Using SON/SOX gear to drive a fluorescent tube

Topics relating to lighting control gear, including magnetic & high frequency ballast and ancilliary devices such as starters, ignitors and switchgear.
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amtrakuk
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Using SON/SOX gear to drive a fluorescent tube

Post by amtrakuk » Sat Jul 26, 2014 6:05 pm

Totally random but can it be done?
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Re: Using SON/SOX gear to drive a fluorescent tube

Post by SuperSix » Sat Jul 26, 2014 7:13 pm

Could be! Haven't got any figures to hand but I'm sure a 36W SOX-E ballast is fairly similar to a 36W fluorescent one. A 70W SON choke would run an 8' 100W quite nicely too!

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Re: Using SON/SOX gear to drive a fluorescent tube

Post by amtrakuk » Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:40 am

How about an ignightor? Would it be a popped tube or a very slow start SRS charictoristic?
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Re: Using SON/SOX gear to drive a fluorescent tube

Post by LinearSLI-H » Sun Jul 27, 2014 10:18 am

Most SOX and fluorescent tubes are not far off,
18SOX is 52V @ 0.36A, 18tube is 59V @ 0.37A, but then it starts to drift out up the range,
35SOX is 70V @ 0.60A, 36tube is 102V @ 0.44A
55SOX is 109V @ 0.60@, 58tube is 110V @ 0.67A

As for SON gear their not a good match, a 50watt SON will run on a 58watt tube choke, but its not ideal,
50SON is 85V @ 0.74A, where as above the 58tube is 110V @ 0.67.
70SON is 90V @ 1.0A, while a 70tube is 128V @ 0.70A,
And last is the 100SON at 100V, 1.2A, with a 100watt tube at 125V @ 0.96A.

Most gear can be SS wired, and super imposed ignitor for HID use.
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Re: Using SON/SOX gear to drive a fluorescent tube

Post by amtrakuk » Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:34 am

Can the Ignition be used for fluorescent?

Was thinking of a 35 watt SOX ballast and ignitor setup driving with a 36 watt fluorescent. i'm not sure of the electronic characteristics of the two technologies. It would be great if the affect was a very slow SRS type start but I fear in reality the tube would go pop :twisted:
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Re: Using SON/SOX gear to drive a fluorescent tube

Post by LinearSLI-H » Tue Jul 29, 2014 10:06 am

A SOX ignitor will fire a tube up without problem, if you bare in mind that both discharges are low pressure, (with the SOX being more robustly built to survive shaking about on the end of a pole in all weathers and temperatures), but both lamps are similar in construction and running.
Also take into account that SS inductive collapse is between 600 and 1500 volts depending on lamp size, its just done with a starter switch rather than an ignitor, but the same is with SOX and fluorescent tubes, as in a high voltage is fired across the ends of the lamp for a millisecond.

I have been igniting an 18watt SOX with a 35/70watt superimposed halide ignitor for 7 years now, without destroying a single lamp, this is in my front light, and is still in use today.

I`m curious though, is your set up just an experiment, or have you a use for it to be on SOX gear? :)
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Re: Using SON/SOX gear to drive a fluorescent tube

Post by amtrakuk » Tue Jul 29, 2014 10:33 am

Its more curiosity. "A different way to start a flouro tube." I guess it stems from years ago I messed around with a T12 PP we had in the house and connected the power correction cap where the starter would be and got a constant buzz and a half lit shimmering tube - and a tube with a very short life.

There seems to be a close correlation between sodium and fluro and wondered if the same circuit would work. I'm curious though what is the ignitor. I know it helps start the tube but how, it looks like a capacitor but I get the impression it doesn't work in the same way.
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Re: Using SON/SOX gear to drive a fluorescent tube

Post by SuperSix » Tue Jul 29, 2014 11:23 am

I can't see why it wouldn't work either. Starting would be quite damaging to the electrodes in the tube though. It's not an issue with the SOX lamp as the number of starts compared to the hours it operates is very low.

Ignitors are electronic circuits, which do a similar job to a starter switch. They create a short across the choke, then open allowing the magnetic field in the choke to collapse, producing a a spike of around 1500V (if correctly timed). They can do so at every half cycle though, rather than randomly like a glow starter.

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Re: Using SON/SOX gear to drive a fluorescent tube

Post by amtrakuk » Tue Jul 29, 2014 12:40 pm

SuperSix wrote:I can't see why it wouldn't work either. Starting would be quite damaging to the electrodes in the tube though. It's not an issue with the SOX lamp as the number of starts compared to the hours it operates is very low.

Ignitors are electronic circuits, which do a similar job to a starter switch. They create a short across the choke, then open allowing the magnetic field in the choke to collapse, producing a a spike of around 1500V (if correctly timed). They can do so at every half cycle though, rather than randomly like a glow starter.
Their cleaver bits of kit. has anyone dissected a failed one or have any pics of inside the can?
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Re: Using SON/SOX gear to drive a fluorescent tube

Post by LinearSLI-H » Tue Jul 29, 2014 1:04 pm

Ignitors are, as Eliot says, a simple electronic circuit, most are just a thyristor that discharges the energy stored in a small capacitor to either the ballast windings, (mono pulse type), or one that takes in the feed from the ballast, and delivers it, and the high voltage pulse, direct to the electrodes of the lamp, (superimposed multi-strike).
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Re: Using SON/SOX gear to drive a fluorescent tube

Post by amtrakuk » Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:10 am

Hmm interesting, will scour ebay for a 35 watt SOX ;)
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Re: Using SON/SOX gear to drive a fluorescent tube

Post by amtrakuk » Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:42 am

I wonder if this will work with a T12 40W
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Re: Using SON/SOX gear to drive a fluorescent tube

Post by LinearSLI-H » Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:49 am

They will work with all sizes, both T8 and T12, I have even fired an 8watt T5 up on a 180watt SOX autoleak transformer in the past, and that lit without blowing up!!!!, granted it didn`t run for long :rofl , but it lit!
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Re: Using SON/SOX gear to drive a fluorescent tube

Post by amtrakuk » Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:10 pm

LinearSLI-H wrote:They will work with all sizes, both T8 and T12, I have even fired an 8watt T5 up on a 180watt SOX autoleak transformer in the past, and that lit without blowing up!!!!, granted it didn`t run for long :rofl , but it lit!


Poor little tube :rofl
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Re: Using SON/SOX gear to drive a fluorescent tube

Post by LinearSLI-H » Wed Jul 30, 2014 3:02 pm

It was Platino Chinese garbage!
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Re: Using SON/SOX gear to drive a fluorescent tube

Post by amtrakuk » Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:05 am

Hmmm I did like Chinese food until I saw what crap goes into it to make it addictive and so, well "yummy". It can't be good for you.

I guess the same can be said for their products :rofl
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Re: Using SON/SOX gear to drive a fluorescent tube

Post by Zelandeth » Sun Aug 24, 2014 10:45 pm

No reason that it wouldn't work!

I've generally found that with low pressure discharges provided that things are reasonably close to the ball park, that they will work fine. I had an 18W SOX lamp running on a ballast from a dead 23W CFL for quite a while a year or so back without any signs of distress from either the ballast or the lamp.

It's when you start dealing with HID lamps like the halides that you need to be more careful about matching things, especially the lower wattage ones where even relatively small changes to the drive current/voltage (and even the shape of the drive waveform) can have quite a dramatic effect on the light colour or lumen output. Low pressure stuff though generally doesn't seem to be all that fussy.

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