Convert failed HPS Ballast?

TT, zone 5b MASeptember 3, 2008


I have a Sun System 10 600W HPS ballast that just failed. It was five years old and out of warranty (practically by the day!) so I opted to do a direct replace. New ballast is on its way.

Is it possible (and at all economical or a good idea) to try to convert the failed HPS ballast to a Metal Halide ballast? Or to something that will run a CMH bulb? Do I have any options like this, or am I stuck with a hunk of throwaway ballast?

Thanks in advance for any opinions!


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probably the transformer is fine, and one of the other cheaper components failed. you could have just bought a few of the cheaper parts and swapped out the burnt ones and saved money. so DO NOT throw out your ballast, it is mainly good except for a few components. contact your dealer or whoever you deal with, or sun system, but you just need a few cheap parts to restore your ballast to perfect working order. next time, write your post BEFORE buying anything. oh well, you will have a real killer setup now, with HPS 600 x 2 :)

    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 11:40AM
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for 55$, replace all the innards, and have a nice 400w ballast that will run a CMH lamp, or if you prefer, contact, and they can even sell you a pulse start
kit for a 400w light, that you could swap out. look up on the internet and check out the various ballast kits they sell. it is very straight forward, and does not require any special training. they also don't mind taking phone calls, i've talked to them in the past. their service is good, excellent selection and prices.
Hi Tom! how's it going. Sativa.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 11:45AM
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TT, zone 5b MA

You know, it's funny, I first gave the failed ballast to my electrician - thinking he would do what you describe in your first post. That is, find the failed component and replace it and ta da! Cheap repair - functioning ballast.

So, when he called me yesterday and suggested I replace the whole ballast (based on conversations he said he had with his "supplier") I was a little annoyed and surprised. His justification was that it does not pay to try to replace a part at a time, only to find that another part is also bad, or that another part will fail shortly down the road. I think he just does not have much experience with these types of lighting systems...

In any case, I have been interested in the CMH option for a while, just a little disappointed that they only make them up to 400 Watts right now. So, are you suggesting that I could purchase the 400 watt High Pressure Sodium Ballast Kit from HTGSupply for $55 and easily replace the innards on this ballast? Not to sound naive, but will I need a soldering iron to do this? Do all these rebuild kits just fit nicely into a Sun System 10 Econo Gro ballast?



    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 12:49PM
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all the connections are made with special connectors made for the purpose, that will probably come included with the kit. you will just need a sharp utility knife to strip any excess insulation from the wire, put the ends of the wire into the connector, and then use a twisting motion (this will be obvious once you see it). you might possibly need a tool called a diagonal cutter, which costs about 5$ or 7$. i do not think u need an iron for this job, but if u like using them, u can do it that way too. a ballast is a very simple device : it has a transformer (which will not blow), and is the expensive part, it has a lot of copper wire in it, copper is a scarce resource - the other part is called a capacitor, and the third part is called the igniter. Unfortunately, I checked on line, and the crooks are selling the igniter for 30$ and the capacitor for 30$, but you can get a whole kit including the transformer for $90. it's a real shame to just dump the transformer, but it would need 30$ to fix it, if you were able to test which of the parts burnt out.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 10:31PM
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