Author Topic: American Electric R175M ballasts underdriving their intended lamps.  (Read 453 times)
WorldwideHIDCollectorUSA
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American Electric R175M ballasts underdriving their intended lamps. « on: July 12, 2021, 01:14:25 AM » Author: WorldwideHIDCollectorUSA
When I gave one of my American Electric R175M ballasts a test run with its proper 175w H39 mercury vapor lamp, I have measured the current that the lamp was running at, and it ran at 135v 1.15a rather than at the intended 135v 1.50a. Because of this discovery, I have concluded that it might be better suited for European 125w mercury vapor lamps and North American 125w H42 mercury vapor lamps since they run at 125v 1.15a.
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Re: American Electric R175M ballasts underdriving their intended lamps. « Reply #1 on: July 14, 2021, 04:45:49 AM » Author: Medved
What type ballast is it? If it is CWA, the capacitor may be faulty...
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WorldwideHIDCollectorUSA
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Re: American Electric R175M ballasts underdriving their intended lamps. « Reply #2 on: July 14, 2021, 11:19:16 AM » Author: WorldwideHIDCollectorUSA
What type ballast is it? If it is CWA, the capacitor may be faulty...

It’s a simple HX normal power factor autotransformer ballast with no power factor correction capacitor. From what I understand, the ballasts I have seem to have a lower quality design.
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Re: American Electric R175M ballasts underdriving their intended lamps. « Reply #3 on: July 14, 2021, 12:12:50 PM » Author: dor123
Ballast factor is low, and there is no such a thing "Normal power factor". Power factor can be low or high. Read here .
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Re: American Electric R175M ballasts underdriving their intended lamps. « Reply #4 on: July 15, 2021, 05:21:31 AM » Author: joseph_125
Interesting, I knew some of the 100w and 175w HX yardlight grade ballasts had rather dodgy tolerances in the lamp current (175w ballast drove at 150w and 100w drove at 110w) but I thought it was more limited to the newer imported ballasts and not the older American Electric/ITT models. I should test the ballast in my AE NEMA too. Maybe the utility grade NEMAs had better ballasts compared to the residential NEMAs and later yardlights.
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Re: American Electric R175M ballasts underdriving their intended lamps. « Reply #5 on: July 16, 2021, 12:22:02 AM » Author: wide-lite 1000
The R175M I gave to The Lightingman seemed to run the lamp to full brightness to me . At least I thought so anyways .
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Re: American Electric R175M ballasts underdriving their intended lamps. « Reply #6 on: July 16, 2021, 12:40:01 AM » Author: WorldwideHIDCollectorUSA
I actually thought the same when I was running the proper lamps on these ballasts. I concluded that the lamps were significantly underdriven after taking measurements with an amp meter showing the lamp running at 1.15a rather than the rated 1.5a and seeing that the total power draw including ballast losses is 175w rather than 200w.
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Re: American Electric R175M ballasts underdriving their intended lamps. « Reply #7 on: July 16, 2021, 12:47:13 AM » Author: wide-lite 1000
Maybe The lightingman can test his one for comparison .
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Re: American Electric R175M ballasts underdriving their intended lamps. « Reply #8 on: July 16, 2021, 02:30:42 AM » Author: joseph_125
I fired up this light which more or less the Canadian model of the R175 on a Kill A Watt meter and after around a 10 min warm up period, it consumes around 212w or 2.8A from the wall. I don't have any means to measure lamp current but a 212w draw seems about right for a 175w HX mercury ballast.

This was done using the used lamp the luminaire came with. Perhaps testing different lamps might yield different results. I have a Advance 175w CWA mercury F-can style ballast that seems to not want to run up certain lamps fully, namely 175w clear Caster lamps.
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Re: American Electric R175M ballasts underdriving their intended lamps. « Reply #9 on: July 16, 2021, 03:18:20 AM » Author: thelightingman
Maybe The lightingman can test his one for comparison .
Mine lights up to full brightness just fine and I can't see any signs of underdriving on it at all.
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WorldwideHIDCollectorUSA
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Re: American Electric R175M ballasts underdriving their intended lamps. « Reply #10 on: July 16, 2021, 03:28:12 AM » Author: WorldwideHIDCollectorUSA
Mine lights up to full brightness just fine and I can't see any signs of underdriving on it at all.

Even if it seems like it runs at full brightness and runs ok, it is best to use a clamp meter and measure the lamp current to see how the lamp is actually operating. Judging the lamp’s brightness is not the only way to know if it is operating properly. I had that same experience myself when I tried looking for alternative ballasts for my lamps. Preferably, I like to run my HID and fluorescent lamps within 10% of their rated current whenever possible. In my situation using my R175M ballast, my lamp ended up running at about 76% of its rated current despite it seemingly run up to full brightness. With that in mind, I saw that my lamp ended up running at an unacceptably low current according to my opinion and I would personally use 125w H42 mercury vapor lamps my R175M yardblasters.
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Desire to collect various light bulbs (especially HID), control gear, and fixtures from around the world.

DISCLAIMER: THE EXPERIMENTS THAT I CONDUCT INVOLVING UNUSUAL LAMP/BALLAST COMBINATIONS SHOULD NOT BE ATTEMPTED UNLESS YOU HAVE THE PROPER KNOWLEDGE. I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY INJURIES.

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