that happening again, but I believe it could be replaced, in either direction with no problems. I think the important thing is the proper wire running the length of the bulb.


 I cannot see a reason to replace the bulb with the blackspot, it does not fliker anymore and puts out as much light as the other, it just has that small blackspot at one end. I will wait for it to go out, before I replace it. I designed this so I can replace bulbs(if I have too).


 I also ran the GPSmap for abit while the fluorescents were on, no problems acqiring satellites, or any type of distortion on the screen(it is color).


 The batterys seem to hold up well to the load. I dont see any immiediate problems with the installation.


 The tide will be just right(going out to sea), after dark, to go for the shrimp tommorow night. A cold front just moved thru the area aswell, and the moon looks right. I just might get lucky.


 I will update the final installation pictures, in my next diary on 12volt fluorescent lighting, most likely sunday. Hopefully get a picture or two of some shrimp swiming around, under the lights saturday night.


Thanks everybody for your input on this one.


 JW


 

« Last Edit: November 16, 2007, 08:02:28 PM by JW »

JW

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Re: 12volt fluorescent lighting 2
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2007, 08:24:18 PM »
"I feel the same could happen with the 30inch 30bulbs, but I think, I just happened to get lucky with that one. "


 Thats supposed to be "30inch 30watt bulbs"


JW

« Last Edit: November 16, 2007, 08:24:18 PM by JW »

JW

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Re: 12volt fluorescent lighting 2
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2007, 05:54:33 PM »
« Last Edit: November 30, 2007, 05:54:33 PM by JW »

JW

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Re: 12volt fluorescent lighting 2
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2018, 07:37:22 PM »
ID like to take some recent pictures of this project. I replaced one of the daylight bulbs to green phosphor, its awesome.

Also I upgraded the alternator to 12amps on the 20hp Honda four stroke outboard engine. 

https://www.fieldlines.com/index.php/topic,129125.msg977195.html#msg977195
« Last Edit: January 31, 2018, 07:56:41 PM by JW »