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  #16  
Old 10-11-2017, 11:14 PM
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MIPS MIPS is offline
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But that was the initial question: What kind of a ballast should I be looking for? From what I'm getting, I need a "preheat ballast".
If I'm buying online, I'd rather not buy old/used/untested ballasts as most people want money, plus you're shipping a lump of iron. (EG: this, which would work to about $40 each after shipping and conversion)

Last edited by MIPS; 10-11-2017 at 11:22 PM.
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  #17  
Old 10-11-2017, 11:51 PM
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Lots of old fixtures use starters, but they have a mag ballast too. T12 magnetic ballasts are on the government's hit list of non environmentally friendly products, and I believe there's even timelines for when the lamps will no longer be sold.

I'm actually typing this under the light of such a fixture, I wouldn't go out of my way to install one, the time delay when you turn it on is a little annoying, but it came with the house and still works, so why not keep it.
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  #18  
Old 10-12-2017, 01:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxhifi View Post
T12 magnetic ballasts are on the government's hit list of non environmentally friendly products.
The government ruins all the fun.

Anyway, I'm not sure exactly what you need, but shop around on ebay and look at the pictures. Because the ballasts have the schematics printed on them. Whichever ones have a starter in the schematic, and support 4 foot lights, idk which number those are.
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  #19  
Old 10-12-2017, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxhifi View Post
Lots of old fixtures use starters, but they have a mag ballast too. T12 magnetic ballasts are on the government's hit list of non environmentally friendly products, and I believe there's even timelines for when the lamps will no longer be sold.
If the government really wanted to cut down on pollution they'd have to ban just about everything from China. Consider their A/C units; I know it's illegal to deliberately vent refrigerant, but given enough time many of those will vent refrigerant all by themselves. Also, they gent all bent out of shape about the old-school mercury switches when today's failure-prone flat screens are full of the stuff... I could go on indefinitely.
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  #20  
Old 10-12-2017, 09:51 AM
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DavGoodlin DavGoodlin is offline
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I grew up around many different kinds of fluorescent lights in a machine shop built in several stages from 1946-1990. Knowing my grandfather, buying new lights was for the front of house areas, not the dark recesses of which there were many. I recall very few 4-foot fixtures that used trigger-start ballasts on 120 volts line. The ONE trigger start I do remember was in an obscure part of the basement above a 2-ton press, plugging in and using a pull-chain switch. Since the switch was simple and not the push to start type, it had the FS-30 or FS-40 glow-plug starters.

If you are going for flicker effect, find some 2-foot, 20 watt lamps and trigger-start ballasts and FS-20 starters.
These ballasts are simple coils (no capacitors, low power factor) pretty standard and look like a little transformer, potted with brown-gold varnish to eliminate mechanical buzz from the exposed, laminated core.

Most of the desk, bathroom vanity and under-cabinet 14 and 20 watt T12 lamps used a simple series inductor with momentary push-hold switch. This was cheaper than using a standard switch and starter.

Another thing to consider are T12 lamps, as many 4-foots are labeled "energy saving" and rated at 32 or 34 watts. these have a very narrow tolerance for cool temps and most rapid-start ballasts cannot light them in less-than-ideal conditions.

What I hoard if found are old 4-foot F40T12 lamps rated at 40 watts, usually "cool white" with the black end caps used by Sylvania and Westinghouse. These were phased out of production under EPACT of 1992. What I like is that these start under less than ideal temperatures. It is common to see watt-miser or similar regime-friendly "reduced wattage" lamps flickering as cold air is blown across from a ceiling AC diffuser.

Around my place, I have about half the fluorescents converted to T8 electronic instant-start ballasts. I found some early T8 ballasts for F32T8 made by Motorola that are actually rapid start, which blink a bit and make a urrnt-urnnt noise when they start.
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Last edited by DavGoodlin; 10-12-2017 at 10:03 AM.
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  #21  
Old 10-12-2017, 10:10 AM
dieseljeep dieseljeep is offline
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Originally Posted by Olorin67 View Post
I dont think ive seen a 40 watt with a starter, but plenty of smaller fixtures used them. i still use a few of the push and hold to start types. A desk lamp, undercabinet lights, and a circa 1940 "vertical "skyscraper" lamp that still has its original beryllium phosphor tube in it.
The place I worked at for 33years, 20 as an electrician had a lot of preheat 40 watt fixtures. I worked 2nd shift, so I did a lot lighting maintenance, especially in the office. One part of the office was built in 1957 and the fixtures were all originally rapid start. Those ballasts lasted an easy 30/40 years, Sola Sequencestart. PCB's gallore.
The older section was built in 1947 and had some really old-fashioned looking preheat ballasts. I re-wired the fixtures for rapid state when the originals failed after only a lousy 45 years.
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  #22  
Old 10-12-2017, 11:00 AM
dieseljeep dieseljeep is offline
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Originally Posted by MIPS View Post
I'm weird. I mean, I'm sure in the future I'm going to get fed up with it and switch to LED T12 tubes...but for now why not go with something interesting?



