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  #21  
Old 02-14-2011, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by FerkhinLursh View Post
Electronic is digital and digital is electronic. Electronic is the correct term for them or so I understand!

YouTube - digital ballasts VS magnetic ballasts, hydroponics secrets 48
There is a slight difference to them. I believe that the electronic ballasts use solid state relays for switches while the digital ballasts use transistors as switches. I believe that the SSRs in the electronic ballasts do a better job of isolating the lighting circuit from from the switching circuit than transistor switches.
Solid state relay - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Since the Lumateks use solid state relays they can better handle the starting currents than the transistors that switch using a 7v (or something like that) switching signal, I think.

What are the chances that some of these ballasts that are failing, have cheaply manufactured circuit boards or components?

I wish I had some mag wire and the formula for winding transformers again. I did that once for a job and it was fun as hell and these magnetic ballast would be soooo simple to build it's not even funny.

And if I may make one suggestion to all:
Stay away from aluminum wire wound ballasts. They cannot handle the current and heat like a good copper wound transformer can.
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  #22  
Old 02-14-2011, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by pilot error View Post
Types
Disadvantages
Digital ballasts are typically more expensive than simple electronic versions. Because they use fewer components, electronic ballasts are often smaller in size.
I find this statement to be untrue as every catalog I've ever looked at the prices were very comparable to each other (elec v digi). Also, ALL the digi ballasts I've seen were smaller than my electronic lumatek mostly due to component physical size. Well... I also have an old Lumatek (not switchable).

Hmmmmm, makes me think that the switching in the ballasts might possibly be the problem since I've never seen any probs with the non switchables.

It sure would be nice ta hear the rest of what Cabron had to say.
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  #23  
Old 02-14-2011, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJPassion View Post
I find this statement to be untrue as every catalog I've ever looked at the prices were very comparable to each other (elec v digi).
It's an old article and I'm sure at the time they were more expensive, but with most things they get cheaper as time goes on and with competition.
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  #24  
Old 02-14-2011, 01:55 PM
Unclepeter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJPassion View Post
I find this statement to be untrue as every catalog I've ever looked at the prices were very comparable to each other (elec v digi). Also, ALL the digi ballasts I've seen were smaller than my electronic lumatek mostly due to component physical size. Well... I also have an old Lumatek (not switchable).

Hmmmmm, makes me think that the switching in the ballasts might possibly be the problem since I've never seen any probs with the non switchables.

It sure would be nice ta hear the rest of what Cabron had to say.
mine are switchable - no problems
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  #25  
Old 02-14-2011, 11:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Unclepeter View Post
I'm pretty much like yourself I run electronic ballasts and have no problems... you need a bulb to suit them.. some burn out quicker and othersrefuse to fire as they need a dif freq etc etc.... I have never had a interference prob either!...I stick to sylvania or phillips bulbs... I used a hortilux it wouldn't fire in the elec but did in the coil.... I guess its tuned for a hard start ie high power fire not soft. (i think the dif in digi or elec is the micro comp in them and then the cost!)
That's interesting, pete. I've been running nothing but hortilux bulbs for the last three years with no problems. I've got an older lumatek ballast though, so maybe that's why they work? Either way, I was thinking about switching bulbs just to try something else (Ushio maybe?), but then I figured, if it ain't broke, don't try to fix it!
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  #26  
Old 02-15-2011, 12:28 PM
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Never used a horti buld, think they are a ripoff and the quality is generally lower. I stick to using either Philips or Osram regular HPS bulbs and never had a problem. I've had a digital 400 ballast for 3 years now and never had a problem with it, it's a Dutch BAL one, much cheaper than a Lumatek, they are used in greenhouses and are probably the best on the market, Lumatek and the companies that make these horti bulbs are ripping us off. In the UK a horti bulb is 3x the price of a regular HPS and all the difference boils down to is the horti bulb has 5% more blue but no more overall lumens. My friend has been running a BAL 600w for 3-4 years and added a Lumatek when he added a second light last year, the Lumatek works fine. I've not heard of many people in the Uk having digital ballast problems to be honest.

I'm just waiting for Philips to start selling their 400w CMH bulbs in the EU then I'll start using those instead of HPS. I'll have to dig out my old magnetic coil ballast to run the CMH I think as I don't know if it will work with my digital although the digi is rated for both MH and HPS and I have run both in it.
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  #27  
Old 02-15-2011, 09:35 PM
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Regarding bulbs, I've used the Sunmaster Super HPS Deluxe series exclusively for flowering based on advice from a friend who's grown for many a moon.

It's slightly hard to find a consistent retailer in the EU so I usually end up paying 25 for one bulb, but it's well worth it.
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  #28  
Old 02-16-2011, 09:03 AM
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I highly recomend 1000w quantum switchable digital ballasts and have also had great success with my chinese made version which has an additional computer fan. Both will stay very cool even when running at 110% output and dont need a switch to run mh or hps. Also, there is a new bulb called the digilux which is especially designed for digital ballasts so that it can safely be run at the 110% setting and provide extra lumens when doing so..These lights are visibly brighter than any magnetic ballast or regular light on a digital ballast..Have also had the chance to test the lumens at the hydro store.
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  #29  
Old 02-16-2011, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by longhorn View Post
I highly recomend 1000w quantum switchable digital ballasts and have also had great success with my chinese made version which has an additional computer fan. Both will stay very cool even when running at 110% output and dont need a switch to run mh or hps. Also, there is a new bulb called the digilux which is especially designed for digital ballasts so that it can safely be run at the 110% setting and provide extra lumens when doing so..These lights are visibly brighter than any magnetic ballast or regular light on a digital ballast..Have also had the chance to test the lumens at the hydro store.
My local hydro store guy has me sold on those Digilux bulbs. They are supposed to be the first bulb specifically designed for digi ballasts because they utilize the higher operating frequencies of digital/electronic ballasts to produce more light. I have watched some 'Tube comparison vids and they do look a lot brighter.

I mostly like the Kelvin's of these bulbs, their MH and HPS compliment each other very well.

They are probably the best performing bulbs out there.




Digilux Metal Halide and High Pressure Sodium bulbs are favored by growers because of the wide color spectrum and efficiency. They are engineered for use in digital ballasts and feature enhanced red and orange spectrums (HPS) blue spectrums (MH), better color uniformity, longer bulb life, and less lumen depreciation.

Digilux bulbs are hot start approved and can be used in both vertical and horizontal fixtures. DigiLux lamps offer superior performance compared to traditional metal halide and H.P.S. lamps.
Digilux MH bulbs deliver 25% more energy in the red and orange spectrums as well as 25% more energy in the blue, violet, and green spectrums for the HPS bulbs.

Last edited by cannatari; 02-16-2011 at 03:06 PM.
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  #30  
Old 03-25-2011, 01:59 PM
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hello all,

today on the web i found these two pictures who totally scared me, im seriously considering to change my magnetic ETI ballasts for electronic ballasts... does someone has ever experimented problems with ETI ballasts or fire ?
im very interested to see more review on digital ballasts, do you think it could be a fire hazard or it much safer than magnetic ballasts ?
sincerely

Bat



Last edited by Batman; 03-25-2011 at 02:27 PM.
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