Where is my problem with this flourescent lamp?

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Peter wrote:

The capacitor is for suppressing radio interference, you can install or leave it out. Get a starter that matches the wattage of your lamp. The starters will often operate over a wide range. You can actually test the rest of the light fixture (carefully) if you briefly short across the starter wires and see if the light comes on. That's what the old style push to start fluorescent desk lamps do. You can get tiny crimp connectors form your local Radio Shack for the small wires but soldering will do.
TDD
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Peter wrote:

Yes, an FS-2 should work fine.
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On 4/24/2010 3:18 PM, Tony wrote:

Follow up:
It didn't work. I cannibalized an unused FS-2 starter I found in my "junk box" and wired in it's glow bulb in place of the defective glow bulb I clipped out. To my surprise and disappointment, when I replaced the CFL bulb, plugged in the fixture and turned it on, the fixture and the glow bulb both continuously flickered. I waited about 5-10 seconds to see if it would stabilze; it didn't. I turned off the fixture, waited about 10 seconds, tried again with the same result. I then added the capacitor from the FS-2 in parallel with the glow bulb (as it was wired within the FS-2). Same behavior.
Should I assume that the glow bulb from the FS-2 is mismatched to this circuit (although the CLF is 18W and the FS-2 is rated for 14, 15, and 20W bulbs), or that something else is wrong in the circuit? Should I buy a starter with a higher rating and try again with that?
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Peter wrote:

I don't recall ever seeing a starter for 14 to 20 watt bulbs besides the FS-2. I do recall though seeing many FS-2's that didn't list 18 watts. I have no idea why they are like that, but the -2 is the proper starter. Are you really sure the starter from the "junk box" isn't junk? I'd also try the other bulb again with that starter.
As far as a different wattage starter, sometimes when a bulb is going bad, but still works sometimes, the wrong type starter will sometimes work for a while. It's not a fix, it's a patch, and not even a good one.
Lets back up. How are you with electrical circuits... meaning would you remove the starter again and short the two ends from the lamp together to see if it lights? (plugged in and turned on) Shorting it only for a second or less, the ends of the bulb glow, opening the short and the bulb should fully light and stay lit.
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On 4/25/2010 2:17 PM, Tony wrote:

Got a lot of other stuff going on right now.
As soon as I get a chance, I'll first try a different bulb (although as I previously noted, this bulb works perfectly normally in the other identical fixture). The starter I took from my junk box is a GE brand; it was in an unopened blister pack. Could be bad, but I would guess, probably not. Although it was really difficult for me to get the leads soldered (only had about 1/8" overlap to work with), I guess before I trash the fixture it would be worthwhile to open one of the solder joints and try to short across the lamp. I'm comfortable I can do that without getting a shock.
However, if that works, it doesn't solve the problem with the FS-2 glow bulb substitution unless I really get creative with a normally open SPST switch (for which there is no room in or on the fixture).
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<SNIP to here to edit for space>

One thing to keep in mind: Bad / innefective starters are hard on bulbs, and bad bulbs are hard on starters.
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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Don Klipstein wrote:

Yep. That's why I always replace the starter when installing a new bulb. Not worth the chance of wasting a new bulb at $5 to $15 when I starter only costs 50 cents.
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Try an NE2 bulb? That's what used to be in the old starters.
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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

ERRRRRRR! Wrong! I would suggest you find an old florescent starter and take it apart, carefully break the glass off the silvered bulb and you will find a heat activated bi-metal switch. A little searching of The Interweb will help you learn how it works.
TDD
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On Sat, 24 Apr 2010 20:10:54 -0500, The Daring Dufas

Most starters were neon.
http://home.howstuffworks.com/question337.htm
"The most common fluorescent starter is called a "glow tube starter" (or just starter) and contains a small gas (neon, etc.) filled tube and an optional radio frequency interference (RFI) suppression capacitor in a cylindrical aluminum can with a 2 pin base."
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snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:

