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Sola HPF Preheat Flash Patterns: Ballast type?

Sola HPF Preheat Flash Patterns: Ballast type?

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I know supposedly some people with trained eyes can discern the ballast type from the AC flicker patterns of lamps on these photographed with a CMOS sensor cell phone camera, so here's a cell phone camera picture of it. And, for those of you who maybe wanted to see the phosphor persistence of halophopshate 90CRI/6500K daylight deluxe, here you go :)

I'm thinking this has gotta be some sort of a lead-lag, but is it a stroboscopic corrected? With these flickery deluxe daylight lamps it's not all that flickery, though in a room with this as the only light source when turning my head and letting my vision "swim" I can still see some, but it seems kinda mitigated. Ideas/thoughts? Ballast isn't quite a "brick" in the truest sense of the word, nor a "Long John" nor a more modern "F-Can" unit. It's an old Sola. My guess for this fixture is 40s-50s, and I assume the ballast is original or a very, very early replacement.

Ideas, anyone? I'm curious, not too familiar with these!

IMG_1207.JPG IMG_0909.JPG IMG_0905.JPG IMG_0856.JPG

Light Information

Light Information

Manufacturer:Sola (Ballast) Mitchell (Fixture)
Electrical
Wattage:2X40

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Filename:IMG_0905.JPG
Album name:ace100w120v / Ballasts
Keywords:Gear
File Size:324 KB
Date added:Dec 15, 2016
Dimensions:2465 x 1848 pixels
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nicksfans
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Dec 15, 2016 at 03:52 AM Author: nicksfans
Stroboscopic corrected is just a fancy term for lead-lag. And yes, that's what this ballast is.

I like my lamps thick, my ballasts heavy, and my fixtures tough.

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funkybulb
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Dec 15, 2016 at 06:57 AM Author: funkybulb
Hmm look like it 90 degree shifted.

No LED gadgets, spins too slowly.  Gotta  love preheat and MV. let the lights keep my meter spinning.

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Dec 15, 2016 at 03:57 PM Author: ace100w120v
Yeah, with this as an only light source 60Hz flicker is there, but not much for using deluxe daylight lamps. Aren't the Ad-Lites (which this isn't) not?
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Dec 16, 2016 at 02:28 AM Author: nicksfans
I think the Ad-Lites are also stroboscopic corrected/lead-lag, but the caps in those are prone to wearing out which causes the flicker. I think.

I like my lamps thick, my ballasts heavy, and my fixtures tough.

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ace100w120v
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Dec 16, 2016 at 04:28 PM Author: ace100w120v
Interesting! Despite the flicker is there anything else bad about a ballast in that state?
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Dec 16, 2016 at 09:52 PM Author: nicksfans
Not that I know of, though I'm not sure.

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Dec 16, 2016 at 10:13 PM Author: streetlight98
Increased line amps maybe (poorer power factor) might be caused by a degrading cap if it's parallel to the lamp. I think most two-lamp preheat ballasts are stroboscopic-corrected. The Ad-Lites don't have the starting compensator so they're easier to wire up. The starting compensator-equipped fixtures don't seem to start any better than the ones without it so I don't get what the point of them was, other than to complicate the wiring lol.

The stroboscopic-corrected term came from the fact that the flash patterns are different (one leads and the other lags) which helps to make the flickering of the lamps more subtle. I do notice a slight flicker with some RS fixtures (might be the lamps themselves more than anything else) but the difference isn't really that great.

One thing I do notice is that one lamp seems to be slightly brighter than the other in some of my preheaters. Is that a common thing or does it mean something's wrong? I think the lead lamp is brighter. Might just be the pic, but it almost seems like the right lamp above is ever so slightly brighter than the one on the left. I know my long-john preheater had that effect and I notice it with the Harmony House one too. And I think it might have been true with the Lehrolite I traded Joe (with a working AdLite ballast). Any thoughts?

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Dec 16, 2016 at 11:43 PM Author: suzukir122
Now I'm wondering... whenever the words "Stroboscopic-corrected" are labeled onto the ballast, should I expect this
kind of miss-match type of 120 hertz flicker? Even with slimlines?
@Ace100w120v, you used the term "Long John." Made me hungry for some Long John Silvers.
When cooked correctly/fresh, they've got some of the best shrimp. I'd go there now, but they're closed for the day. It is 12am.

