Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

A tale of 5 ballasts

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    A tale of 5 ballasts

    I run 5x600HPS. The SS1 600HPS ballasts were purchased 5-6 years ago and have been working without a hitch. Or, so I thought.

    I've been battling yield issues for the last year. Having isolated every variable and eliminated it, the lights were last in line. For whatever reason - stupidity, arrogance - I never suspected the ballasts. After switching lamps around to no avail and finally getting down to the ballasts, I discovered that 3 out of 5 SS1s were putting out significantly less light.

    My light meter measured 1 ballast at ~1/3 the (light) output, and 2 ballasts at a bit less than ~50%. The other 2 are fine. Lord knows how much this cost me in lost product, wasted electricity, strains that I wrote-off, and on and on.

    Light meters can be had for ~$50. Please note my misfortune and check your equipment.


    Capacitor Testing Procedures posted by junior_grower

    Link to inexpensive capacitors posted by junior_grower


    Here's how you'd go about installing a new cap:



    Open ballast and locate the capacitor. It's the taller, cylindrical object on the bottom. The igniter is the part on top. Loosen the strap and make the cap free to work with.








    Cut the wires leading to the wire nut attached to the capacitor and replace. Use new wire nuts once the two wires are twisted together. You may not be able to strip the high-temp insulation with traditional wire strippers. A utility knife works well.



    The old capacitor. Put everything back the way it was and you're done. You've successfully replaced the capacitor and brought your ballast back to its original spec. Get ready for higher yield!

    Simon
    A perfect cure every time
    Check your magnetic ballasts
    LST and prune for no popcorn


    The material contained in Simon's posts is driven by an overactive imagination. Any pictures that Simon may post were found on the Internet and falsely presented as his. Simon does not grow Cannabis, nor has he ever cultivated any illegal substance. Any representations leading to an opposite conclusion are based on pure fantasy.

    #2
    new toys

    Not trying to sound like a jerk but you have to keep up with technology if you want to see the same nuggggzzz you see on icmag or hightmes, yield if influenced mainly by strong sources of light and constantly among others but if light if the problem... change your bulbs maybe after a couple crops a bulb or something, 600 watts are great to work with more eevn distribution of lumens and powerwise aswell.
    BRAINWASH EDUCATION
    TO MAKE US THE FOOLS.

    Comment


      #3
      anyone wanna suggest a good light meter? i wanna test out my stuff now that you sparked my intrest
      sigpicstuff folks are saying here is just regurgitated doodoo

      Comment


        #4
        good advice, and anyone running old mag ballast should change out the capacitor every now and then.
        another successful out door year at 52*north, beat bugs, the wettest season in memory, and a early frost. Auto flowers have been a blast

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by junior_grower View Post
          good advice, and anyone running old mag ballast should change out the capacitor every now and then.
          The caps are causing this problem? I figured that it couldn't be the igniter, and the odds of the transformer going bad are pretty slim. That does only leaves the cap. I'll see if I can get one tomorrow and test this out.

          Simon
          A perfect cure every time
          Check your magnetic ballasts
          LST and prune for no popcorn


          The material contained in Simon's posts is driven by an overactive imagination. Any pictures that Simon may post were found on the Internet and falsely presented as his. Simon does not grow Cannabis, nor has he ever cultivated any illegal substance. Any representations leading to an opposite conclusion are based on pure fantasy.

          Comment


            #6
            Yup over time they go bad I have found new ones for my 1000's online for as cheap as 12 bucks shipped. ( i bought 10)
            another successful out door year at 52*north, beat bugs, the wettest season in memory, and a early frost. Auto flowers have been a blast

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by junior_grower View Post
              Yup over time they go bad...
              I got some new caps today. That did the trick. The ballasts are back to spec. Ordered some extras to have in stock, as well.

              The garden is 1-2 weeks from harvest. I keep looking at the plants and wondering how they would have done with some light intensity. I probably lost tens of thousands of dollars over the last year or so. Thank you again for posting.

              Simon
              A perfect cure every time
              Check your magnetic ballasts
              LST and prune for no popcorn


              The material contained in Simon's posts is driven by an overactive imagination. Any pictures that Simon may post were found on the Internet and falsely presented as his. Simon does not grow Cannabis, nor has he ever cultivated any illegal substance. Any representations leading to an opposite conclusion are based on pure fantasy.

