2012-04-29

Upgrade old fluorescent lamp

I have an old circle fluorescent lamp - 36W. I buy a new bulb once in a few years, and it is not expensive. I decided to do an upgrade, because:
- the lamp won't blink (even if out of order)
- instant on - don't have to wait a few blinks before power up
- the electrical parameters supplied by the new ballast are better, thus the
bulb will last longer, and give better stable light
- It costed only 3€ (for the new ballast)

The only difference are the cable connections, because of the different ways
the old and the new ballast work. Here is the old way:

As you can see, the old way includes a starter (S) which heathens the tube's electrodes. When I removed it I discovered that there were no soldering on the back side of the starter socket. You can't expect this to work good! Some info how fluorescent bulbs work can be found here:
http://www.rohrlux.com/Html/gb_lampen.html
and here:
http://home.howstuffworks.com/fluorescent-lamp.htm


I started searching for a new ballast. You can't use any, and they don't come cheap. I needed a 36W ballast for 1 bulb. I couldn't find the exact one (but you surely will). I found a universal ballast made in Greece !? It stated 20W-40W on it so I decided to give it a try. Notice that some ballasts are designed for circle bulbs like mine. This wasn't - but worked. And it costed only 3 Euro.
Here you can see how it looks like now:
The grey thing you see is the new ballast. I could not remove the old one because it was sealed down to the frame, and I had to remove the whole body. I used up some montage glue and black tape, to fix it for a while , while the glue dries. Now it works perfect and lights up instantly.


Further notices: When you connect the four cables to the lamp (I used the same jack), sometimes it does not work if you change the places of the + and - of the pair. It does not matter which pair goes in which socket. Because it was a cheap ballast it does not have any documentation and schema.


Have fun &  Good luck!

2012-04-27

Changing Plans ....

From now on all my SAP related topics will be posted also in my SAP SCN Blog here:
http://scn.sap.com/blogs/firesword
It can be viewed without registration.