Advertise On Marijuana Passion

Odd problem with my ballast/light/timer

Hackerman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2014
Messages
3,029
Reaction score
269
I am having a strange problem with my setup.

The timer will not turn the light on. I have tried 4 different timers.

Obviously, I have tested the timers. I swapped these back and forth and they work fine on my other lights. I even bought 2 new ones and they did the same thing.

They are all decent timers, rated for 10A/15A 1000w/1250w. Intermatic and Brinks. Not great timers but they all work fine with my other lights and always have.

The timers work and will turn the light off at the proper time but they just won't kick start it.

If I plug the light in directly, it works fine.

This morning, I even pulled the plug, timer and all and plugged them both back in and the light went on.

It's a decent quality XtraSun Dial-a-watt ballast set at 1000w with a nearly new 1000w HPS bulb.

Anyone ever experience something like this?

Thanks
 

zem

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2009
Messages
3,193
Reaction score
504
i wonder, could it be that you need a relay to start that 1K? just a thought
 

goats_head_soup

been around the corner
Joined
Oct 4, 2014
Messages
30
Reaction score
1
I had a galaxy dimmable 1k that started fine if you plug it in including pluging it in the timer when the timer was on.but it never fired when the timer popped on. I tried a few timers and they worked with other ballast but not the galaxy but only when the timer came "on" otherwise it worked fine. A friend took it off my hands but I was baffled and still am. Ballast worked fine to plug in but would not fire when timer popped on
 

Hackerman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2014
Messages
3,029
Reaction score
269
Well, that exactly describes my problem.

I put a mechanical timer on it today to see if that would make a difference. I'll let it run a cycle and see how it does.

I also went to the store today and told him about it. He said he never heard of it but it was under warranty so he would replace it if I brought it back. I grabbed a new one for backup just in case. We'll see.

Always something new. ;)
 

AluminumMonster

Duke of Errl:)
Joined
Mar 2, 2011
Messages
1,299
Reaction score
56
Sounds like the ballast is drawing more amperage than the timer can handle. The outlet can handle a little more than a cheap timer so the ballast kicks on when you plug it directly in to a wall outlet, but it wont fire when the timer is in use. I think your ballast is defective.
 

Hackerman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2014
Messages
3,029
Reaction score
269
Well, it just worked fine with the mechanical timer.

I switched it back to the digital and I'll see what happens next cycle.

Funny thing is, the old mechanical timer is an el cheapo. The digital timers are all more expensive. I am searching for a new timer, now. Most of the pro models seems to be analog/mechanical rather than digital.

Any suggestions on a mid-range to high end digital timer are welcome.

TIA
 

MR1

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2014
Messages
1,255
Reaction score
32
Hackerman, I use the outdoor mechanical timers, rated at 15amps, 1800watts.
 

Hackerman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2014
Messages
3,029
Reaction score
269
I was reading the manual for the Autopilot MDT and it has a pretty strong warning about keeping the timer at least 8' away from any electronic ballast.

Install your controller at least 8 ft away from any devices that produce
large amounts of electronic noise, such as electronic ballasts or ozone
generators.


Sorry, that puts it out of the room. LOL No can do pookems. Is a digital ballast considered an electronic ballast or are they referring to the older style ballasts?

I wonder how important that really is, either way.
 

MR1

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2014
Messages
1,255
Reaction score
32
No special make, as long as it is a heavy duty outdoor timer. The kind you use to plug your block heater into.
 

Dr. Green Fang

You don't see me . . .
Joined
Feb 25, 2013
Messages
3,730
Reaction score
74
I run this kind of timer: [ame]http://www.amazon.com/Hydrofarm-TM01715D-7-Day-Digital-Program/dp/B001BPOBTY[/ame]

And this kind of timer: [ame]http://www.amazon.com/Hydrofarm-TM01015D-Outlet-Grounded-Timer/dp/B001Q1FZWA/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1413918757&sr=8-3&keywords=hydrofarm+timer[/ame]

Never failed me once, and I love how the initial start up always has a nifty "click" in it. Hydrofarm seems to have the timers DOWN. :)

I've read and heard that all timers can fail though...the part that "trips" when it comes on wears is what it is, I believe. Either way, I try to always keeps spares too.

Shame you're having all these issues, but if your ballast is cheap, I would look at that being the issue firstly. I bought a cheap chinese one.. when it didn't fire from the timer on the first night, I packed it up and shipped it back immediately, went to my closest hydro store and bought a QUALITY ballast with a smile on my face! You just can not go cheap route on the ballast and some other components, IMO. You cannnnn, but is the risk worth it when / if stuff fails?

(Cue people saying "but my _____ has run for _____ years" hah :D

Good luck sir! :aok:
 

Hackerman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2014
Messages
3,029
Reaction score
269
This is a top of the line Hydrofarm so I guess that's not a cheapo. Not a pro thing but not a real cheapo either. It was about $240.

Most of the timers I tested were brand new so they aren't worn out. 2 of them are the TM01715D that you linked to.

I really don't think it's a timer problem. I will test the new ballast with these existing timers and if it works with all of them, then I'll know it's the ballast (or bulb).

Still, I like some of the features of that Autopilot MDT so I might invest in that anyway.

Thanks again for the input. I'll let you know how it turns out.
 

umbra

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2007
Messages
12,295
Reaction score
14,082
I was reading the manual for the Autopilot MDT and it has a pretty strong warning about keeping the timer at least 8' away from any electronic ballast.

Install your controller at least 8 ft away from any devices that produce
large amounts of electronic noise, such as electronic ballasts or ozone
generators.


Sorry, that puts it out of the room. LOL No can do pookems. Is a digital ballast considered an electronic ballast or are they referring to the older style ballasts?

I wonder how important that really is, either way.
So make a faraday cage for it with ferrite wrapping and ground it
 

Hackerman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2014
Messages
3,029
Reaction score
269
I have tried about everything I can think of and it still won't fire. This morning, I replaced the ballast with the new one and it fired right up.

I am going to test the new ballast with a couple more digital timers and then take the old one back.

The warranty says the dealer has to test it before it's sent back so I hope the dealer has the same results I did.
 

Hackerman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2014
Messages
3,029
Reaction score
269
Bingo! The new ballast is working great with 2 of the timers. So, it seems it was definitely the ballast. I'll take it back tomorrow and see what kind of hassle it is to get a replacement. LOL

Wonder what caused this. I would love to take this apart and see but I think that might void the warranty. LOL
 

Hackerman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2014
Messages
3,029
Reaction score
269
Well, it was the bulb.

The new ballast worked a couple days and then started doing the same thing. I went up and got a new bulb and it has been working (in both ballasts) every day right on time.

I assume this is covered under the bulb warranty and I'll get a swap out.

Another happy ending. :)
 

Latest posts

Top