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Re: ballasts

> Date: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 18:14:27 EDT
> From: H2know at aol_com
> You hit it right on Anthony. I also use shop lights with great success. My
> tank has been up for 1 and a half years and Ive just had to replace one of the
> shoplights. Not bad for  9.99

Sounds like they just aren't making them there tar ballasts the way 
they used to in the good old days.... :-)

In 1977 some friends got a summer job wrecking a factory and they gave
me some ceiling fixtures that were headed for the dumpster.  I used them
for some home built racks I used to raise garden transplants for over
*20 years*, running 3-4 months per year.  Some of them failed a couple
of years ago, but the rest are still going.  This is in addition to
however long they were in the factory ceiling, which may have been
quite a while.  The ones that failed after serving me for 17-18 years
had the woven looking coating on the wires, rather than plastic, so
these babies were *old*.  The rest are still in service.

At any rate, if any of you are as cheap as I am, you may also find 
perfectly good fluorescent fixtures being thrown out when a building
is renovated, if you aren't ashamed to pick them up and reuse them.
I've also seen ads in the local 'Buy and Sell' paper from wrecking
companies selling these fixtures for $1-$2 each.  You can use them 
more or less as is, or take them apart and use the ballast, end caps
and some of the metal to build them into a nicely finished wooden hood.