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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:14 pm 
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The other night when I was out walking the dog, I walked past a column that was making quite a loud humming noise coming from the base, like that what comes from the SON floodlights in our back garden only louder. I've heard it before, but in gear in base SOX installations, but it is a SGS203 on column that was installed no less that five years ago, also the lamp seemed as if it was failing to warm up, staying a pale pink colour. None of the other installations made this noise. Does this mean a gear in base lantern?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:23 pm 
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Either that or the cut out (fuse) has got a loose connection and what you are actually hearing is arching. I have heard columns do this before.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:25 pm 
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Yes it could be, then that would explain the lamp being dimmer as it wouldn't be getting full voltage.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:35 am 
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Without opening the door, there isn't a way to find out for sure... but the SGS203's are normally integral gear lanterns. I have an Urbis ZX3 that buzzes very loudly - and I reckon if it was installed on a column you'd probably hear a very faint hum as the buzzing from the ballast travels down the metal of the column....
But since the lamp isn't warming up properly (is it glowing steady or is it cycling on and off?) then it could well be the cutout, in which case it'd probably be worth reporting the fault and stating you think the fuse carrier may not be making full contact with the live terminals. If it is arching, and is left for ages (especially in a plastic enclosure), then the arc will burn through the outer casing.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:53 pm 
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Its glowing steady,and Ive just filled out an online report for the column, i was up there again tonight and slight buzzing can be heard from some of the column, but not as loud as the others. See what happens when they come to have a look at it.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:52 pm 
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I reported the fault to the council and the engineer informed me that the lamp life was ending and was not powering up, and the buzzing noise was that of 2xMBF ballasts which are used to light a large give way sign, I had often wondered where the control and switch gear was kept as the sign was on just two normal posts. The signs floodlight has 2x80w MBF bulbs in. Needless to say the column base was extremely cramped. This is the only MBF left in County Durham is the only one of its type I believe.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:12 pm 
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That must be a well-lit sign then! Don't they normally use 11w fluorescents for signs? I take it they used to light all signs with MBF lighting at one time?


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:10 am 
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If it is a large road sign, such as a roundabout directional sign (a good example being the ones you get on primary A roads, which are green) then often there are 80w MBF floodlights installed on posts slightly below the level of the sign that then shine up onto the sign.
Overhead gantries have signs that are sometimes lit the same... Stelmer and myself both think the gantries on the A64 hopgrove roundabout are lit with MBF - incredible considering the roundabout (in its present guise) is only 2-3 years old.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 7:06 pm 
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The one near me does not mounted below but above the sign. Here is a street view link of the sign (also with some of fantastic views of the Derwent Valley behind). ~ http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&sourc ... 4,,0,-4.94


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:30 pm 
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Well the sign has orange backing, so it is likely that it is required to be of a better visibility than a standard sign (perhaps an accident or two has happened at the Give Way point in the past, leading to calls for more high-profile signage)... and so in addition to the orange backing, it may have been decided that a brighter light (but still with a light quality similar to fluorescent) was required, hence 80w mercury

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