              Comment


                #8
                Good post for sure! Definatley something to watch out for...

                k+
                Monkey killing monkey killing monkey.
                Over pieces of the ground.
                Silly monkeys give them thumbs.
                They make a club.
                And beat their brother down

                How they survive so misguided is a mystery.

                Repugnant is a creature who would squander
                the ability to lift an eye to heaven,
                conscious of his fleeting time here.


                OVERGROW
                lives on

                Support bacteria - it's the only culture some people have!

                Comment


                  #9
                  Wow, some great info here on a not-often discussed topic that is relevant to just about every grower. Thanks simon, for sharing your experience. Any recommendations for a light meter?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by GrnMtnGrwr View Post
                    Any recommendations for a light meter?
                    I bought an inexpensive, Chinese-made meter on Ebay for ~$50. It reads up to 50K and it can switch between lumens or foot candles. I don't know how accurate it is, but in our position it seems like the relative readings matter most.

                    I mostly use the meter to setup the plants, relative to their respective positions under the light. In retrospect, I think it really helped the garden produce as much as it had with little actual light.

                    Simon
                    A perfect cure every time
                    Check your magnetic ballasts
                    LST and prune for no popcorn


                    The material contained in Simon's posts is driven by an overactive imagination. Any pictures that Simon may post were found on the Internet and falsely presented as his. Simon does not grow Cannabis, nor has he ever cultivated any illegal substance. Any representations leading to an opposite conclusion are based on pure fantasy.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Thanks for the post.

                      I will be replacing mine before the next grow. My SS ballast are only 3 years old but it's so cheap why not.

                      I would have never thought about this otherwise. +1

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by simon View Post
                        I bought an inexpensive, Chinese-made meter on Ebay for ~$50. It reads up to 50K and it can switch between lumens or foot candles. I don't know how accurate it is, but in our position it seems like the relative readings matter most.
                        Cheap light meters are typically just as accurate (if not as precise) as pricier ones. I used to work in film/video, and worked with them a lot. I like analog ones more than digital, if it matters. They're often cheaper, too. Sekonic is a good brand. For our purposes, especially to test the life-cycle of a ballast capacitor, a cheaper model is just fine. Buy one used and save even more.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by simon View Post
                          I run 5x600HPS. The SS1 600HPS ballasts were purchased 5-6 years ago and have been working without a hitch. Or, so I thought.

                          I've been battling yield issues for the last year. Having isolated every variable and eliminated it, the lights were last in line. For whatever reason - stupidity, arrogance - I never suspected the ballasts. After switching lamps around to no avail and finally getting down to the ballasts, I discovered that 3 out of 5 SS1s were putting out significantly less light.

                          My light meter measured 1 ballast at ~1/3 the (light) output, and 2 ballasts at a bit less than ~50%. The other 2 are fine. Lord knows how much this cost me in lost product, wasted electricity, strains that I wrote-off, and on and on.

                          Light meters can be had for ~$50. Please note my misfortune and check your equipment.

                          Simon


                          hmmmm, i have never heard of this. could it of been your bulbs? i will be calling up my sun system bro to ask.......
                          one of my spots has 10 5+ year old ss1's and the yields are still good with old ass bulbs.....
                          3620 Watt Starlite LED Grow - Yield was 8 1/2 LBS!

                          https://www.icmag.com/ic/showthread.php?t=330640

                          1280 Watt Starlite LED Grow - Finished

                          https://www.icmag.com/ic/showthread.php?t=325694

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by krunchbubble View Post
                            hmmmm, i have never heard of this. could it of been your bulbs?
                            It definably, positively with 100% certainty wasn't due to the lamps. The caps were responsible for the problem.

                            i will be calling up my sun system bro to ask.......
                            one of my spots has 10 5+ year old ss1's and the yields are still good with old ass bulbs.....
                            It could very well be that older SS1s, like yours, used better quality capacitors. FWIW, I have 2 older 400HPS SS1s and they're both healthy.

                            Simon
                            A perfect cure every time
                            Check your magnetic ballasts
                            LST and prune for no popcorn


                            The material contained in Simon's posts is driven by an overactive imagination. Any pictures that Simon may post were found on the Internet and falsely presented as his. Simon does not grow Cannabis, nor has he ever cultivated any illegal substance. Any representations leading to an opposite conclusion are based on pure fantasy.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              glad we found you a quick and cheap fix. This is one of the reasons I run tanks ( mag ballasts), they can be fixed on the quick and cheap, and they can take a beating.
                              another successful out door year at 52*north, beat bugs, the wettest season in memory, and a early frost. Auto flowers have been a blast

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X