Fluorescent Lamp/Ballast/Starter Help

Discussion in 'Electronic Projects' started by sullivnc510, Feb 14, 2017.

  1. sullivnc510

    sullivnc510

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2017
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    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:

    sullivnc510, Feb 14, 2017
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. sullivnc510

    duke37

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    Messages:
    4,165
    Likes Received:
    454
    Location:
    Derbyshire. UK
    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.
     
    duke37, Feb 14, 2017
    #2
    TCSC47 likes this.
    1. Advertisements

  3. sullivnc510

    sullivnc510

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2017
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    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.
     
    sullivnc510, Feb 14, 2017
    #3
  4. sullivnc510

    duke37

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    Messages:
    4,165
    Likes Received:
    454
    Location:
    Derbyshire. UK
    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.
     
    duke37, Feb 14, 2017
    #4
  5. sullivnc510

    sullivnc510

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2017
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm sorry, I guess I'm a little confused by what you mean. Remove the starter after the lamp starts flickering?
     
    sullivnc510, Feb 14, 2017
    #5
  6. sullivnc510

    Bluejets

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2014
    Messages:
    1,535
    Likes Received:
    298
    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.
     
    Bluejets, Feb 14, 2017
    #6
    TCSC47 likes this.
  7. sullivnc510

    TCSC47

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2016
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    7
    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.
     
    TCSC47, Feb 14, 2017
    #7
  8. sullivnc510

    sullivnc510

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2017
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    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.
     
    sullivnc510, Feb 15, 2017
    #8
  9. sullivnc510

    sullivnc510

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2017
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    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?
     
    sullivnc510, Feb 15, 2017
    #9
  10. sullivnc510

    TCSC47

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2016
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    7
    I'm afraid I've run out of thoughts. Maybe faulty tube or ballast?
     
    TCSC47, Feb 16, 2017
    #10
    1. Advertisements

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

It takes just 2 minutes to sign up (and it's free!). Just click the sign up button to choose a username and then you can ask your own questions on the forum.
Similar Threads
  1. mowhoong

    FLUORESCENT LIGHT WITHOUT TRANFORMER AND STARTER ?

    mowhoong, May 6, 2004, in forum: Electronic Repair
    Replies:
    2
    Views:
    808
    Andrew Rossmann
    May 7, 2004
  2. Ejohnson1486@yahoo.com

    Homebrew Electronic Fluorescent Starter

    Ejohnson1486@yahoo.com, Apr 15, 2007, in forum: Electronic Basics
    Replies:
    3
    Views:
    1,087
    default
    Apr 15, 2007
  3. Chris
    Replies:
    2
    Views:
    7,429
    Chris
    Jan 8, 2004
  4. Chuck
    Replies:
    5
    Views:
    2,220
    Chuck
    Nov 23, 2008
  5. Sylvia Else

    Philips eoclick fluorescent starter

    Sylvia Else, Jun 28, 2011, in forum: Hobby Electronics
    Replies:
    29
    Views:
    1,675
    josephkk
    Jul 8, 2011
  6. Sylvia Else

    Philips eoclick fluorescent starter

    Sylvia Else, Jun 28, 2011, in forum: Electronic Design
    Replies:
    29
    Views:
    1,000
    josephkk
    Jul 8, 2011
  7. Tegger

    Fluorescent starter-switch question

    Tegger, Jan 7, 2012, in forum: Electronic Repair
    Replies:
    7
    Views:
    884
    Tegger
    Jan 7, 2012
  8. PowerSet

    Fluorescent ballast wiring help

    PowerSet, Jun 13, 2015, in forum: General Electronics Chat
    Replies:
    4
    Views:
    381
    PowerSet
    Jun 13, 2015
Loading...