The damage done by glow starters!

Topics relating to lighting control gear, including magnetic & high frequency ballast and ancilliary devices such as starters, ignitors and switchgear.
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SuperSix
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The damage done by glow starters!

Postby SuperSix » Thu Apr 21, 2011 3:53 pm

I never knew glow starters were this bad until today! I've just acquired a GE F18/35 which is completely mercury starved, it's turned out to be more useful than I first thought. Because so little light is produced from the discharge you can see the damage done when the cathodes aren't sufficiently preheated! Almost every time on a standard ballast and starter switch. Upon switch-on, the starter closes and preheats the tube's cathode filaments. Upon opening, the magnetic field within the ballast collapses, causing a voltage pulse which strikes the tube. This is often repeated twice or more, causing the distinctive blinking at startup.">switchstart circuit with a 115/500 starter the cathodes flash bright blue when the starter opens, even on a successful start! :o This is good clear evidence of the emitter being sputtered off the cathodes much like you see after the ignition of a brand new SOX lamp.

I've found that by using 115/200 starters the damage is significantly reduced, probably only about a third of time the arc strikes with cold cathodes. Next thing to try was a Pulsestarter, as I suspected the arc struck without appearing to do any damage to cathodes, not the slightest evidence of sputtering at all!

Ideally I need a clear tube to get a proper look at what's going on and I need to test it on the 3 common types of gear (SS, SRS and QS). This has put me right off glow starters now though! :(

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Dez
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Re: The damage done by glow starters!

Postby Dez » Thu Apr 21, 2011 4:27 pm

ask James Hooker he mite make you a harf coeted fluorescent tube he is made me a harf coeted F40T12 and a harf coeted F36T8 tube :D BTW i'm geting a 5ft 80W BC tube :D and oll the electric startes I have and bort have done mor damich than good so I don't know haw to test the tube with out damiching it :?: :?

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Tom
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Re: The damage done by glow starters!

Postby Tom » Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:32 pm

Well this is quite a revealation! I have a couple of recent Philips S10s (same style as those clear ones) which have the message 'For single 18w 220-240v Philips reccomend S2 for optimal operation' the reason for which has been explained above with the 155/200 being kinder to the tube's cathodes than the 155/500! Yet series rated starters such as S2 and 155/200 are always being promoted just for twin circuits on 240v or singles on 110/120v!

Really though, it has to PulseStarters all the way! :D
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SuperSix
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Re: The damage done by glow starters!

Postby SuperSix » Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:46 pm

I'm being a slight hypocrite here now! :P I've just had a move round of some furniture in my room. I've ditched the awful wooden frame screwed to my desk with a noisy 3' Arrowsim on it and I now have a shelf above my desk with a new Fitzgerald LP18 under it on a pull switch, got a Crompton 840 in there and I thought as it's Crompton I might as well stick a glow starter in. It's a particularly bright and flashy S2 that makes plenty of 'ping' and 'bong' noises though ;)

It's Pulsestarters all the way elsewhere though as you've just said Tom :D

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Tom
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Re: The damage done by glow starters!

Postby Tom » Thu Apr 21, 2011 7:06 pm

Well bright flashy starters are more fun with those nice plinkity plink noises! :D And its an S2 which will be kinder to the tube! I'm sure those Crompton 840s are rebranded Sylvanias! One thing I've always liked about S2s, 155/200s etc is that they will always give a 20w T12 a proper start-up whereas on FSUs the tube will often strike instantly without any intervention from the starter when new!
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SuperSix
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Re: The damage done by glow starters!

Postby SuperSix » Thu Apr 21, 2011 7:34 pm

Well these are the older Cromptons, no country of origin on the tube so I'm assuming China! I've left the sleeve in the shed and can't be bothered to go out and look at it now though. Got it today from Kev along with a few other 2 footers! :D

I've had quite a bit of trouble with 20W tubes instant starting, even well used ones! Some of mine even do it with normal Pulsestarters, had to use EFS200 or 300 and even then with the 200s they still give a quick flash at first.

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Re: The damage done by glow starters!

Postby Kev » Sat Apr 23, 2011 9:00 pm

See i don't find glow starters a problem at all! For the 2' 18W i always use the S2 starters. It is RARE i use pulse starters. When doing mass re-lamps like i do sometimes at about £3 each they are almost x20 more expensive than a regular S10, Most commercial places once the tube is lit its lit for the day!
@Tom remember that SLI/840 tube we were looking at in the garage with the bad ware marks on the end above the stair case, Well that SOB went this week i had to get my massive ladders in to change it and then i only just reached it! Nightmare


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