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Regarding Electronic Ballasts


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#1 Jonathan Wilcox

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 10:34 PM

Is it possible to exchange electronic ballasts - for example, using arri electronic ballast with ltm light, or strand ballast with arri light, etc.?

What are some precautions to take when using electronic ballasts? I am quite familiar with magnetic but have not yet used electronic ballasts.
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#2 Guy Holt

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 03:34 PM

What are some precautions to take when using electronic ballasts?


Hello Jonathan,

You must be a new reader to this forum, because you wouldn't be asking this question otherwise. First let me welcome you. Your question is a good one. There are a number of precautions you should take and special considerations when using electronic HMI ballasts. Special precautions should be taken in grounding, dimming, cooling, handling, color balancing, load calculation, sizing of neutral returns, condition of head cables, plugging them into house power and choosing a generator. Special considerations pertaining to electronic HMI ballasts include Power Factor, Harmonic Noise, and Power Quality. I would give you a quick summary of the issues pertaining to the use of electronic HMI ballasts, but some readers of this forum find it repetitive. So instead, as they would prefer, I will refer you to an article I have written on the use of portable generators in motion picture production for my company newsletter. The newsletter article includes answers to all of your questions but you will have to pick through over a hundred pages of other information, rather than have me summarize it for you, just so that other readers of this forum are not put out by too much detail that they can easily choose not to read if they don't want to. So rather than take the time and make an effort to thoroughly answer your questions, I will leave it to these other readers to take the time and make an effort to post a response that is more than a sentence or two to a very complicated question (somehow I doubt that they will.)

Posted Image


But remember, even though it is cited in the just released 4th Edition of Harry Box's "Set Lighting Technician's Handbook" and featured on the companion website "Box Book Extras", and even though Harry Box exclaims of the article:

"Great work!... this is the kind of thing I think very few technician's ever get to see, and as a result many people have absolutely no idea why things stop working."


"Following the prescriptions contained in this article enables the operation of bigger lights, or more smaller lights, on portable generators than has ever been possible before."


it is nothing more than an "infomercial" and not to be believed. My infomercial (I mean my article) is available online at http://www.screenlig...generators.html.

Good luck finding the answers to your questions. I wish I could be of more help, but I don't want to offend anybody.

Guy Holt, Gaffer, ScreenLight & Grip, Lighting and Grip Rental and Sales in Boston
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#3 Guy Holt

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 05:09 PM

What are some precautions to take when using electronic ballasts?


Jonathan,

To my list of issues particular to electronic HMI ballasts I would add use with Ground Fault Interrupt Circuits (GFCIs.) Again, you will find information in that newsletter article that is pertinent.

- Guy Holt, Gaffer, ScreenLight & Grip, Lighting and Grip Rental and Sales in Boston.
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#4 Jonathan Wilcox

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 06:26 PM

Thanks Guy, you are an amazing resource of information.
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Metropolis Post

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

CineTape

Opal

FJS International, LLC

Aerial Filmworks

Visual Products

CineLab

Abel Cine

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Willys Widgets

Technodolly

rebotnix Technologies

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Glidecam

Rig Wheels Passport