2ft 40 watt experience / advice please?

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Bluto
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2ft 40 watt experience / advice please?

Post by Bluto » Tue Jul 30, 2013 8:48 pm

As most of You know , I work from home mainly making neon and cold cathode tubes . A good deal of the work is cold cathode tubes for bus shelters for two large bus shelter maintenance companies. Part of the work also involves looking after the lights in bus shelters in and around this area. These use various lamps not just cold cathodes ,There are 2Ds , PL s ,etc.
Some of the older shelters here still use 2 ft 40 watt tubes (singles).

I like to keep these going and to continue using 2 ft 40 watters . There arent a lot of these left now and its nice to keep them going, I have a good stock (nearly 200) , Crompton 2ft 40 watt tubes which I use for these, so Im ok for tubes.
The installations use a single batten inside a vandal- resistant light "box". They are controlled by a 2-part ,part-night photocell (an SS59) usually.
The problem Ive got now (unsurprisingly) is getting spare / replacement ballasts. I used to have a few Tridonic 2ft 40 watt ballasts and some Parmars , but in the last 10 years or so it has become almost impossible to get a single 2ft 40 watt ballast.

I understand that 2 x 2ft 20 watt chokes in parallel are suitable for running the 40 watt 2ft tube?.

I know some of You guys on here have used and recommended this , and Id like a bit of advice and to hear from any of You who have done this how successful it is , etc ?
I assume the 2 x parallel 2ft 20 watt chokes DO deliver the correct lamp current and voltage?? Also what electronic starter would You guys recommend for this . Im assuming something like an EFS120 ? , But Id like to hear from any of You who actually have a setup like this running and in use and know that it is correct and reliable, etc .

Thanks , Jeremy

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Kev
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Re: 2ft 40 watt experience / advice please?

Post by Kev » Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:53 pm

Hi Jeremy, yes 2x2' 20W ballasts is the correct way to run one 2' 40W I believe osram even recomended it on one of their websites! Therefor I see that as being a suitable / correct way of doing it. May I ask what ballasts are packing up and how? Generally I have found that the 2' 40W chokes are extremely reliable in Switch start? Those Tridonic EC40-59 ballasts are about the size of an 8' and run very cool!

All the best

Bluto
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Re: 2ft 40 watt experience / advice please?

Post by Bluto » Wed Jul 31, 2013 3:42 pm

Thanks Kev. Yes those EC40/59 ballasts have never been any trouble . I used to be able to get these without too much bother from The Lampshed in Derby, but the last ones we had were a long while ago (Im guessing around 2002 ish) and I certainly cant get them now.
The old ballasts that have failed (there havent been that many) are Optima ones . They just go dead (open circuit) , they dont tend to blow fuses like some ballasts do although Ive had failed ones trip the RCD in bus shelters. The main failures have been the much older "original " ballasts . (I assume they are the originals) They are black "rounded corners" type , I assume they are Thorn / BLI - they have a little paper label but these are unreadable now and shrivelled up. They have pin connections with push-on connectors . It is the pins themselves which fail , they corrode through and break off . I suspect the actual ballast windings are still ok if only you could connect to them somehow.

I will try the 2x 20 watt choke solution , it sounds like its the way to go unless I can get a good supply of the EC40/59s. Id be looking for a decent quantity , as I wouldnt want to use them now they have become so rare if I only had a few.

I was hoping somebody on here actually had a working set up , preferably one that gets a good deal of use , just so I know the reliabilty is well proven etc. Guess Ill have to do one myself and put it into service and treat it as a test job . I currently have one of these lights out and needing a ballast !

What electronic starter would You recommend? At one time we had some clear green Deta ones . I tried these on a few of these installations but they proved unreliable , sometimes they worked sometimes they didnt! We went back to traditional starters which were never any trouble. I just though electronic ones would give better tube-life , the problem is finding the right electronic starter for a 2ft 40 watt!!.

Thanks , Jeremy

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SuperSix
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Re: 2ft 40 watt experience / advice please?

Post by SuperSix » Wed Jul 31, 2013 3:58 pm

A pair of 20W chokes in parallel certainly seems the way to go, I've tried it, and they do run cool so I should think it'd be a reliable setup!

A standard EFS600 Pulsestarter does the trick. Usually you'd use 155/200 starers for 2' 40Ws, although for many years they haven't carried the 2' 40W rating on the can, they're perfectly suitable and provide a much better preheating than the 155/500s. Bit more tricky with the electronic ones as the 4-22W rated ones like the EFS120 match the lamp voltage fine, but can't handle the high preheating current of a 2' 40W, the best option would be an EFS600!
Last edited by SuperSix on Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Kev
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Re: 2ft 40 watt experience / advice please?

Post by Kev » Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:02 pm

Hi Jeremy I'd just use normal Philips S2 starters myself! There are rumours that Philips are going to move their starter production to china so if you want to go for the Philips option I'd try and order a good quantity! I normally get my starters from SLD "specialist lamp distributors"
I have not seen the 2x20W set up in long term use although I am keen to try this! I know a 80W merc ballast is also correct to run 2x2' 40W in a series set up! That would be awsome with one of the resin industrial Philips 80W merc ballasts I have! Out of interest what kind of life do you get out of the 2' 40W tubes in long term service? I can see those crompton ones doing very high hours!

Kev

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Tom
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Re: 2ft 40 watt experience / advice please?

Post by Tom » Wed Jul 31, 2013 5:47 pm

I'm loving the fact that you're keeping the old 2' 40w setups going Jeremy! I know I've mentioned it before but wouldn't it be awesome if someone offered a 2' 40w in 840 or Philips offered a T8 TLDK 36W/840?
I LOVE LAMP!

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Zelandeth
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Re: 2ft 40 watt experience / advice please?

Post by Zelandeth » Sat Aug 03, 2013 12:09 am

If you do go down the electronic starter route probably one of the best things you could do would be to get the leaded and potted versions. Imagine a lot of what's killing them in the testing will be water ingress.

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