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Mad as Hell Member
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I know this is basic, but it's an old sign and it's terribly awkward to work in. I did a ballast and a few sockets on it yesterday. The tubes lit up, but it was hard to tell just how bright they were during the day. The also appeared to be flickering. I drove by that night once it was dark and the sign looked great. The customer claims that the sign started flickering a few hours after my drive by. UPDATE: went to see the sign myself tonight. It was lit up perfectly and 10 minutes later it shut off completely. I know for a fact that the feed is okay as there is another sign fed from this sign and it stayed lit. This is still most likely a ballast issue.

I've gotta' open her up again tomorrow and figure this out. I want to be in and out ASAP, so here is the ballast diagram, and the diagram how I did it. I had to wire it "backwards" to use as much of the original wiring as possible. I believe the error may be on lamp "5", where I connected both red wires to one wire, and ran that wire to the socket. Can anyone confirm that this may be my error?


Ballast diagram:


Actual wiring:


The grounding of the sign is certainly questionable, so that's where I'll start if all my wiring looks correct.
 

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Was it really cold? I had this happen where I hooked up a new sign ballast and it didn't appear to work. It also happened to be one of the coldest days of the year. Just a thought.
 

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Mad as Hell Member
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Discussion Starter #5
I think they way you did the reds is wrong. They need the filament to make the circuit. Shorting them together is incorrect. Hopefully the ballast isn't damaged.
What is weird is that I know for a fact that for at least 10 minutes, the sign lit up perfect. First thing I'm going to try is adding another wire to the existing flex and seeing if that solves it. If the ballast is damaged, then I guess it was just defective. :whistling2:

Was it really cold? I had this happen where I hooked up a new sign ballast and it didn't appear to work. It also happened to be one of the coldest days of the year. Just a thought.
Wasn't that cold. Gets much colder up here.
 

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I hate florescent fixtures. Are the lamps new? Any sign of blackening on the ends? Loose or damaged pins? Or are these HO? Even new lamps can be bad.
 

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Mad as Hell Member
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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Update, just got back. When I first arrived on site, all five tubes were lit and the sign looked great.

About 10 minutes later, the entire sign went out completely. There is another sign below this one fed from the same feed, it stayed on the entire time so this is still a ballast issue.


Are these ballasts typically themally protected? Could my faulty wiring be causing it to overheat, shut off, cool down and start up again?

Reds definitely need fixed, but I'm not sure that's the flickering problem.
First thing in the AM.

I hate florescent fixtures. Are the lamps new? Any sign of blackening on the ends? Loose or damaged pins? Or are these HO? Even new lamps can be bad.
New lamps, no blackening, no damaged pins and yes, HO.

Gotta go by what the ballast says.
First thing in the AM.
 

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...this is still a ballast issue.


Are these ballasts typically themally protected? Could my faulty wiring be causing it to overheat, shut off, cool down and start up again?
To answer your questions, yes and emphatically yes. The short on the reds is overheating the coil for the #5 filaments on that end of the tube.

Since it lights up for long enough for the ballast to shut down, it MIGHT survive just fine after you correct the red wire hookup. There is a chance you may have shortened the ballasts' life though....

Oh, and make sure your replacement sockets are NOT the "shunted" type (where both pins are shorted together internally.) SUPER important, because if ANY of the sockets are the shunted type you will still have a short on the end(s) of the tubes with those sockets and you will continue to have problems.
 

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Ambassador of Amps
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He hasnt posted yet.. maybe he did in fact hang himself. no real loss i suppose
 

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OK,
You may have damaged the ballast. Not likely but possible.
Just consider it an out of box failure and install another one.
Make sure it matches your lamp type and you should be good
 

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I can't believe you wired it differently then the manufacturer suggested.

What were you thinking?

I do realize that men don't need maps and instructions, etc. but I suspect if you haven't destroyed the ballast and you do follow the wiring diagram supplied she will work.
 

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Coffee drinking member
I pretwist and then use wire nuts. Solder pots rule.
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TOOL_5150 said:
He hasnt posted yet.. maybe he did in fact hang himself. no real loss i suppose
I just mailed him a small knife.
Hopefully it reaches him in time to cut himself down.

If not, would this be a T&L job to fix it?
 
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