Author Topic: Differences in HPS ignitors?  (Read 809 times)
Lightingguy1994
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Differences in HPS ignitors? « on: September 29, 2020, 08:38:45 PM » Author: Lightingguy1994
I noticed there seems to be two types of HPS ignitors. The normal advance one that wires up Red to lamp , Blue to Ballast X3 and White for Com.

The other type is Black to hot, Blue to ballast X3 and White to Com

Are they interchangeable or are they incompatible? What voltages are on the Blue x3 type? I put that to hot in one test and got it to work but the ignitor stayed on while lamp was running.


I need to get some more ignitors of both types.
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High Intensity
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Re: Differences in HPS ignitors? « Reply #1 on: September 29, 2020, 09:01:23 PM » Author: High Intensity
Venture (i think) seems to have proprietary wiring colors for their ignitors, for example; i have a Venture-made Howard 50w PSMH ballast with a red/white X1 (lamp) wire, a blue X3 (ballast) wire, and a yellow X2 (common) wire. I'm not sure in Venture's ignitors are electrically different. Maybe you could check by testing the X3 voltage to either the lamp or common wire (or both wires), and see how it compares to a normal ballast.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2020, 09:03:30 PM by High Intensity » Logged
Medved
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Re: Differences in HPS ignitors? « Reply #2 on: September 30, 2020, 02:45:34 AM » Author: Medved
Well, I don't know any details about the mentioned ignitors, but generally there are two incompatible basic topologies for a semiparallel ignitor (incompatible, because each requires different position of the tap on the ballast):
- Capacitive discharge pulser: A capacitor is charged via a resistor to nearly the ballast OCV, then a SIDAC turns ON and discharges this capacitor into the few turns between the tap and lamp end. The ignition voltage is then the SIDAC breakover voltage (so what voltage the capacitor reaches) times the turns ratio CompleteSecondary/TapToLamp of the ballast winding. Because the voltage could be up to 120V for a series choke ballasts (assume 120V mains), to get about 1.5kV the tap has to be in the 8% from the lamp end. These are the very simple pulsers - generally containing just the capacitor, SIDAC and a resistor (and maybe a separating inductor to increase the "resistor" impedance for the short time HV pulse). These generate the pulse energy in rather inefficient way, so the pulse energy is rather limited, so are usable only for ballast placed near the lamp (no more than 2m). From what I've seen, these are the most common in the US.

- Semiresonant voltage booster (e.g. SN57 is an example of this). There the capacitor is connected using a triac to form a resonant circuit, which generates half cosine for each mains halfwave. The resonan t frequency is rather high, but the triac lets to pass just one half period each time it gets triggered.
This resonance boosts voltage to about 700V (maximum, where usable triacs are still available), so the final ratio of the ballast secondary is just about 5x to reach 3500V pulses, so the tap has to be in 20% from the cold end (so 80% from the lamp end).
These are more complex, but because of the resonance, they are not influenced that much by the wiring capacitance between the ballast and lamp, so allow long cable in a remote ballast configuration, so are often marketed as "long range" ignitors, allowing 10's m of cable between the ballast and lamp.

But important is, although the wiring looks the same (one wire to N, one to lamp, one to the ballast tap) these two styles each requires different position of the tap on the ballast winding, so are incompatible with each other (ballast wound for a capaitive discharge pulser wont work with the semiresonant ignitor and vice versa).
Plus the pulser voltages may vary among makers, which may need different tap positions (ignitor using 100V SIDAC needs its tap in 5% from lamp end in order to get 2kV pulse a given lamp may need, other pulser/ballast brand may be using 200V SIDACs and 10% tap position, again yielding the same 2kV for the same lamp)
« Last Edit: October 01, 2020, 12:43:07 AM by Medved » Logged

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Lightingguy1994
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Re: Differences in HPS ignitors? « Reply #3 on: September 30, 2020, 09:42:37 AM » Author: Lightingguy1994
Thanks Medved This makes sense as on the diagrams, the X3 and the lamp wires were in unusual places on the ballast compared to the usual type.
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Ash
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Re: Differences in HPS ignitors? « Reply #4 on: September 30, 2020, 04:13:10 PM » Author: Ash
Dont know about US ballasts. With ELTAM ballasts the tap is positioned as :

[P terminal] - 80% winding - [D terminal] - 20% winding - [L terminal]

Then the ballast is wired with L terminal towards lamp when using ES50 ignitor (SIDAC based), and with P terminal towards lamp when using ESPI1000, Steinitz, and some other TRIAC or SCR based ignitors

Also, there are superimposed ignitors, which contain the pulse transformer in the ignitor itself. Those dont need the tap on the ballast at all

I have seen an ignitor which is supposed to connect across the entire ballast (Phase, Lamp, and Neutral). I have no idea what the ratings of that ignitor were, but if i guess, it would be the equivalent of a 2 wire ignitor (with <1kV pulse), except it uses the voltage across the ballast to detect if the lamp is running or not ?
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