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CFL running on portable lantern ballast

CFL running on portable lantern ballast

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Here's the lamp from this CFL running on this Coleman lantern ballast. As the arc voltage for these things is so high, the ballast didn't actually provide enough OCV to get it to light running on the rated 6V input, so I connected it to 12V with my marine navigation light in series to bring it down to about 8 volts. It ran like this, with the lamp swirling and going in and out of a hot-cathode discharge, for about 15 minutes before I cut it off. The two 5609 transistors on the ballast were hot to the touch, but it lived to tell the tale.

When I did this same setup later with my half-dead F15T8, though, the ballast lasted about 5 seconds before something popped and started smoking. I was waiting for it, anyway. I should invest in a 120V instant-start ballast for stuff like this - it seems ones from GE and Universal and even some off-brand ones prove to be very robust lamp-fryers.

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Album name:themaritimegirl / Experiments, Projects, & Mods
File Size:270 KB
Date added:Nov 16, 2013
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Nov 16, 2013 at 08:52 PM Author: Medved
Such overvoltage is not good. You most likely exceeded the voltage rating of the transistors, most likely the collector-base (the circuit stresses it to 3.14*Vin), but mainly (for this circuit more critical is the 5V limit of) emitter-base. One or two such stresses the transistors seem to handle, but they get severely damaged.
The incandescent in series does not help, in the critical moment the bulb is still cold and there is no significant current yet.

No more selfballasted c***

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