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Re: ballasts

> Date: Wed, 7 Oct 1998 19:52:07 EDT
> From: Zxcvbob at aol_com
> In a message dated 98-10-07 15:54:06 EDT, Beverly Erlebacher sez:
> > Sounds like they just aren't making them there tar ballasts the way 
> >  they used to in the good old days.... :-)
> They ain't makin' them F40CW lamps like they used to in the good old days.  

Up here in Canada, we still have cool-white freedom, and probably will
continue to do so until all the US tube manufacturers have completely
depleted their stocks of F40CW.  Meanwhile, we can buy these tubes really
cheap.  No, I'm not planning to start smuggling them across Lake Ontario
in small open boats...

> It sounds like your ballasts died a premature death a few years ago cuz you
> got ahold of some "watt miser" or "ES" (energy saver) lamps.  They say F40,
> but they are really 34W, and they have a different arc voltage, and they don't
> start well in cold weather, and they eat tar ballasts for lunch.  

I'll watch out for that.  I always get full 40 watters because I want all
the photons I can get for my tomato plants as well as my aquatic plants.
I didn't know that the energy saver tubes could actually damage the ballasts.
Thanks for the warning.

The fixtures that failed did so by leaking toxic tar.  I wouldn't call it
premature death after all their years' service in the factory plus 20 years
for me.  Really, these things had cloth-insulated wires, real vintage items.

> I converted
> most of my F40 fixtures to F32T8's.  One of these days I'm gonna see if the
> leftover 40W tar ballasts will work with 39W and 50W long T5 compact
> fluorescents.  I know they won't work with 40W CFL's, those behave more like
> T8's.

Let us know what happens.  I've found that 40W tar ballasts may be cheap 
and plentiful, if you buy them (or find them) used.