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Discussion Starter #1
Is there a cable suited for remote connection of ballasts? I am considering connecting some luminaires that are only a few inches apart. They are single-lamp so I think I could save money by buying half the number of two-lamp ballasts if it can be done. I would rather avoid conduit since I have never worked with it.

Thanks for reading
 

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Licensed Electrician
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You could only do such a thing if the fixtures you purchased were designed in such a way as you describe.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
k-buz, my assumption was that I could use the existing knock-outs for this. Am I wrong?

bobelectric, I can buy brand-name, electronic t8 ballasts for less than $10. Those and a little cable, if there is some suitable, and some clamps and I will be able to move from the old t12s. I don't want to buy cheap luminares because they have cheap ballasts.
 

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You are not allowed to modify a UL listed fixture, and all fixtures need to be listed.
 

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Semi-Pro Electro-Geek
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Part of the reason not to do this is that the output voltage of a fluorescent ballast is usually 600-700V. Most wire is rated for 600V (some for 300V).
 

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Electrical Contractor
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Actually, remote mounting of electronic ballasts is limited in most cases.

Many electronic ballasts operate on RF principles, and if you mount the ballast too far away from the lamps, it will not work. Increasing the wire size will NOT solve this problem, as you are essentially creating a radio transmitter with the longer length of wires needed to reach the bulbs.

Ballast manufacturers have specifications on maximum lead length that can be used and still obtain satisfactory operation of the assembly. Each ballast is different.

I found out the hard way, BTW.

So, word to the wise: Don't do it without proper research first.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I guess the aswwer is that no one that have read my question knows of readily-available cable to work with. Remote ballasts are a daily part of my life so it does not seem unusual to me. I am relatively certain that they are wired with individual wires in gutters or conduit.

k-buz, I don't need to be concerned with UL issuse for a couple of reasons, I am not selling what I produce and the luminaires are constructed to accept hard connections, not plug-in. It does not matter if the power to the sockets comes from a ballast in the luminaire or a neighboring one.

Moulton, that forms the root of my question. Otherwise I'd just use common romex cable.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the heads-up on mountinng distance. The new ballasts that I have in hand are rated to 18 ft with 18 AWG wire. I suspect that magnetic ballast were a lot more fussy. I was not directely involved, but nearby when a growth chamber was constructed and observed all the ballast to socket wiring replaced when it did not work properly. That was 20 years ago, but IIRC, they had to install larger conductors. I can't say that I recall the length involved.
 

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Sparky
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TFN or TFFN wire in FMC or other conduit


Technically if the fixture was not listed as a master/slave fixture what you are proposing is not allowed.


410.6 Listing Required. All luminaires and lampholders
shall be listed.


Then 110.3 (B) Installation and Use. Listed or labeled equipment
shall be installed and used in accordance with any instruc-
tions included in the listing or labeling.



Not that it wouldn't *work*.
 
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