12volt Flourescent lights

keninmed

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6 Apr 2004
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I have several on board ,about 15 years old .They are vetus and look good and I dont wish to replace them but they are giving me trouble especialy the small 4watt ( which dont seem to be available here ) .Although the Battery volts are up they fail to strike easily sometimes not at all. Replacing tube seems to work for awhile but the ends soon go dark and the prob returns. I did get some new ones in Turkey and they work ok. So I tried to transplant the innards of anew one into the casing of the original but the lay out was quite different and i must have botched it cos it did not work. Does any one know where they can be checked and ( hopefuly) fixed?
 

fluffc

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The starter (which you can't replace on these small units) eventually dies. Best bet is to send them to Aladin's Cave.

I had a similar problem with an old second-hand unit; which in the end joined the land based version of Aladin's Cave (aka landfill...)
 

William_H

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Flouros on 12 volts don't have a "starter" as in 240v lamps but rather an electronic inverter (which I presume you are refering to).
This converts the 12 volts by switching to AC transforms it to about 100 volts and aplies it to the tube ends. The AC often has large spikes which are relied on to strike the gas so they start almost instantly.

The elctronics are usually robust but the transformer has fine copper wire and so is susceptible to corrosion in sea air.

I think that the age of flouros in boats has passed with LEDs being very efficient and halogen for bright lights both with no radio interference.

However back to the posters query. If they are reluctant to start then the only, to me likely cause is low voltage at the lamp caused by poor wiring connections. But then I understand you have checked that. good luck olewilll
 

Sy-Revolution

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Drifting off a little here but while we're talking about flourescent tubes........

I have some of the aforementioned vetus units on my boat also and the light they give off is that cold eastern bloc kind of light that's none too pleasing, I also have an unamed unit in the heads which is also a tube but gives a very nice warm light similar to an incandescent bulb. I need to buy some more for the galley and forcabin but how do I know which will be nice to behold and which to avoid?........ /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif
 
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