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lets talk MH's\what's wrong with my ballast

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  • lets talk MH's\what's wrong with my ballast

    I'm running 400 watt 10K XM bulbs (3 months old) on a dual 400 watt PFO HQI ballast (4 year old) I noticed a few days ago that one of the bulbs was dimming and in a matter of 2-3 seconds it would go bright, This cycle lasted all day. I swapped it with the bulb on the other side and the same thing happened.

    I don't seem to be having much luck with the cheaper Asian bulbs on my 400 watt HQI ballast. The 20K CV bulbs didn't make it to two months. The 10K XM's are starting to fail at 3 months.

    I was thinking I might have to replace the capacitor and or igniter. The ballast is 4-5 years old. It fires the Euro bulbs like the Radium and Ushio just fine but then these bulbs are tuned better to run on the HQI.

    Its not that noticeable unless your looking right at the tank.


    [email protected]

  • #2
    Hi Mark, other than the Iwasaki's, I've had the best performance from German bulbs on my PFO-HQI systems. Bob
    "There might be something to this ZEOvit"


    • #3
      Thanks Bob. You know, I'm just tired of dealing with these cheap bulbs..I really like the color I got from the CV 20K's. It was as good, maybe even better then the Radium. The price was even better at 41.00 but they didn't do well on my ballast. They did just fine on my buddies newer 400 watt PFO HQI... Same with the 10K XM. I really like the color of the XM over the Ushio but the peformance is crap. I'm going back to Ushio and not looking back...well, unless I can get a deal on the new 14K Phoenix when it comes out (step backwards)
      Last edited by golfish; 04-13-2005, 07:19 PM.
      [email protected]


      • #4
        Mark... Hi again.

        Did the problem start with the cheap bulbs or an aging ballast.
        I'd guess the bulbs, some combinations will work for a while when the bulb is new. From there it's just down hill.

        “People are very open-minded about new things - as long as they're exactly like the old ones.”
        ...Charles F. Kettering


        • #5
          I've never had problems running the radiums or ushios, even now...Only the cheap bulbs..The CV's were always in question. Dave at CV replaced the first set after 6 weeks with an updated version. After that he said his bulbs shouldn't be ran on the HQI ballast. The new version lasted about as long as the old version. 2 of the 4 CV bulbs I had were sold and are running on a standard ballast, at least that's what I hear. I have a buddy who has the same ballast and went through the same thing at the same time. I actually bought the bulbs from him (He's a wholesaler) He had problems with the first set of CV's just like I did but no problems with the second set.

          Larry ran the 10K XM for a year + without any problems on the same ballast, plus I've read others who have had the same good luck. The only diff I can see is these ballast are newer and not as far from the tank...The kicker is I can still run the Radium and Ushio bulbs with no problems..I have e-mails to PFO and Perry at SLS..I'm going to try and swap the Cap's and igniter's this weekend.

          I'm looking forward to seeing you this Sunday...ok, not so much you but your skimmer.
          Last edited by golfish; 04-13-2005, 07:40 PM.
          [email protected]


          • #6
            OK, borrowed a dual standard ballast yesterday, the XM's fire just fine and ran for 10 hrs without any problems...

            Back to the topic....What's wrong with my ballast? Capasitor?
            [email protected]