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Dec 17, 2016 at 08:39 AM Author: streetlight98
Yes, because that the the POINT of stroboscopic-corrected. The flash patterns are intentionally different to make the overall flicker form the fixture less apparent...

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Dec 17, 2016 at 06:13 PM Author: suzukir122
ohhhhhh... never knew about that. Now it makes me wonder why they stopped making stroboscopic corrected ballasts.
I'm also curious about the way EOL lamps, specifically with the slimlines, behave with those SC ballasts.
I remember Don93s sent me links to go check them out on Ebay. Soon as I get paid again, I'm buying one. The main
issue I'll be running into is finding fixtures that will fit them

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Dec 18, 2016 at 12:35 PM Author: streetlight98
With the slimlines, depending which lamp died, the ballast would overheat. They probably stopped it for cost reasons. Or possibly the circuitry of RS prevented a lead-lag set-up from being used. But I think lead-lag HO ballasts were made, and they're rapid start. The older slimlines were lead-lag but they did stop that at some point.

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Dec 18, 2016 at 06:23 PM Author: suzukir122
Ahh so there is such thing as a lead lag rapid start, only with HO ballasts? If so, I'll likely be buying the preheat, slimline and HO versions.
I'd also try to install each in individual fixtures, if I find fixtures for them.

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Dec 18, 2016 at 07:23 PM Author: streetlight98
HO is rapid start. And I don't know for sure if HO was made in lead-lag. I'm only certain about preheat and the older slimlines.

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Dec 18, 2016 at 08:42 PM Author: icefoglights
Two lamp Rapid Start and Slimlines wire the lamps in series, so they will be in phase with each other. Since two lamp preheats have the lamps wired in parallel, it's possible to have them run out of phase with each other, which is what a lead-lag is.

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Dec 18, 2016 at 09:17 PM Author: streetlight98
IIRC slimlines are not a true series circuit though, are they? Because when the secondary lamp dies the primary will still light. I have been told that the older slimline ballasts were indeed lead-lag. Perhaps not in the traditional sense.

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Dec 18, 2016 at 10:33 PM Author: suzukir122
Yep HO/vho is rapid start, unless used on some type of electronic ballast. I'm now curious as to whether there are truly HO
stroboscopic rapid start ballasts out there. Maybe even VHO.

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Dec 18, 2016 at 11:21 PM Author: don93s
The original two-lamp slimline ballasts were lead-lag just like the preheat ones. Each lamp could be lit individually, except that the slimlines always had the cut-out lamp holders if one lamp was removed. Later, they invented series-sequence start, the ones used today, which are series even though the starting side lamp can be still light by itself at half brightness. I've never heard of rapid-start lead-lag though.

Also, the main point of lead-lag was power factor correction, run more lighting on single circuit. The stroboscopic correction was a side benefit I believe.
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Dec 19, 2016 at 08:19 AM Author: streetlight98
I suppose the only way to create a lead-lag RS ballast would be to run the lamps in parallel. Now I wonder, why are rapid start lamps always in series? Simply a cost-saving measure for the ballast or was there some other benefit? Preheat has the starters so I guess it needs the lamps in parallel. It's just annoying when both lamps go out lol. I guess the only good thing about series-wired lamps is that the maintenance hand tends to replace both lamps rather than try to figure out which one is dead, which looks better than having a mishmash of color temperatures in the fixtures lol.

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Dec 19, 2016 at 12:16 PM Author: nicksfans
I've never liked replacing both lamps when only one has failed. That's just personal preference though.

I like my lamps thick, my ballasts heavy, and my fixtures tough.

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Dec 19, 2016 at 01:34 PM Author: streetlight98
I don't like to replace both lamps either, and I don't in fixtures within my family. Though from a maintenance perspective, it makes sense to replace all the lamps in a fixture at once since if one died, the other ones aren't far behind. And with series-wired lamps, it can be a PITA to figure out which lamp is bad.

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Dec 19, 2016 at 01:48 PM Author: paintballer22
I normally don't replace both unless the fixture is a pain to open or to reach for or the other tube is close to EOL.
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