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Re: [APD] Odyssea Lights: Are they a P.o.S,?

Hi Stuart,
  Thanks for all the pictures, I believe the lights are electrical starters (ballast).  No, I didn't change anything with the cord, its too short as it is so I'm not really sorry to see these lights hit the trash  :-)
  As I mentioned, 3/4 of the bulbs have failed... but the good news is the one bulb that still is working has plants pearling underneath it  :-)  My boyfriend said my lights were just simulating a perpetual solar eclipse in that 3/4 of the tank is dark and one part is bright  ;-)
  You mention that it was a pity I didn't do this research first...  the sad thing is, I DID several weeks/months of research.  When I bought these Odyssea lights, I was primarily concerned with the WPG (watts-per-gallon) rule and didn't even think about timing for a noon burst (requiring 2 separate cords), quality, or customer reviews.  So I DID do some research, just not in the topic area that addresses quality/reliability of the product, just "brightness" of the product  :-)  
  All well, live & learn, right?
  Cheers & Gig'Em,

Stuart Halliday <stuart at stuarthalliday_com> wrote:
  I believe Steve B wrote this email section below:
> Hi Stuart,


> I'm pretty sure the end of the tubes are water-tight. There is a 
> sliding plastic cover which covers the bulbs, and then there are plastic 
> pieces which snap over the end of the bulbs. How do I tell for sure if 
> there is water interfering?

Water vapour inside the ends?

> What do you mean by controller? I'm not sure how to tell if its 
> mechanical or electrical controller. What is the starter unit? 

> The 
> lights are plugged into a power strip from Coralife which is a Digital 
> timer power center.

I looked this up. It's just a fancy mains timer.
It appears that you can't plug tubes directly into it.
You plug your controller into it. :-)

A Controller is the box of tricks that powers the tubes. It's often called
the 'Ballast'.

If it's electronic then it uses up a lot less power than a mechanical one
and doesn't have a starter unit.

A mech. one typically uses the same amount of power again that your bulbs
do. So it costs more to run.

A Controller with a starter unit in it is called mechanical because the
Starter unit is 'mechanical' in nature (ie a bimetallic strip). This type of
Controller will have easy User access to the starter as it's a replaceable
part. ie it wears out pretty often.
See picture of Starter enclosed.

See picture of a typical mechanical controller. You can see the starter
sticking out. Note the large number of air vents!

See picture of a electronic controller. Note that it doesn't need lots of
air vents all over it and it has no starter unit!

Mech. controllers get very hot. So need to be kept cool.

Needless to say mech. controllers are cheaper than electronic ones!

> I found a discussion at 
> http://www.saltwaterfish.com/vb/showthread.php?t=192160 mentioning 
> "weaponspeed," which was the E-Bayer I bought the lights from. Sounds 
> like these lights are pretty inferior and the E-Bayer has ripped off 
> others by providing bad customer service, switching out bulbs with blue 
> instead of actinics, etc.

You didn't change the length of cable from the Controller to the lights?

> I've also seen mentions of fires caused by these lights. 
> I'm not an electrical engineer, so I'm sorry but most of the terms/parts 
> you mentioned I am unfamiliar with. 

Actually I used pretty standard Aquarist terms... :-)

> All I know how to do with lights is change the bulbs and plug them in :-)

I wish it was so easy these days. Just about anything with a mains plug on
the end needs a 'degree' it seems!

> I'm thinking I'm going to ditch these lights, what do you think?

Sounds like a right choice to me judging by the research you did.

I bet you're feeling it's a pity you didn't do this research before you
bought them? :-)

Stuart Halliday

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