THE NE2 LAMP WILL NOT WORK AS A STARTER!!! GEEZ!!! YOU HAVE NO CLUE HOW IT WORKS IF YOU THINK A NE2 LAMP IS THE SAME THING!! LOOK IT UP!
TDD
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On Sun, 25 Apr 2010 02:29:12 -0500, The Daring Dufas

What a moron.
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snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:

You should read a little further on the link you posted. Yes the glow tube can be neon, but it is not just a neon lamp. Try reading this part:
"The glow tube incorporates a switch which is normally open." (whoa, say that again!) *The glow tube incorporates a switch which is normally open.* (one more time?) _The glow tube incorporates a switch which is normally open._
OMG, there is even more on your link!
"When power is applied, a glow discharge takes place which heats a bimetal contact. A second or so later, the contacts close and provide current to the fluorescent filaments. Since the glow is extinguished, there is no longer any heating of the bimetal and the contacts open.
The glow tube incorporates a switch which is normally open. When power is applied, a glow discharge takes place which heats a bimetal contact. A second or so later, the contacts close and provide current to the fluorescent filaments. Since the glow is extinguished, there is no longer any heating of the bimetal and the contacts open.
Now be a man and admit you were wrong.
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Oh, you mean they don't have a neon tube in them? Funny, it said they did.
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snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:

Yes a sometimes neon, but always with a bimetal contact inside. That makes it a starter. Are you saying that NE2 neon bulbs have bimetal contacts inside them?
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I never said there were NE2 bulbs inside. Learn to read.
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edited by me for space:

<SNIP to here to edit for space>

I have looked at the color of glow produced by many of those. My experience as of the late 1970's was that few produced a neon-like color, and that those appeared to me less-modern-than-usual as of then. I have also seen the glow from the starters built into PL-13 CFLs.
My experience is that most starters produce a lavendar glow of a color close to usual for argon, only a little more whitish.
================== As much as you appear to me to hate fluorescent lamps, I suspect you might be interested in a characteristic that some starters have. I thought that maybe you would have mentioned this by now. Some fluorescent lamp starters are cranky about starting in complete darkness! Some of those starters are cranky about starting without assistance from the photoelectric effect.
One solution was to add Kr-85 to the gas (or gas mixture) in the starter bulb. But radioactivity got to be politically incorrect. I also see that many aluminum can style starters have a hole in the center of the top of the aluminum can. I wonder if that is to allow one to see whether the starter glows, or to let light into the starter.
--
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)

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On Mon, 26 Apr 2010 21:20:55 +0000 (UTC), snipped-for-privacy@manx.misty.com (Don Klipstein) wrote:

I think you are describing a mercury vapour glow starter. That would also explain the "silvering" on the glass.

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The silvering is getter material, simetimes also electrode material sputtered from the electrodes by a high current glow discharge. I remember seeing the spectrum of one of the purplish-glowing starters. I did not recognize the spectrum, but it was definitely not mercury.
--
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)

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On 4/24/2010 9:10 PM, The Daring Dufas wrote:

Follow up:
I cannibalized an unused FS-2 starter I found in my "junk box" and wired in it's glow bulb in place of the defective glow bulb I clipped out. To my surprise and disappointment, when I replaced the CFL bulb, plugged in the fixture and turned it on, the fixture and the glow bulb both continuously flickered. I waited about 5-10 seconds to see if it would stabilze; it didn't. I turned off the fixture, waited about 10 seconds, tried again with the same result. I then added the capacitor from the FS-2 in parallel with the glow bulb (as it was wired within the FS-2). Same behavior.
Should I assume that the glow bulb from the FS-2 is mismatched to this circuit (although the CLF is 18W and the FS-2 is rated for 14, 15, and 20W bulbs), or that something else is wrong in the circuit? Should I buy a starter with a higher rating and try again with that?
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