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Motorola Rapid Start Electronic Ballast

Motorola Rapid Start Electronic Ballast

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Here is a Motorola T12 electronic rapid-start ballast, plus the T8 model. I just got the T12 on eBay. I had the T8, but unfortunately it no longer works.

The T12 ballast had no trouble starting 32W T8, 25W T8, or 36W T8, though it does overdrive F32T8 like a magnetic ballast would. I'd think this would be good for 36W T8 considering run on spec, though perhaps RS would be hard on them.

Every LED tube I tried lit up, though power usage varied widely and unpredictably. For example, two 15W Philips LED tubes used just over 30W. Two 17W Feit tubes used just over 40W. However, with one Feit and one Philips, power consumption jumped up over 70W. The Philips plus a fluorescent used over 80W, higher than two fluorescent lamps. Depending on the pair of lamps used, sometimes the LED on the red leads would be brighter than the LED tube on the blue leads. Many of the LED tubes aren intended only for use on T8 parallel ballasts, so the fact that they run off spec isn't unexpected, but I was surprised by the range, with some pairs being way over driven while others were just about right. With some combinations, they'd even be under-driven (Philips 10W + Philips 15W used 20W total)

During startup lamps begin dim, then hop up to full power. It's not all that different from the GE T12 electronic ballasts. Those have the same wiring scheme and about the same OCV (385 vs. 380). The GEs however, are parallel. Perhaps being wired in parallel is why the GEs are still capable of causing vacuum loss at EOL while the Motorolas don't.

When using LED lamps, the lamps will start out dim prior to attaining full brightness on both the Motorola and GE ballasts. This suggests that both ballasts have a delay before allowing full current to flow. So is there a clear dividing line between rapid start and program start? In the case of these ballasts, they seem very similar. I believe the GE shuts off cathode heating after ignition. I'm not sure about the Motorola.

Like series magnetic rapid start, if only one lamp is inserted it will give off a partial discharge. Unlike magnetic, it's moderately bright with one lamp and the ballast uses about 25W. That's still less than half power, however.



youtube_8fI8vm9AmoM.jpg motorola-1~0.jpg fo13.jpg tcpt8eol.jpg

Light Information

Light Information

Manufacturer:Motorola Lighting
Model Reference:M2-RN-T12-1LL-120
Fixture
Ballast Type:Electronic Rapid Start
Electrical
Wattage:2x40W
Voltage:120
Current:0.63
Physical/Production
Factory Location:USA

File information

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Album name:Patrick / Fluorescent
Keywords:Gear
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Date added:Jun 27, 2020
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Fluorescent05
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Zack


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Jun 27, 2020 at 10:59 PM Author: Fluorescent05
Nice old Motorola ballast!

Don't be fooLED, T8 IS the worst thing to do to a magnetic T12 fixture.

Patrick
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Jun 29, 2020 at 08:39 PM Author: Patrick
Has anybody tested these out in the cold? They state 50 degree minimum, but you can usually push that a bit. The variation in power usage with LED tubes isn't ideal, but I don't think it'll be a problem if I'm only using them temporarily to try out the lamps. I have this ballast installed in tandem strip lights I often use to test out various lamps. The magnetic ballasts in them previously worked well enough, but couldn't light as wide a range of tubes.

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xmaslightguy
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zzz


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Jun 29, 2020 at 11:37 PM Author: xmaslightguy
@Patrick:
I had a 1-lamp model (T8 I think, but coulda been T12) in a fixture outside (used as a security light), it still came on & ran fine even it temps a bit below zero.

Its All For The Christmas Lights...
And A Good Summer Thunderstorm!

don93s
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Jun 30, 2020 at 10:53 AM Author: don93s
I have one of these T12 Motorola ballasts in the loft of my garage for several years. It never had trouble starting even in the coldest weather. One thing of note, running F32T8 on a F40T12 electronic ballast is not recommended because the higher lamp voltage may stress the electronics...especially at EOL.
Patrick
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Jun 30, 2020 at 08:27 PM Author: Patrick
I'll have to bring it out in the garage next winter to try. I had trouble with a few GE lamps which were beginning to sputter when used on the GE program start ballasts in the cold. I'm not sure exactly why it was a problem or why only certain lamps were affected, but we can see if the Motorola performs better. Perhaps the GE ballasts would cut out cathode heating too soon given the ambient temperature, but that's only a guess.

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