bulbs per ballast and material choice

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by mark, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. mark

    mark Member

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    I was digging in a shed a couple days ago and found a box of 6 brand new light fixtures for U-shaped florescent (sp) bulbs. Obviously I wont be using these types of bulbs in a contact printer, and since they are free I wont to just re-purpose the ballasts. Right now each fixture is set up for one bulb. I assume that means I use one bulb per ballast.

    I might be wrong though and can get two bulbs per ballast, or these are useless for what I want to do. Would anyone be able to give me some advice.

    I also need a quick yes or no about MDF. Can a person use MDF in an exposure box?

    All of this, as well as the electrical wire is found material and therefore I could make an exposure box for the cost of bulbs and elbow grease. Works for me.
     
  2. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    You could use MDF but I think it would be cheaper and better if you used sheathing grade ply.
     
  3. AgX

    AgX Member

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    To my understanding you could use one 1-tube ballast for 2 tubes in case the wattage of that ballast is identical to the sum of the power consumption of those tubes.

    There is a variety of 2 tubes circuit schemes. Be sure you got to know what you are doing.
     
  4. mark

    mark Member

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    The MDF is free. I am not a big fan of MDF but free is free.

    That is the info I needed AgX. I will look tonight and see.
     
  5. banana_legs

    banana_legs Member

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    Hi,

    The two tubes need to be wired in series (otherwise you will get one lamp on and not the other) and it depends on what the striking voltage and current rating of the ballast is. If the striking voltage is high enough, then the two lamps will light. You need to make sure that the total wattage of the lamps is about the same as the rating of the ballast too, otherwise it may overheat.

    Generally, it is best to use the ballast in the configuration it was designed for. If you do get two lamps to strike, leave them on for a while and monitor the ballast carefully; fire is always a risk if the ballast is being overloaded.

    Best regards,

    Evan
     
  6. mark

    mark Member

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    didn't know that. Thanks. Electricity scares me so maybe I will stick with one ballast one bulb.