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Re: PC Lighting / Endcap / DIY Hood Question

Baker, Anthony wrote:
> 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.

Just a couple of thoughts:
I would expect the plastidip material to harden and "dry" out rather
quickly when exposed to the many hours of heat at the socket end of a
PC.  I don't think any end cap is actually waterproof--just water
resistant.  So be sure to have a good quality GFCI on the lights if
you're not going to use a glass cover -- just good safety practice 

Also, expect more of the lamp's heat to reach the water than would be
the case with glass insulation between the lamp and water.

Scott H.

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