Author Topic: A few VHO T12 Questions  (Read 273 times)
MikeT1982
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A few VHO T12 Questions « on: November 29, 2023, 05:48:55 PM » Author: MikeT1982
Hey guys thanks ahead of time for anyone who chimes in. I have a few general random questions regarding specifically oldschool VHO T12’s that were made and “phosphor tuned” for aquarium use.

As I kid I couldn’t realy afford much aquarium stuff and my dad only kept freshwater with a single bulb and simple. I became fascinated with saltwater systems and the shop owner who ran it solo allowed me to spend weekends there since it was on my moms way to work as a cafeteria worker so I’d live at the shop and have my fill helping wire plumb and maintain things for just the pure joy or it, probably the happiest time of my life. I was a young teenager and this was 1993-1996ish.

So…before LED they were running NO, HO, and VHO fluorescent tubes. I’m probably preaching to the choir here so don’t mind me. Also they used metal halide as ya’s probly know. This lady being miserly would get magnetic ballasts in all those formats from a hardware store. I recall them all but the NO being special order and I recall every box saying “Advance”. Later I’ve learned she used the real deal and Advance is a great company.

So in theory although 75% sure if I go back to the hobby I’d use LED because of the built in smart stuff the gradual warm up for sunrise etc and low voltage safer DC, built in timers (she’d stagger the tubes to ignite 2, then 2 more and finally two more to simulate this. I remember helping her reset times on daylight savings and power outages etc. mechanical timers I recall the pegs and spin knob. I also knocked a ballast into a tank and blew the braker but the tank was empty for mixing saltwater. I got scolded but she never stopped me said well you learned your lesson (I reached in to grab it and got a nasty shock before breaker blew). These were all open ballasts and wire nuts zero safety full oldschool mode.

So I’ve always wondered what exactly is the physical difference in NO, HO, and VHO tubes, electrodes glass or mercury fill. I do realize the different current inputs up to 1.5 amps on VHO as I was checking out magnetics on eBay. But I wonder if you could run a VHO on an NO ballast and would it last a very long time? I would assume reverse would reduce an NO bulbs life.

Also it seems that Fulham Workhorse are the only electronics left that will run VHO tubes and you need like a WH7 on each 4ft tube. I’m curious if there are any other options like with Keystone or Advance left. There was a company called IceCap that made specific aquarium ballasts and back then was the premier electronic ballast and would drive 4 48” tubes all at once.

Just general curiosities I’ve always had about VHO tubes! Appreciate any input or ramblings!
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WorldwideHIDCollectorUSA
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HID, LPS, and preheat fluorescents forever!!!!!!


Worldwide HIDCollectorUSA
Re: A few VHO T12 Questions « Reply #1 on: December 12, 2023, 02:45:33 AM » Author: WorldwideHIDCollectorUSA
I think you can possibly run the energy saver 185W/195W 8 foot VHO and powergroove VHO fluorescent tubes on a 175W H39 mercury vapor ballast wired up as a preheat fluorescent ballast where the lamp leads are connected to one pair of contacts on the same side and a tanning bed starter wired across the other pair of contacts. Interestingly, you could also run the full power 215W 8 foot VHO tubes on a 175W H39 mercury vapor ballast, but only the CWA version in a preheat configuration with the capacitor in series with one of the tube’s contacts and using a Philips S16 starter or a British 125W 8 foot fluorescent tube starter. It is also good to know that the 215W 8 foot VHO fluorescent tubes can be operated on a 175W M57 probe start metal halide CWA ballast as well without a starter.

See here:

https://www.lighting-gallery.net/gallery/displayimage.php?album=1843&pos=101&pid=212636
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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.

MikeT1982
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Re: A few VHO T12 Questions « Reply #2 on: December 13, 2023, 09:43:00 PM » Author: MikeT1982
Awesome info!!! Thank you I appreciate you taking the time to write that!
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