Flourescent ballasts as chokes?

Discussion in 'Homebrew and Kit Projects' started by W8TMT, Sep 6, 2018.

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  1. W8TMT

    W8TMT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I just gutted some fluorescent fixtures to convert to LED. Just wondering if anyone knows if the ballasts are suitable for use as filter chokes. Anyone done this or know if it could be done? Junkbox or file 13?
  2. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sure. :)

    Some experimentation is in order.

    Have Fun. Don't get shocked.
  3. K8ERV

    K8ERV Ham Member QRZ Page

    How do you like the LED tubes?

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
  4. WB2UAQ

    WB2UAQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    If I had one to test I'd measure its characteristics. A search showed various types. Some are just inductors placed in series with the tube and others have filament windings and step up windings (auto transformer). Worth looking into. When I find one I'll test it but it will not be any time soon:( 73
  5. K8ERV

    K8ERV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Nother consideration is the insulation of wire to case if you use it in a HV circuit.

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
  6. G6YYN

    G6YYN Ham Member QRZ Page

    A couple of things may restrict their use, one the current handling, in the UK they are usually less than 125 Watts at 230 volts. And two, they are rated at 50hz (UK again)
    They are generally wound on laminated steel cores.
    They may be OK for mains voltage filters but their physical size may be one limiting factor.
    I have used 100s if not 1,000s in lights over the years and never even as much as measured the inductance.
  7. W8TMT

    W8TMT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Very well. I've managed to eradicate the house, including the basement and shack, of fluorescents and incandescents. I've chosen bright color temps so in a few places I've had to add dimmers, such as the kitchen. Don't like the harshness when I'm trying to wake up with a cup of coffee.
  8. AA7QQ

    AA7QQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Uhmm, most modern ballasts are electronic, not magnetic. I have changed out several thousand (Retrofitting) ballasts. A magnetic ballast will be fully potted. Electronic ballasts are just a simple switcher PS.
    Neither is useful for anything RF related. Used in a circuit, you could have lethal voltages come out.

    KB4QAA likes this.
  9. N8VIL

    N8VIL Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I used the 3000k frosted tubes (4 total) indoors and gives a more pleasing light. I had the 5000k inside and they were too harsh. I used the whiter tubes for the work room, garage and barn. I had them for about 2 years no problems and RF quiet. The frosted tubes seem to disperse the light better. All other lights were changed to LED also and I think they are fantastic. I couldn't stand the CFL bulbs and the LED bulbs have a better physical appearance in light fixtures where the bulb is visible. Another nice thing about the LED tubes is they come on full brightness in cold (0 deg.) weather unlike the fluorescent tubes. I also used the direct wire - no ballast tubes.
  10. N2UHC

    N2UHC Ham Member QRZ Page

    That explains why, when I turn on the lights in my shack, it puts out a lot of noise on the HF bands even though I'm using LED tubes in the fluorescent fixtures. I usually just leave the lights off and use my D-104 microphone lamp on top of my radio desk when I get on HF.

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