IceCap wiring info...

> From: Earle Hamilton <ehami at sunny_ncmc.cc.mi.us>
> Regarding unsightly wires with the Ice Cap ballasts - - I would
> caution against braiding the lines together.  If I understand
> correctly the solid state ballast first converts 60 cycle to 30,000
> cycles per second.  This gives a very steady light that is with no
> flicker.  At any rate, perhaps a more recent engineering grad out
> there can comment on the effect of high frequency current on impedence
> (resistance). Since impedence acts like resistance and is a function
> of frequency - you may be asking for trouble by braiding the wires
> together.  This is my semi-educated guess and I will yield to somebody
> with better credentials.  BTW, you could call customer service at ICe
> Cap and ask them.  If there is a problem with braiding the wires then
> they should caution folks about the problem.
> Any takers out there who would like to follow up on this and give us
> an informed answer instead of an opionion?
I spoke to Chris at IceCap Industries and he said there is no problem
with braiding of the wires.  In fact he said it could reduce reduse any
noise that might be coming from the cables themselves.  Chris also noted
that they had tried this with a 150ft harness with no side effects.
I'm in the process of installing one of these myself and I'm very
interested in doing a tidy wiring job.
Of possible interest to others working with the IceCap...
After getting my system all wired for testing I powered the system up
and was standing in awe over the pretty bright lights when my dearest
sweetheart hollared across the room "What the -bleep- are you doing over
there?! You've killed the TV picture!?!"  Sure enough, it was a winter
wonderland on the TV.  Snow blizzard on CBS.
I was bummed.  I called IceCap and they informed me that this can occur
with TV antenna reception.  Cable is apparently immune to the effects of
the IceCap.  However, there is a fix.
Chris told me to ground my reflector.  I'm not sure how it works but
this is the fix.  Any kind of sheetmetal or even wire mesh like they use
on screen doors will be enough to drain off the interference.  It only
has to cover the entire length and width of the bulbs.
So far I am quite happy with the IceCap/VHO system.  I'm watching
closely to see if the system lives up to its claims.  So far the whole
system runs VERY cool.  The bulbs (4 36" 95W AquaSuns) get no warmer
than standard flourescent tubes and the ballast remains cool to the
The claim of 2.5x brighter than standard flourescents remains to be
seen.  Maybe 2.5 brighter than a Sears shoplight.  Ultra TriLux bulbs
are damn bright and although these bulbs appear brighter, a meter would
be required to determine how much.
// Michael A. Bateman                                      vandi at well_com
// Independent Networking Specialist             smbatem at umslvma_umsl.edu
// St. Louis, MO
// 314.282.3883