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Old 04-21-2007, 08:12 PM   #1
Mark R
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Default Any easy way to test a high voltage lamp ignitor?

Just wondering.

The method I came up with involved attaching an incandescent bulb connected to neutral and a paperclip to the end of a long stick, and then prodding the high voltage terminals in the circuit to see if I could get some nice sparks.

Well, I got some nice sparks when actually making contact - but I suspect those are just low-voltage arcs. I guessing that the lack of nice half-inch long sparks suggests my ignitor is dead. If not, the ignitor certainly is dead after the paperclip got spot-welded to the output terminal.

I'm guessing that there must be a proper tool for doing this, or some kind of meter that can measure the high kV spikes. Still, I was quite impressed with my ghetto tester.

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Old 04-21-2007, 08:19 PM   #2
Heisenberg
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Default Any easy way to test a high voltage lamp ignitor?

You need a high voltage probe.
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Old 04-21-2007, 08:38 PM   #3
Rubycon
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Default Any easy way to test a high voltage lamp ignitor?

What kind of lamp is it?

HPS systems up to 150W can be checked with a simple 120V incandescent bulb. If the light glows bright but the fixture will not strike the arc with a known GOOD HPS bulb, your igniter is shot. If the HV wire is fractured you may hear it arcing.
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Old 04-21-2007, 09:58 PM   #4
Mark R
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Default Any easy way to test a high voltage lamp ignitor?

It's a 150W MH running off a simple reactor ballast.

I'd already tested the ballast by replacing the bulb with a 300W linear halogen which lights at about 70% brightness. I just didn't have any spare MH bulbs and my current one is brand new and unused (doesn't necessarily mean it's good though). As a new ignitor was a cheaper option, I've gone for that rather than buying a 2nd new bulb.

Only catch is that it's going to be a tight fit getting my replacement 600W HPS digital ignitor into the luminaire - it should certainly be strong enough.
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