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Re: power compacts DIY


I've been looking at DIY power compact lighting systems for the past year
and it is very hard to find affordable equipment (ballasts and endcaps).
Here is a list of equipment that I've found for doing DIY PC lighting systems;

IceCap 660 Electronic Ballast ($170 +/- US) will drive 1-4 55 watt PC's or
1-4 96 watt PC's (can also drive VHO lights).

IceCap 440 Electronic Ballast ($150 +/- US) will drive 1-4 55 watt PC's or
1-2 96 watt PC's (can also drive VHO lights).

IceCap Silver Series 3000 Electronic Ballast ($70 +/- US) will drive any
combination of Normal Fl up to 110 watts or 1-2 28 or 55 watt PC's.

Osram/Sylvania Quicktronic QT2X55/DL2 Ballast.  This ballast is what is
used by Hamilton to drive 2 55 watt PC's (sorry no price).

Custom Sealife Waterproof Endcaps $24 US (Yikes, I've found other endcaps
but just when I was about to order some the MO place that had them suddenly
started getting bad service reviews in the newsgroup and reefkeeping lists.).

Also when choosing endcaps, one must decide weither to go with Custom
Sealife or Hamilton bulbs.  The CSL bulbs have a 4 pin 'dice' configuration
(like the number 4 on a dice ::) while the Hamilton bulbs have an inline 4
configuration (....).  If anyone knows the names or parts number of these
endcap types please e-mail me.

The reason people find the bulbs expensive is because they are made to
order for the company.  CSL bulbs are made by Panasonic in 5000/6700/7100 K
colours and I've been told that they order them in lot of 10000 minimum.
I've tried to get a friend who owns a lighting shop to order them but I
think that CSL has an exclusive contract.  Another Reef MO place also tried
to order the minimum but was refused.  Hamilton lights come in
5000/6700/7200 K colours and are made by Osram/Sylvania and can not be
found on thier website (the last time I tried was about 3 months ago).

Another way to go is the new Perfecto SHO lights.  They are like the
Hamiltons with an inline 4 configuration but come in 5000/6500/10000 K
colours.  The only problem is the price (I've forgotten but they are in the
That Fish Place & Pet Warehouse catalouge).  For just a bit more money you
can get the IceCap systems.

For smaller system PC system try the DIY project at www.reefs.org.  Go to
the personal pages & find Troy B's website.  He has a DIY 28 watt project
that is fairly reasonable.

Until the price's for DIY PC componets comes down to a more reasonable
price, I may go with Metal Halides at www.aone.com/~pfolight/aquarium.htm
the cheapest place on the net that I know (they are based in Seattle).

I hope this helps anyone that is considering DIY PC lighting.

Victor Eng				Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
engfam at axionet_com