My bedroom is a bit of a weird place.
The whole ceiling is covered in egg carton foam. Currently there is one bare bulb hanging from the ceiling and that's all I get from the lightswitch.


http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a1...m/CGS_7721.jpg

Running across the room is two recessed fluorescent tubes that were never wired in. The idea is that why not replace one dim bulb with two fluorescent tubes that flicker like mad every time I turn the light on?

The other thing is there's two old Powerlite utility pole fluorescent lamps I was thinking of getting roughed in up where I park my car in the winter so when I leave and get home at night I'm not fumbling through the snow and when they turned on at dusk the gave off a little show as they turned on. Folks from the Greater Toronto Area might remember these lights if you got some grey hair on your head.
I'm willing to bet that the black foam crumbles when it's bumped.
Are those fluorescent strip lites complete fixtures? Did you look at them?
They might be preheat type. Back then, the single tube striplites were generally preheat type.
Those early Canadian wiring fittings look strange! The elbow looks like a plumbing fitting and the box and rosette look really old.
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  #23  
Old 10-12-2017, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dieseljeep View Post
Those early Canadian wiring fittings look strange! The elbow looks like a plumbing fitting and the box and rosette look really old.
Yeah, they look like electrical fittings salvaged from an old battle ship.
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  #24  
Old 10-12-2017, 07:46 PM
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I was too lazy to drill holes to convert the old 2" base to mount on a modern junction box.


http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a1...y/DPP_0038.jpg

Quote:
Are those fluorescent strip lites complete fixtures? Did you look at them?
It's literally four sockets (two per bulb) anchored to the ceiling. No sign of any existing wiring or ballast.
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  #25  
Old 10-12-2017, 09:15 PM
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Cool base for the switch base! - I have a cast fitting like that one from a barn, in my brick wash house. It has a surface-mount small toggle light switch (round like turn switches with knob and tube wiring). I cut a hole in the ceiling and ran a 1/2 inch rigid conduit stub from it. Not like the standard surface-mounted options at all, but authentic for a pre-war installation

When we moved here, there was no switch in the wash house / summer kitchen but there was a fluorescent fixture with 2x 20 watt T12 lamps and a pull chain. They still blink blink on too!

I had to add that switch, you would always trip over something before you even got to the light if you had to go in there after dark, like the whole next season we get here.
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Last edited by DavGoodlin; 10-12-2017 at 09:18 PM.
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  #26  
Old 10-12-2017, 09:47 PM
dieseljeep dieseljeep is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MIPS View Post
I was too lazy to drill holes to convert the old 2" base to mount on a modern junction box.


http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a1...y/DPP_0038.jpg


It's literally four sockets (two per bulb) anchored to the ceiling. No sign of any existing wiring or ballast.
You'd have to wonder what the person was thinking about when the ceiling and the fluorescent lamps were first installed.
Before you go any further, you should try to find a couple used single tube striplites, instead of trying to do something with this setup.
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  #27  
Old 10-13-2017, 12:00 PM
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maxhifi maxhifi is offline
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http://www.ebay.com/itm/GE-8G3706-14...YAAOSwSzRZSwh6

http://www.ebay.com/itm/GE-8G3706-14...MAAOSwYIxYAP1F

You will need to add a starter and starter socket. Make sure the starter is rated for 40W lamps.

Agree with dieseljeep above, maybe you want to get some strip lights to contain the ballast and wiring, and elevate the lamps away from the foam a bit.. and then put these old fashioned ballasts into the new fixtures. Wire according to the diagram on the ballast. Modern T8 lamps use the same sockets as the old school T12 fixtures, should be no trouble to find some new fixtures to modify.

Have fun!!

P.S. if I were you, I'd seek out one of these for that room https://i.pinimg.com/736x/c0/ce/61/c...3114785dd0.jpg

I think it would look fantastic with that old fitting, and maybe a brighter light bulb, say a 200W clear incandescent on a dimmer, so you can go from ambient lighting to "I was taking apart my watch and lost a screw" kind of lighting with the turn of a knob.

Last edited by maxhifi; 10-13-2017 at 12:08 PM.
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