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#51247 - 04/26/05 09:35 PM The habits we get into....  
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
Today I had to replace several unusual often do you find three-bulb, 4 ft. long, Slimline fixtures?

One parts houst tried especially hard to be helpfull.....but they couldn't get their minds to register "slimline." They kept talking about re-wiring the tombstones (and this fixture didn't have individual mounts). We just weren't able to communicate.

Finally, they did what they always did when there was a "communication" problem....the sent to the wharehouse for "Raoul." That's OK, we didn't dp any better in Spanish either!

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

#51248 - 04/26/05 10:59 PM Re: The habits we get into....  
frenchelectrican  Offline
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 939
Wi/ Paris France { France for ...
John : is that a single ballast with 3 slimline bulbs ?? something like that i ran into many years ago but i think advance ballast did make that beast before but really i doubt they make it any more.

p.s. what voltage the fixure it ran ?? maybe i have a idea or two let me know

Merci , Marc

Pas de problme,il marche n'est-ce pas?"(No problem, it works doesn't it?)

#51249 - 04/27/05 03:59 AM Re: The habits we get into....  
e57  Offline
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
You might be SOL... Is it poss. to use 1 ballast for 2, and have another to drive the 3rd? Slimline? Nipples not pins? Check for Advance...

Anyway if you need a bunch of them, it might be time for new fixtures....

As for the language barrier, I know this well... We have occassion to use a supply house that is chinese owned, all the counter guys are chinese, etc. They deliver in under 2 hours! Same mats you would get anywhere else, and cheap! Unfortunately, the language thing seems to get in the way, or so it seems. Sometimes get the wrong stuff... So I have one of my crew call, who speaks chinese, only to find out, ITS NOT A LANGUAGE BARRIER! But they to have the one guy they call after I get the "They dont make it" answer, and he'll say "Oh, right down here." And pull it out of some catacome filled with 1970's over-stock in the basement.

Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason

#51250 - 04/27/05 06:31 AM Re: The habits we get into....  
Steve Miller  Offline
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 325
Loudoun Cty, VA
We have lots of them in our school system (the ballasts AND the language barrier). For the ballasts we use the 4 tube (T8) ballasts which are readily available. They work fine on 3 tubes. Makes no difference which blue goes unused, just cap it off. Same for 1 tube fixtures, use a 2 tube (T8) and cap off one blue. And just to make life interesting we have them in 120 and 277.

#51251 - 04/27/05 06:07 PM Re: The habits we get into....  
Scott35  Offline

Broom Pusher and
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,707
Anaheim, CA. USA
Been years since I have seen any 48" "Slimline" Lamps.
(F48T12/SP/IS Lamps, that is!) [Linked Image]

Only seen 2 Lamp Ballasts (Linear Magnetic Reactor type) driving each set of Lamps in an 8' 4 Lamp strip.
Never seen them (the strips) in a 3 Lamp (or 6 Lamp tandem) configuration.

Were the original Ballasts 3-Lamp Magnetic type, or a combination of 1 Single Lamp and 1 Two Lamp Ballast?
(the "combination" scheme reminds me of "Slave/Master" Troffer Fixtures).

I don't know if 3-Lamp Mag. Ballasts for I.S. are widely available - maybe a special order thing.

Some information on the Lamps / Ballast:

"Slimline" Lamps are Single Pin contact, Instant Start, cold cathode operation.
They can be "T8", "T10" or "T12" size, and range from 18" to 96" length.

The Lamp specification I listed earlier in this message, would be figured as:


"F" = Standard Fluorescent Lamp,

"48" = Apx. maximum rated Lamp Wattage (the actual wattage will be no higher than 80% of any nominal rated wattage),

"T12" = "Tubular" Lamp enclosure, diameter = 12/8" (or 1½"),

"SP" = Single Pin Contact (as opposed to Bipin or Recessed Bipin contact),

"IS" = Instant Start (as opposed to Rapid Start or prog. start methods).

As already mentioned, you may find an Electronic type Ballast of 3-4 Lamp output, which will have a compatable output rating and connectivity to the standard Linear Reactor (Magnetic) type Ballast, and use these for replacements.
The Ballasts' compatability listings and ratings should include driving (at least) 3 F48T12 Lamps - at the wattage rated by the Lamp Manufacturer.

Be sure the Ballast(s) are the Instant Start Parallel types.
If you get a 4 Lamp output type, simply cap the unused Lamp Lead.


Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!

#51252 - 04/27/05 06:59 PM Re: The habits we get into....  
Steve Miller  Offline
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 325
Loudoun Cty, VA
Talk about habits we get into. When you said slimline I assumed T8. Never even dawned on me that you had the other kind (real slimlines). Guess I have a language barrier too.

#51253 - 04/27/05 09:20 PM Re: The habits we get into....  
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
Thanks, guys, for your interest. My point in the story was the supply house assuming that, if there was a communication problem -even if the person is standing there, speaking perfect English- that it would be solved by fetching a Spanish speaker! I also had two ballasts in front of me, that I had brought old one, and the one the customer had bought by mistake.
Every ballast they presented was either for bi-pin bulbs of various types, or had the wrong wires coming out of it. Due to the nature of the fixture, it was not feasable to re-wire the sockets.

The fixtures were, in fact, unusual. They each held three 4-ft. long slimline (single nopple or pin) bulbs, with two ballasts. These were electronic ballasts, fed by 277v. My sockets were part of oval end-caps, rather than individual 'tombstones.'

When I finally asked if MAYBE they could LOOK UP the correct replacement part (remember, I had the old ballast with me)....a kid passing through on his way to the warehouse suddenly chimed in with "we have some of thse in back, collecting dust." Problem solved.

Sometimes, we get into habits....and forget how to think thing out, or receive the information we're getting. This area has a large Mexican population, so these folks just got in the habit....well, you know the rest.

#51254 - 04/28/05 10:29 PM Re: The habits we get into....  
e57  Offline
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
I think most of the problems with locating the "right stuff" with the folks behind any counter, has little to do really with who they are, more so the fact that they know little of what to do with the stuff in the first place. If they were electricians themselves, do you think they would be behind the counter? Ask these "Warehousing Proffessionals" for a "stock or manufactuer number" and you'll be more sure to get it. The fact that those guys didn't just look up the cross-refferance on thier own means that joint could use some training...

On another note: Have you ever seen a Home Owner walk into a supply house, and try to get a cash tag at the counter? And ask the guy there all kinds of advice like he were speaking to Bob Villa, at an Ace Hardware store? As if the guy behind the counter has ever actually installed anything. Most guys at the counter would not know what to do with a ballast other than use it as a paper wieght.

Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason

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