Need Help with new HPS ballast box - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 10-03-2014, 09:20 AM   #1
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Default Need Help with new HPS ballast box

Re-posting this here. (Thanks Flounder 9.75) I had in general
My first post to this site but have been reading here for some time. I am in St Augustine Fl. Based on this Forum I have bought three 400 watt HPS from econolite last month. (and I just got my new gig- Thanks Jim) I have gutted them and started building the ballets boxes. On my first attempt I left the igniter in the light with the bulb. When I plugged it in the bulb would flicker but never light. After two days of goggling I found a site called venture lighting talking about (BTL) ballast to lamp. It says there are distance limitations. I moved the igniter (or starter) to the ballast box but the same problem, the light just flickers. I checked at the soket and have 150-165 volts. Is the problem that I am trying to use 20 ft of 12 gauge extension cord and that the starter that came with the light is not powerful enough, or is it a wiring problem? Hope someone can help????
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Old 10-03-2014, 06:26 PM   #2
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I wouldn't think 20' with 12 gauge wire would hurt. Are your lights multi-tap? are you confident you have them hooked up right? Are you testing them with a generator or house plug.
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Old 10-04-2014, 12:03 PM   #3
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I do use a Honda 2000, but I'm testing on house current.
I used the 12 ga as I read on this site guys saying if they had to small ga. and one advised 12 for the longer run. I am connecting the wires same as they were and only extending with extison cord wire. I don't know Tap? I got the Econo lights because several here said they are the best.
Thanks for the reply
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Old 10-04-2014, 01:20 PM   #4
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Multi tap just means the ballast will work with different voltages. You may want to open one of your lights and check it. The wires should be labeled with small tags or stamped on the wire itself. You should be using the (common/neutral/white) and the (120 volt/maybe black) wires. All other wires should be capped off 208v, 240v, 277v, 480v.
I only suggest this because most 400watt lights are multi tap although I don't know what you have.
Also are you trying one at a time or all three at once? I would try one at a time.
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Old 10-05-2014, 07:27 PM   #5
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I now think the 12 ga wire is my problem. and yes they are multi tap I have them on the 120v. Now i need to determine the right ga to run the 20'??
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Old 10-14-2014, 06:05 PM   #6
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I used 14/2 for my runs all the way. Probably at least 14' of run. I actually set my lights up on blue seas breakers as well ever since I dipped the bow and a genny tried to run away with me. Should be in the multi tap system you use the black with yellow stripe to your black and hook all of the commons together. I keep everything in my box and the only thing in the housing is the bulb and socket. Did you ever hook a light up like it came from the factory? That will tell you a lot, as in if you received bad lights. Also the bulbs that come with these lights are junk!!! Go ahead and buy you the ones from lowes. Never replaced mine and going on 3 years.

Last edited by LopeAlong; 10-14-2014 at 06:09 PM.
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Old 10-14-2014, 07:57 PM   #7
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I did take them out as they came to try out, they did work but they were so heavy I want to do a remote box. I left the starter next to the socket ( I thought the closer the better to not need long distance starter?) so maybe the 12 ga is to big? I used a plastic tool box and now think it will melt. so I plan on starting from the beginning again :-( I just looked at blue seas breakers site what one did you use? Thanks so much for responding to my post.
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Old 10-14-2014, 11:03 PM   #8
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It's not to big.....Just Overkill.

They only draw about 3.5amps at start up and it's 110V....Not 12V The calculations make a Hell'va difference.


The lightener goes in the box....Just the socket and bulb go in the housing.











Custom alum Vents.

With a 110V fan installed to move air thru the box.













Yes....I will build you one.....but it will not be cheap. There is a LOT of time involved in it.
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Old 10-15-2014, 01:24 AM   #9
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That is some sexy wiring...
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Old 10-15-2014, 08:54 AM   #10
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I was hoping X would jump in on this one and show his Fab and Wiring skills.
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