Introduction of electronic 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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Tom
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Introduction of electronic starters?

Post by Tom » Sun Feb 06, 2011 9:40 pm

Over the years, electronic starters have been popular both as retrofit glow starter replacements such as Arlen's PulseStarter and the hard wired variants such as the types found in the older Fitzgerald slimline Lightpacks and Thorn's 'Vivatronic' starters that were an option across most of their range during the 80s and 90s. We all know the main benefits are longer tube life, faster start-up and automatic shut down when the tube fails but when were these marvels first introduced? I know the PulseStarter has been around since the late 80s and was also supplied with some Fitzgerald models as well many 8' 125w battens (they are incompatible with 8'100w!)
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Re: Introduction of electronic starters?

Post by SuperSix » Mon Feb 07, 2011 8:40 am

I've often wondered the same thing. I'm thinking the Thorn Vivatronics were some of the first that were hard wired into fittings, they certainly seem to have been arround the longest. I have no idea about retrofits though, the Arlen Pulsestarter and the Thorn Vivatron 5 seem to be the oldest. I've replaced all the starters in my 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 fittings with Pulsestarters now, the glow starters do too much damage :D.

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Re: Introduction of electronic starters?

Post by Bluto » Mon May 21, 2012 2:07 am

Tom , if anybody has any Thorn Lighting journals , I remember , as a kid , there was a big article in one of them all about the Vivatron 5 when it was first introduced. I cant recall exactly , but I reckon it was around 1977 ? Please feel free to correct me if Ive got that date wrong , I am not certain and it could have been later?.

Also I still have several boxes of Arlen Pulsestarters from 1985. It is interesting , because back then there was no EFS600. The first ones I saw were EFS500 s They were intended for 5 ft tubes (but I think also did 3ft and 4ft too). It wasnt until a bit later they introduced the EFS800 , which did 6 and 8 ft tubes. Much later the FS600 came along which took over from all of the previous models and (I assume??) the EFS500 and EFS800 were discontinued.

One other thing I do recall is early 8FT Crompton fluorescent fittings with a built in electronic starter that gave a loud high pitched "squeak" on start up . They would be around 1978 ish too.

Jeremy

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Tom
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Re: Introduction of electronic starters?

Post by Tom » Mon May 21, 2012 5:36 pm

Those electronic start 8' Crompacks sound interesting Jeremy! Not heard of one making a high pitched squeak before LOL! I guess this was similar to the high pitched whistle from CRTs etc?
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