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Thread: Testing a 70w ballast help

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* Rat's Avatar
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    Default Testing a 70w ballast help

    I just purchased a 70w slim ballast HID kit for my spotlights on my 4WD.
    But they do not seem any brighter than my 55w HID's.
    I am thinking that they are not real 70w ballast as claimed by the manufactures and would like to test them.
    So can anybody tell me a way I can test them.
    I will need the how to test for a dummy style of help. As I have no idea about this type of thing.
    With the light running I stuck my volt meter in at the globe connections and was getting .04a but got the same with my 55w setup. I think I have my cheap volt meter on the wrong settings.
    So can anybody help please ?
    Because if I find they are not 70w I would like to send the kit back and get my $600 plus dollars back.
    This is the kit in question.
    Last edited by Rat; 07-29-2011 at 03:27 AM.
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  2. #2
    BVH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Testing a 70w ballast help

    Here ya go. Be careful not to touch anything when initially starting the light to avoid getting hit with the high KV strike. You're going to need the Ammeter to be of the inductive/clamp-on type unless your meter can handle 15 to 20 Amps starting current without popping its' fuse. I've not seen any cheap to medium quality Ammeters that can handle any more than 10 Amps thru its' hard wired connection ports. 95% chance that the output is AC so your meters need to be set on AC, not DC. My guess is that the output will be somewhere between 55 and 62 Watts.

    Read the entire post to discover that the readings obtained are reasonable but not exact due to AC current/voltage measuring capabilities of my meters.

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...ighlight=watts
    Last edited by BVH; 07-29-2011 at 10:18 AM.
    WWII 60" Anti Aircraft Carbon Arc (Sold), Short Arcs: 1.6KW NightSun, 1KW VSS-3A, .8KW TrakkaBeam, 600 Watt M-134 Gun Light, 500 Watt X-500-14s, 500 Watt Starburst, 300 Watt Locators, Megaray, 150 Watt Set Beam & Communicator, Maxabeam Gen3, LarryK14@52V

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* XeRay's Avatar
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    Default Re: Testing a 70w ballast help

    Quote Originally Posted by Rat View Post
    I just purchased a 70w slim ballast HID kit for my spotlights on my 4WD.
    But they do not seem any brighter than my 55w HID's.
    I am thinking that they are not real 70w ballast as claimed by the manufactures and would like to test them.
    So can anybody tell me a way I can test them.
    I will need the how to test for a dummy style of help. As I have no idea about this type of thing.
    With the light running I stuck my volt meter in at the globe connections and was getting .04a but got the same with my 55w setup. I think I have my cheap volt meter on the wrong settings.
    So can anybody help please ?
    Because if I find they are not 70w I would like to send the kit back and get my $600 plus dollars back.
    That ballast case is marginal at best to handle even a 50 watt output without some active cooling. The fins are not providing nearly enough heatsink cooling surface area. You should be ok for 15 minute runs I would think. The case temp should not really get hotter than about 80 C max for acceptable internal temps.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* ma_sha1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Testing a 70w ballast help

    the ballast looks like "slim ballast" type, very unlikely to be real 70W, not enough heat handling capability.

    What's the Amp & Volt printed on the ballast? I've seem sellers overstate the watts, despite the calculation from ballast spec printed on it does not support it. Usually, it says 13.2V typical operation volt. For 55W ballast, it'll say 4.3A typical amp, which comes out 56W input power.

    To reach 70W, it'll need to have typical operating amp around 5.3A printed on it. If it says 4.3A, then its a 55W ballast.

    By the way, the 55W & higher power HID ballasts are rated by Input power, so they won't measure 55W or 70W out, probably 80% of that ~ out put power. The 35W HID ballast are rated by out put power.
    Last edited by ma_sha1; 07-29-2011 at 07:04 PM.
    My Mods.. http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...5&postcount=78
    Hobby only, I don't do custom mods as a service, thanks for understanding.

  5. #5
    BVH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Testing a 70w ballast help

    I've tested some slim chrome 70 Watt labeled ballasts that do actually output 70 Watts. But as Xeray says, they're good for 15 minute runs and then get pretty hot.
    WWII 60" Anti Aircraft Carbon Arc (Sold), Short Arcs: 1.6KW NightSun, 1KW VSS-3A, .8KW TrakkaBeam, 600 Watt M-134 Gun Light, 500 Watt X-500-14s, 500 Watt Starburst, 300 Watt Locators, Megaray, 150 Watt Set Beam & Communicator, Maxabeam Gen3, LarryK14@52V

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* ma_sha1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Testing a 70w ballast help

    Quote Originally Posted by BVH View Post
    I've tested some slim chrome 70 Watt labeled ballasts that do actually output 70 Watts. But as Xeray says, they're good for 15 minute runs and then get pretty hot.
    Surprised to hear that, do you have a link for that?
    As heat sinking can be solved by attaching external heat sink to it, it'll still be on smaller footprint, I'd be interested in checking it out.
    My Mods.. http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...5&postcount=78
    Hobby only, I don't do custom mods as a service, thanks for understanding.

  7. #7
    BVH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Testing a 70w ballast help

    Went back to my spreadsheet and saw that it was not a slim, but a conventional-sized 70-Watt.
    WWII 60" Anti Aircraft Carbon Arc (Sold), Short Arcs: 1.6KW NightSun, 1KW VSS-3A, .8KW TrakkaBeam, 600 Watt M-134 Gun Light, 500 Watt X-500-14s, 500 Watt Starburst, 300 Watt Locators, Megaray, 150 Watt Set Beam & Communicator, Maxabeam Gen3, LarryK14@52V

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