Any easy way to test a high voltage lamp ignitor?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Mark R, Apr 21, 2007.

  1. Mark R

    Mark R Diamond Member

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    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.

     
  2. Heisenberg

    Heisenberg Lifer

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    You need a high voltage probe.
     
  3. Rubycon

    Rubycon Madame President

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    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.
     
  4. Mark R

    Mark R Diamond Member

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    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. :)