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DIY 50/80w Mercury vapour gearbox

DIY 50/80w Mercury vapour gearbox

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Quick and dirty self-build gearbox for 50 or 80w mercury vapour lamps.
Fitted with a Philips dual-tap ballast, selector switch and IEC sockets.

vintageGEC80wMCFgear~0.jpg tridonic5070w.jpg 50w80wmbfgearbox.jpg ventureventronic.jpg

Light Information

Light Information

Manufacturer:MJ-Systems
Model Reference:MV50/80 Mk1
Lamp
Lamp Type:MBF/U
Fixture
Ballast Type:Philips BHL 50/80 L407
Electrical
Wattage:50 or 80w
Voltage:230/240v 50hz
Physical/Production
Factory Location:UK
Fabrication Date:2010

File information

File information

Download: Download this File
Filename:50w80wmbfgearbox.jpg
Album name:FrontSideBus / Control Gear
Rating (2 votes):
Keywords:Gear
File Size:651 KB
Date added:Nov 04, 2013
Dimensions:1280 x 853 pixels
Displayed:393 times
Date Time:2013:11:04 20:53:57
DateTime Original:2013:11:04 21:43:30
Exposure Bias:0.666666666667 EV
Exposure Time:5/10 sec
FNumber:f 8
Flash:No Flash
Focal length:55 mm
ISO:100
Make:Canon
Model:Canon EOS 60D
Software:PaintShop Pro 14.00
White Balance:1
URL:https://www.lighting-gallery.net/gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-87127
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sailormoon_01_uk
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Nov 04, 2013 at 03:21 PM Author: sailormoon_01_uk
Good Idea, however be careful you don't accidently connect the IEC Connectors together without the Gear Box and operate a Mercury Lamp or BOOM!
FrontSideBus
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Nov 04, 2013 at 03:23 PM Author: FrontSideBus
That won't be a problem

UK out of the EU!
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Naomi
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ad0rabelle
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Nov 04, 2013 at 04:59 PM Author: Naomi
If this is quick and dirty for you, I wonder how it would look if you would do it properly.
Danny
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Nov 04, 2013 at 05:15 PM Author: Danny
wouldn't mind one of these like but wouldn't be able to make one this good lol
arcblue
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Nov 04, 2013 at 08:49 PM Author: arcblue
That looks like it was professionally made! I guess I should tidy up my boxes a little...

I never thought of using the IEC cables this way. It makes for a neat installation; my ballast boxes have cables hanging out of them, and I used twist lock connectors to attach them to fixtures. The twist lock NEMA connectors are pretty pricey though.

I'm lampin...

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Nov 04, 2013 at 10:46 PM Author: Medved
Well, I won't be so sure about nobody making the error of connecting the cables directly without the box, I personally like "a bit" more foolproof design, as simply said it is only matter of time, when someone (and it most likely would be yourself) does the bad thing, if that is physically possible...

No more selfballasted c***

FrontSideBus
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Nov 05, 2013 at 05:29 AM Author: FrontSideBus
No chance

UK out of the EU!
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Peter


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Nov 05, 2013 at 07:29 AM Author: migette1
I do like seeing something well made I would agree with Colin about the connector but I am sure you would take care, like the others, a well made item thanks for showing.

Interested in the history of electric lighting and incandescent in particular and neon glow lamps.

FrontSideBus
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Nov 05, 2013 at 09:13 AM Author: FrontSideBus
Cheers.

I've got another one almost identical but it sports a Philips 80/125w ballast.

UK out of the EU!
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ATL P42STUFF supersix94
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Nov 05, 2013 at 12:32 PM Author: SuperSix
I'm loving this! Awesomely put together and the selector switch for 50W and 80W lamps is great!

Atlas Lamps - Seeing Is Believing!

http://www.youtube.com/user/P42STUFF

BG101
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EYE H80 Mercury Vapour


Brian TheTellyman
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Nov 05, 2013 at 02:46 PM Author: BG101
That looks better than some commercially made stuff .. I really need to do this with my ballasts.

I wonder if a simple (for reliability) sensing/switching circuit could be added for automatic lamp wattage selection? .. I'd have to use a key switch on mine if I get hold of any dual-tap ballasts. There would be a risk of a mistake or possibly inquisitive fingers


BG

Say NO to DICTATORSHIP in the form of bulb/tube/ballast bans !!

sol
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Nov 05, 2013 at 02:58 PM Author: sol
Very nice job.

Regarding the connectors, there exists special HID remote mount connectors, used in the grow light sector. However, I believe they are proprietary and expensive. They might even not be sold individually but only with the ballast and fixture kit. They have the appearance of regular North American 120 V 15 A plug and receptacle, only all prongs are round and they are not interchangeable.
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Nov 05, 2013 at 03:09 PM Author: FrontSideBus
Cheers for the comments.
I could have used ST18 plug and sockets as used on some proper commercial ballasts** but went with IEC for flexibility. I know the risks but I am very careful.

**
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Nov 05, 2013 at 03:13 PM Author: WillTaus
A work of art. love it

Bring back Fluorescent and SOX Streetlights. Keep magnetic ballasts.


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|><| Be RATIONAL |><|


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Nov 05, 2013 at 03:26 PM Author: lantern_vision
This is the apex of excellence. 5 stars...

><@hm><

BG101
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EYE H80 Mercury Vapour


Brian TheTellyman
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Nov 05, 2013 at 04:17 PM Author: BG101
I'll probably use GST18 plugs and sockets as I can get these for a very good price and can make a simple adapter lead for use with the existing CEE7 plugs on the lanterns. This allows them to be used with conventional lamps if I wish to experiment or demonstrate them.


BG

Say NO to DICTATORSHIP in the form of bulb/tube/ballast bans !!

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Nov 05, 2013 at 07:32 PM Author: Al_M
To a couple of earlier comments here; seriously guys, I'm pretty sure Mark is not likely to accidentally connect the IEC connectors together without the gear box and blow up a lamp. Give the guy some credit, please!!!

Brilliant job btw, I need to do this if I can muster the time and patience.

Traffic signals & street lighting engineer. Please bring SOX/LPS back Downunder!!

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Nov 06, 2013 at 02:21 AM Author: Andy
This is a very impressive bit of DIY.

I'd love to be able to fabricate something like this but wouldn't end up with anything this neat.
Did the box come ready made or was it just a sheet of metal? How did you cut the holes?

I'm always interested in exchanging lamps - send me a message to see what we could trade :)

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Nov 06, 2013 at 05:33 AM Author: FrontSideBus
Oh no I didn't fab up the box! If that's what you all mean by well made!
The box was just a cheap alluminium project box. It wouldn't be hard to cut it out and fold it but I couldn't be bothered.

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Nov 06, 2013 at 08:17 AM Author: Andy
I thought it might be a ready made box but wasn't sure as the whole thing looks very professional from the crimping of the connections to the input, switch and outputs on the back.
Just wondered how you cut the holes for the switch etc.

I might have to try and have a go at something like this myself.

I'm always interested in exchanging lamps - send me a message to see what we could trade :)

FrontSideBus
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Nov 06, 2013 at 08:48 AM Author: FrontSideBus
For the socket holes I just marked it out, drilled the corners and then used a Dremmel cutting wheel to cut the tab out. If that makes any sense. The switch hole was just a 20mm hole saw.

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sox35
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Apr 30, 2018 at 06:43 AM Author: sox35
This is impressive, I keep saying I'm going to build a couple of these, but I haven't as yet, mainly due to the fact that I'm lazy

Where did you get the box for this..? It looks just what I need.

Ria in Aberdeen
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