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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 5:25 pm 
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Stelmer wrote:
Mazeteam will be able to compare these but the old GEC 135w Leak Transformer you can see running my Z9554 is bigger and heavier than the MA60 ballast.  :o

mazeteam wrote:
Looks like I'm getting a Brick next week then :D providing I have the correct capacitor, then that 180w ballast I grabbed from the poppleton depot may be of use after all.


PS, my MA60 has a 20mfd capacitor in it. Dates to 1999.

CAUTION - To run 180W (or 135W) SOX on a Philips 4135 ballast, requires a 20uF capacitor rated at 385V AC or higher. The capacitor is in series with a winding of the ballast and is not just for power correction. The capacitor is essential and must not be a "standard" 20uF type.

Check carefully the wiring details if you have a different type of ballast.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 5:42 pm 
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I know it's essential as it does say so on the ballast. ;)

The area which says the voltage has worn off the capacitor in my MA60. Took a while to find out that it was 20µf.

Incidentally my GR150 135w gear came with a 250v 6µf capacitor. That one is wired in series on the ''neutral'' lamp supply between the ballast and the ignitor. I have messaged Urbis Saturn Land not to use the gear till I get a supply of 400v 8µf capacitors in.

The one in my MA50 has failed. That one is rated at 400v. I admit a 250v GEC 8µf capacitor from the York haul works fine in it and i've had it running with that in for a while. It may only exceed 250v at startup as I doubt a 135w SOX lamp needs more than 240v when running normally.

They don't but a 180w lamp does indeed run higher than the supply:

135w: 0.9 A 185 V 20,200 lm  134.7 lm/W
180w: 0.9 A 265 V 30,000 lm  150.0 lm/W

For safety though i'll use a 400v capacitor in the MA50. The MA60 works perfectly well but I could do with a spare for that too as it's PF is in the 0.69-0.74 range which may indicate a failing capacitor.


Last edited by Stelmer on Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:10 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 6:49 pm 
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For a Philips 4135 ballast, it will operate 135/180W on the same circuit.

For Philips gear and 135W SOX it is usually a L6135 ballast and 6.6uF 440V wired in series with the ballast and lamp and also an electronic ignitor. 8uF is close enough in turns of capacitance tolerance.

For Thorn gear, the ballast is type AME53260T which again requires a series capacitor of 13uF rated at 440V AC.

For other types check the ballast, but for 135/180W SOX it will almost certainly be a series capacitor and therefore needs to be rated at least 400V ac.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:04 pm 
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Can I ask what value capacitor is ideal for a Phillips L5090BX ballast? The wiring diagram mentions it as L4025/05. It was wired to that Crompton ''bomb'' in the Crompton 90w lantern.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:24 pm 
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25uF, 250v AC, connected across the mains input. Your capacitor looks it may be original to the lantern, the ballast looks newer. There should be a date code on the ballast - either 2 or 4 characters possibly starting with LH XX if 4 characters are used. The capacitor has "7091" on it, ususally it is year and week - that won't work - so perhaps its is week 09 of 1971. If it is, that again seems a bit too new for the lantern which I would have thought is no newer than mid 1960s.

Stelmer wrote:
I know it's essential as it does say so on the ballast. ;)

The area which says the voltage has worn off the capacitor in my MA60. Took a while to find out that it was 20µf.

Incidentally my GR150 135w gear came with a 250v 6µf capacitor. That one is wired in series on the ''neutral'' lamp supply between the ballast and the ignitor. I have messaged Urbis Saturn Land not to use the gear till I get a supply of 400v 8µf capacitors in.

The one in my MA50 has failed. That one is rated at 400v. I admit a 250v GEC 8µf capacitor from the York haul works fine in it and i've had it running with that in for a while. It may only exceed 250v at startup as I doubt a 135w SOX lamp needs more than 240v when running normally.

They don't but a 180w lamp does indeed run higher than the supply:

135w: 0.9 A 185 V 20,200 lm  134.7 lm/W
180w: 0.9 A 265 V 30,000 lm  150.0 lm/W

For safety though i'll use a 400v capacitor in the MA50. The MA60 works perfectly well but I could do with a spare for that too as it's PF is in the 0.69-0.74 range which may indicate a failing capacitor.


A word of warning. It is not the running voltage of the lamp which is the issue. For 135/180W SOX with a series connected capacitor, the ballast and the capacitor form a resonant circuit to strike the lamp. This is very much higher than the running voltage. The voltage across the lamp terminals will be around 1KV to get it to strike. The voltage rating of the capacitor shows it has around 400V across it, the ballast will have a similar voltage across it. These voltages are out of phase and the therefore the resultant voltage vector (across the lamp) will be greater than the sum of the individual ballast and capacitor voltages.

Not only is the start up voltage likely to exceed the voltage rating of the capacitor, but also the running voltage will be. At very least when it eventually fails, it may just got short circuit. At worst it will explode. You have been warned.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:32 pm 
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Anyone know where the best place to get them from is?

BLT Direct charge £19+P&P for this: http://www.bltdirect.com/product.php?pid=5606 which may be suitable for the MA60

This: http://www.bltdirect.com/product.php?pi ... d+440+volt may be suitable for the MA50 and USL's control gear for his GR150. It's a little cheaper...

Actually, will these be suitable for the MA60?

I will get my MA50 ones from the other website.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 7:23 pm 
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Either of those or the ebay ones will be fine. Another source is induction motor start/run capacitors providing you use the "run" rated ones which are designed for permanent connection and not the "start" rated ones - which aren't!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 8:22 pm 
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Hi Guys, I’ve just finished a lengthy restoration of my battered Z9554M and am having a problem with the wiring. Being new to this I’ve not got a lot of experience wiring up remote geared lanterns. I have the white GEC 135/180W leak transformer to power up the lamp with the cap to go with it but can’t understand how I incorporate the nema socket in the circuit. Originally there were two cables coming out of the lantern. One with three connections to the nema socket L, L0 and N and another cable with a live neutral and earth. I didn’t get a chance to see how it was wired in the post before the lantern was removed so how do I wire the photocell into the circuit? Do I do it across the transformer somehow? Like I said I’m new to this and have not seen this setup before. After I get it working I’ll post something in the restoration thread. Not sure about the labelling see image below of how the lantern was originally wired, i think!.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 4:36 am 
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Live from supply goes to L on NEMA.
Lo on NEMA goes to input of ballast.
N on NEMA goes to supply neutral.
N on input of ballast goes to N of supply.

Lamp connections go to output of ballast, depending on type of ballast, there may be no connection between the lamp terminals and supply neutral - especially if there is no separate ignitor.

It would be useful if you also post a picture of the ballast terminals and their labels as I can then be even more specific on what goes where.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:30 am 
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Thanks for that, I thought you would ask me what the ballast was. Its a GEC leak, at the time of writing I didn't have it to hand so wasn't able to post a pic and I still can't post a pic until later today. For the time being the cat no from GEC is Z1633P with 6 terminals  

1 - 6 to lamp
2- 5 to the cap
3- 4 mains

which is easy to follow. It just looks confusing when you add the Nema socket to it.


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