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Fluorescent Lamp/Ballast/Starter Help

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by sullivnc510, Feb 14, 2017.

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  1. sullivnc510

    sullivnc510

    6
    0
    Jan 17, 2017
    Hi All,

    I have a 2-pin, 9 Watt fluorescent bulb hooked up to a 7-9 Watt magnetic ballast and a 4-30 Watt starter. All I can get it to do is flicker, not fully light. See attached picture for wiring. Can anyone help?
     

    Attached Files:

  2. duke37

    duke37

    5,273
    733
    Jan 9, 2011
    I have never played with one of these. You could try unplugging the starter and see if the light stays on. I do this with a flckering normal fluorescent light but we have 230V to drive it.

    It would be better to run it through an isolating transformer. Do not want to lose you.
     
    TCSC47 likes this.
  3. sullivnc510

    sullivnc510

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    0
    Jan 17, 2017
    Without the starter the light doesn't even flicker. When all I had was the ballast, I got no signs of the bulb lighting at all.
     
  4. duke37

    duke37

    5,273
    733
    Jan 9, 2011
    That is to be expected. The starter has to open to get a high voltage pulse to ignite the tube.
    I suggested unplugging the starter to see if the light stays on. Be very careful.
     
  5. sullivnc510

    sullivnc510

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    Jan 17, 2017
    I'm sorry, I guess I'm a little confused by what you mean. Remove the starter after the lamp starts flickering?
     
  6. Bluejets

    Bluejets

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    751
    Oct 5, 2014
    PL lamps such as this have an internal starter, no need for any external starter.
    I'd suggest you have the wrong balast type. They are particular.
     
    TCSC47 likes this.
  7. TCSC47

    TCSC47

    34
    10
    Mar 7, 2016
    The tube shown in the picture of your set up is a CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) and may already have a starter and ballast inductor of some sort incorporated into it. If so, your circuit is not going to work. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compact_fluorescent_lamp

    Re Duke37 comment. However, if your tube does not already have an incorporated starter, then in your set up your external starter completes the circuit to energise the heaters in the tube. But when the mercury vapour in the tube ionises, producing light, the heating elements now need to be disconnected. That is the 2nd job of the starter. So if the starter does not disconnect the heaters, the lamp will flicker out. You can overcome this by physically puling the starter out after it has tried to start. If the fault is the starter then the lamp will continue to produce light without the starter.

    But of course as Duke points out you are fiddling around with lethal voltages and currents so you have to be careful. And looking at your set up, you are going to have your fingers almost touching the heater terminals and which will be at mains potential. It makes more sense to replace the starter with a new one when the setup is disconnected from the mains.
     
  8. sullivnc510

    sullivnc510

    6
    0
    Jan 17, 2017
    UPDATE:

    Accidentally broke a bulb this morning, so I decided to pull apart the base and see exactly what was inside. There's just a 3.3 nF capacitor across the 2 leads, rated for up to 630 V.

    Here's a link to the data sheet for the ballast I am using. As far as I can tell, it should be perfectly suited for this type of lamp. But if anyone sees anything wrong with it, please let me know.

    http://www.keystonedepot.com/media/pdf/keystone/CC579TP-v1.pdf

    I'm going to try putting an inline switch on the starter so that I can cut it out once I see it start to light.
     
  9. sullivnc510

    sullivnc510

    6
    0
    Jan 17, 2017
    UPDATE #2:

    Cutting out the starter once the flickering started did not work. Tried timing it in the middle of a particularly long flicker, still didn't work.

    Any other ideas?
     
  10. TCSC47

    TCSC47

    34
    10
    Mar 7, 2016
    I'm afraid I've run out of thoughts. Maybe faulty tube or ballast?
     
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