Author Topic: L.H. Frost / ATC Frost fluorescent ballasts megathread  (Read 61 times)
Foxtronix
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Formerly "TiCoune66". Also known here as Vince.


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L.H. Frost / ATC Frost fluorescent ballasts megathread « on: July 19, 2021, 06:11:42 PM » Author: Foxtronix
... um OK, "megathread" might be stretching it a bit.  :mrg:

But nonetheless I'd like to share with the lighting community what I know about this specific manufacturer which otherwise remains quite undocumented.

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I think it was more than twelve years ago (oh gee, has it been that long already?  :D ) when disassembling an old electric stove that I noticed (and discovered) that the fluorescent cooktop light I grew up with was powered by a minuscule single-coil ballast, and (in this application) of a brand I had never seen before, not even around here. The brand was "Frost", with a sort of lighting bolt-like line behind the lettering. I was kind of curious about that discovery but with virtually no information about this brand, I simply moved on, until a trend was established as I was disassembling more scrapped stoves and ended up with two, then three, four and more of these "Frost" ballasts. It became rather intriguing!

Now would be the perfect moment to link a listing from CSA mentioning almost all the ballast models approved for use in Canada, but it seems said listing has disappeared from the face of the planet, and I have no idea if those listings have ever been archived by say archive.org, so I'm out of luck on this one...

However I can still deduce a good deal of information using the ballasts I currently have. There seems to be three "generations" of ballasts made by this manufacturer, originally known as L.H. Frost and located in Oakville, ON:

- The "R" series from the 1960s. As of 07/2021 I have two models: the R72011 and the R70011. The former has black paint finish, 1/2" thick laminated core and spade terminals, while the latter has transformer varnish finish, 3/4" thick core and spade terminals as well.

- The first "FB" series introduced sometime after 1972. There are three models I had: The FBB (which I had but can't seem to find anymore), similar to the R72011 but with transformer varnish finish, the FB1, virtually identical to the FBB, and the FBC, similar to the R70011, however the two specimens I have were built with permanent wires.

- Then the second "FB" series replacing the first one around the early 1980s. With this series the letters, especially the last two and subsequent numbers, seem to be associated to specific features.

THIRD LETTER
  • A: "inductor" type mount
  • L: standard ballast type mount

FOURTH LETTER
  • A: 1/2" core
  • K: 5/8" core
  • L: 3/4" core

The FBAK and FBLK models I saw all had the -10 or -12 suffix. I'm still unsure what it means. Maybe it designates the length of the wires in inches? But since some of them have spade terminals, I can't be sure of it.

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That's all the information I have at the moment. Eventually in the early or mid-1990s the brand became ATC-Frost, and I have yet to see one of these ballasts made after 2000.




EDIT: Not quite sure if I posted the thread in the right section. Even though it's not specifically about date codes, it covers their date of manufacturing (which in this case is clearly marked in a MM-YY format, but not on all models, so hopefully enough information will be collected one day to figure out the month and year of manufacture on these undated units).
« Last Edit: July 19, 2021, 06:16:12 PM by Foxtronix » Logged

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