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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
I have quite a few light enclosures from the little diesel powered mobile light plants. 3 cyl Kubota with a pancake 110/220 generator, runs at 1800rpm/60hz.
Goes from the generator to a single capacitor, then to the main breaker and individual switches, out to another capacitor, to a transformer, then to the light.
The lights need 600vac, they are 1000/1200 watt bt37's.
I want to run these at home, for outdoor lighting and in the shop, when my regular flourescents arent enough.
Can a regular ballast do this, or will i have to use a ballast/capaciitor along with a transformer to get it to work?
I did wire it right to a 110 cord, and nothing happened. Must not be enough to even warm the gas?
Thanks
 

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If the lights require 600 volts there is no way a 120 volt source will power them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The light fixtures themselves dont have anything other than the socket and the bulb, within a tough enclosure, reflective on the inside.
The ballasts that i have, i do not know if they are multitap, how can i tell?

Basically, what i want to do, is to get these bt37's to work, without having to buy the transformers and capacitors that are on the actual lightower, as they are very expensive due to the "toughness" of them. These things get towed down backroads at 40mph bouncing all over the place while getting ran at the jobsites with rain dripping all over them etc etc.
I dont need that kind of ruggedness since mine are gonna be mounted on the walls.
Looking for cheaper way to get to 600vac, and power a 1000/1200 watt bulb.
Thanks
 

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There seems to be some information missing because according to your 1st post these plants were originally running using either 120 V or 240 V power from the generator. Either the generator was producing a different voltage than you indicated on the lamps were wired differently.
 

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There seems to be some information missing because according to your 1st post these plants were originally running using either 120 V or 240 V power from the generator. Either the generator was producing a different voltage than you indicated on the lamps were wired differently.
It looks like it was originally wired through a transformer according to the first post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Perhaps i am wording it wrong, as i "thought" this wouldnt be impossible. First of all, these things vary from 110-120/220-240 ( depending on a slight change in rpm). So if i say 110/220 in one post and 120/240 in the next, thats my bad, as they do vary somewhat, but for my purpose it doesnt matter.

it goes like this:
1. Gen/main single capacitor
2. Main 30 amp/220 breaker
3. Another 25uf capacitor
4. Individual switches for each lamp
5. Transformer for each lamp
6. Lamp (600v) 1000 or 1200 watt (whatever we have to put in)

How can i power a 600 volt ac/1000 watt bulb, from a normal household 120 outlet.
What do i need/and/or what is capable of doing it? Ballast/capacitor, transformer, what?

I have loads of experience in 12v/24v shstems, as well as just regular house wiring. What i dont know is simple inexpensive ways to "amp-up"/"soup-up" house voltage. i cant seem to believe its gonna be that hard to wire up a system to power a 600v/1000watt lamp, starting from 120 OR 240.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Dmxtothemax,
If i can start with 240vac power, what else do i need? Specifically?

Common sense would say transformer and capacitor, since thats what they originally have.
BUT, since i am usi g them in a stationary/non rough enviornment, what can i get away with? Ballasts? Cheap transformers? Which ones?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Brric,
The ballasts i was referring to are just regular cheapy 4 lamp flourescent shop light ballasts. They are made by "robertson". I just all of a sudden got super interested with these, because they say 600v on them, and that just happens to be what i need for the bt37's. But i could be totally off base...
 

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Brric,
The ballasts i was referring to are just regular cheapy 4 lamp flourescent shop light ballasts. They are made by "robertson". I just all of a sudden got super interested with these, because they say 600v on them, and that just happens to be what i need for the bt37's. But i could be totally off base...
Interesting issue. My experience with ballasted lights is meager, but "open circuit voltage" means exactly that which means these ballasts may (or may not) serve your purpose. Why don't you give it a try?

I know of no realistic way to get the voltage you need from house voltage. A thought about a step-up transformer but know of no such thing readily available. Ballasts aren't too pricey, so why not give it a try?
 

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The ballast needs to match the lamps you are trying to drive. Simply matching the voltage is not enough.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Jim, how would i go about trying to figure that out? Is it as easy as just trying to find a 1000w/600vac ballast?
I thought ballasts were more like a capacitor, not a transformer.
The only reason i thought this might be possible (alot more easily than buying all the same parts that are on the lightower) is i was just replacing a couple of these ballasts in my household flourescents, and happened to see it shows "open circut voltage-600", and "note, for three lamp application, cap any unused blue or re lead and insulate to 600v"
So i guess these must be capable of 600v, therefore i was wrong about a ballast being more like a capacitor, it seems like its more like a transformer.

This ballast is just for regular household/shop lighting for powering standard T8 48" flourescents, on the box it says they use 32 watts.
But i dont see a wattage rating on the ballast. I guess i could power one up and check the output leads and see where thats at voltage-wise?
 

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Fire it up using the generator.

What is the voltage at the main breaker?

What is the voltage at each light fixtures's ground level switch?

What is the AC power frequency from the generator?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Allen, im not at work right now, but ill tell you what i can remember from checking them.




Fire it up using the generator.

What is the voltage at the main breaker? Main breaker is a 35amp, 4 pole. Top two poles have 120 each.

What is the voltage at each light fixtures's ground level switch? 120

What is the AC power frequency from the generator?
This i dont know, i know at 1800rpm we are 60hz, but i guess i dont understand your wording (im new to this).
I think thats what your asking though?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I am no electrician, but putting a 1200w 600v lamp, that is made to be outside on a light tower, into your shop seems like a good recipe for a fire.
Appriciate the concern, but its not like they get to 600* and im gonna have them right next to flammables.
I have hit them with the IR gun, and the enclosure never gets above 150*

The enclosures are aluminum, i was gonna use the brackets, which would put them roughly 4" away from the surface they are mounted to.
 

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When the tower is runjning on its generator, are individual lights switched on and off with single breakers or are two breakers needed for each light or pair of lights?

Measure between individual breaker screw terminals, two at a time with all the lights on. Do you measure about 240 volts between some combinations of screw pairs?

Assuming only one individual breaker (with the main breaker on) is needed for any given light you should be able to run the lights with 120 volts fed into the breaker panel (hot and neutral), not fed directly to a transformer or directly to a light itself. Try this with just one light turned on at a time since you don't know how many amperes each light draws and your 120 volt cord is probably plugged into a nearby receptacle supplying just 15 amps.

You will need to unhook the generator feed wires from the breaker box before connecting the 120 volt test feed cable. Ultimately you could build a transfer switch attached to the tower unit to allow a choice of generator versus building power.
 
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