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PC Lighting / Endcap / DIY Hood Question



All right electronic DIY gurus of the APD...

Does anyone have any experience with waterproof endcaps for PCF bulbs?
Specifically, I am looking at building a DIY wooden hood for my 48"x17"
tank, and would like to eliminate the need for a cover glass (the whole
point of the DIY hood is to make access to the tank easier and look good).  

I have searched around, and it looks like the waterproof endcaps
(specifically the ones from CSL and from Champion Lighting)  are pricey --
about 30 bucks per socket w/ cord.  I already have the PCF setups (one AH
Supply 96 watt and one 2x55 watt Oceanic strip), so I don't like the idea of
spending 90 bucks for some endcaps.  To further complicate things, the 96
watt is a square / Panasonic-style pin arrangement and the 2x55 watt sockets
are the straight / German style.

I read on http://home.pacifier.com/~tab/55W.htm that "using Plastidip" can
be used to waterproof / insulate the standard plastic sockets.  I guess that
I would be able to keep the same sockets I have now.  Finally, I will need
to remote-mount the 2 electronic ballasts in my stand, and I have some
experience with this, but does anyone have any suggestions for type / source
of wire to use between the ballasts and the sockets?

Any advice and/or comments appreciated.

Thanks,

Tony