I'd like to build a UV printer to contact print cyanotype and Van Dyke brown up to 11x14, and would greatly appreciate some guidance on the electrical side of things.

I've read Carlo Ponzoni's "Building a UV Printer" article on alternativephotography.com , and Sandy King's "Ultravoilet Light Sources for Printing with the Alternative Processes" article on unblinkingeye.com. Having read these articles, I've decided that a fluorescent bulb UV printer will best meet my needs, and that I'd like to build a UV printer that uses a total of six 18" fluorescent T8 blacklight bulbs.

The GE F15T8/BL bulbs (Product Code 35884) seem like they'd work well.

I feel like it'd be cheaper and easier to install a single high-quality ballast that can handle six of these bulbs at once that to install three el-cheapo magnetic ballasts each driving two bulbs.

The GE GE632MAX-H90 ballast (Product Code 74117) looks like it'd be a good choice, as it's a high efficiency multivolt instant start electronic ballast.

The system specs show that it'll handle six F17T8 bulbs simultaneously, but the product page is silent on its ability to handle six F15T8/BL bulbs.

Does anyone know if the F15T8/BL bulbs will work in this assembly? These bulbs aren't listed as compatible, but I don't know whether this is because they're specialty bulbs that wouldn't be included in a normal compatibility list, or whether this is because if I attempt to use them I'll burn my house down. I'm (obviously) no electrician, but the difference between a F17T8 bulb and a F15T8 bulb seems minimal to me.

Any ideas?


-- Dan