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Re: [APD] Need guidance with DIY compact fluorescents -- or -Eclipsing the Original Design

Saying that ballasts "detects" the wattage requirements of
a bulb is a bit too anthropomorhic for my tastes. The
ballast will develop a certin voltage across the bulb,
depending on how the plasma in the bulb reacts to the 
ballast and vice versa. The resistance of the bulb is a
function of design but varies as it heats up -- its very
high when the bulb is cold and as it heats up is lowers
until the resistance is very low and the bulb burns up.
Luckily, with the right the ballast, the current is in
limited supply, it can only provide a certain amount of
current to the bulb and that, if it's the right ballast,
keeps the bulb lit but prevents it from "flaming out." The
wattage rating on a bulb only tells you the wattage udner
operation with a specific ballast.

You could try to fit some compact fluorescents (as oposed
to power compacts) under the 12, they're the most compact
fluorescent bulbs in length. But the Eclipse hood wasn't
meant to handle the higher heat -- remember that roughly
65% of the bulb wattage, on the proper ballast, is going to
be shed as heat -- as you up the wattage, you up the heat.

The Eclipse hood will start to warp over time if you don't
keep the hood from overheating.  Overheating an Eclipse
hood with too much lighting is an easily if not cheaply
repeatable experiment.

A 36 watt Power Compact will just fit in an Eclipse 12 hood
(it mesures 16 18" inches including the socket) and you can
run it off of a Fulham Workhorse 5 or Workhorse 3 ballast
-- follow the wiring diagrams at the fulham website or
follow the directions from AH Supply. [A Longhorse is the
same ballast as the Workhorse, just physically longer and
narrower.] On a Workhorse 3 the 36 watt bulb will be
slightly overdriven but not enough to notice or make much
diff. I don't think an AH Supply reflector will fit inside
the existing hood splash cover -- not without some serious
trimming. And you would need to add more ventilation holes
into the the hood and provide ventilation in the splash
hood so that air can convect in and then out the top vents
-- I think you'd need fans.

I have an example of an retrofitted Eclipse 12: I fit an AH
Supply pair of 13 watt lights in an Eclipse 12. I drilled
about 20 ventilation intake holes (1/8") in the sides of
the splash cover and put 4 outlet vents (the kind AHS
supplies) in the cover. When the lights are running, the
air at the outlet vents reigisters 89-90 degrees F but the
tank doesn't heat up from the lights. 

I kept the original white plastic "reflector" plate, which
inititally started to warp diirectly over the filament
portions of the bulbs. I put a small square of aluminum
flashing material between the bulb and the white plastic
but only ove the filaments. That solved that problem. I 
covered the white platic with "silvered" mylar film. This
brought a slight increase in refelcted light reaching the
water. I had some 3M spray adhesive on hand so that's what
I used to adhere the mylar to the reflector plate. It's
held up very nicely -- no peeling, flaking, burning,
warping, or bubbling. 

Higher wattage, such as a 36 watt bulb on a Workhorse 3 or
5 ballast would require a bit more imagination to deal with
the heat, but it probably could be done. Perhaps mounting
one or two 2" tubeaxial fans, the kind made for personal
computer CPUs would do the trick. You'd need a a wallwart
that puts out 12V DC (which probably means one rated for
about 9VDC) to run the fan(s).

But I doubt that there's any plant that I could grow in
this tank with the 2 13 watt bulbs for want of light
--other limitations might hold me back, but not the amount
of light. I prefer the remote ballasts -- all of the top of
the 12 hood lifts and I wouldn't want any ballast weight

If you're listening, Jay, this tank turned out to be worth
every penny I over bid on it ;-),including the cost and the
fun of the light conversion.

Scott H.
--- Brian Wagener <brian at shoptalkforums_com> wrote:
> I have a freshwater planted Eclipse 12 that I want to
> upgrade the lighting
> for.  I have been looking around, and can't find exactly
> what I want. 
> Custom Sealife has a retrofit but it only comes with a
> marine bulb, and AH
> supply's kit doesn't work for me either because I would
> rather have a
> single remote ballast that I can hide, instead of 2 big
> white
> transformers.
> I found the ballast I want to use, the fulham Longhorse 3
> which is good
> for 64w.  The problem I am having is what bulbs to use. 
> I would like to
> have at least 30w.  And with only 17"x3"x3" there isn't
> much room.  I went
> looking on the GE, and Osram websites, and couldn't find
> anything I could
> use with a high enough temperature.  Does anyone have any
> recommendations
> for either a 14" 32W, or a 2x18W 6" bulb?
> Also I see listed a 28/32W bulb.  If the ballast like the
> longhorse
> detects the bulb wattage, would this bulb run at 28 or
> 32W?
> Thanks,
> Brian
> _______________________________________________
> Aquatic-Plants mailing list
> Aquatic-Plants at actwin_com
> http://www.actwin.com/mailman/listinfo.cgi/aquatic-plants

S. Hieber

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