I don't take kindly to crappy service and shoddy merchandise. As a
consequence, I bitch a lot and write complaint letters, etc.
On the other hand, if I get good service I'm a big tipper and I'll
write the occasional letter of thanks.
In this vein, here is my latest experience with the Borg.
Since I've decided that I want to do some more serious woodworking,
I'm rearranging my garage/workshop to make this easier. On serious
deficiency was the lighting. The existing lighting consisted of a few
Lights of America two-tube fluorescents whose output was 1/3 light,
1/3 heat and 1/3 noise. These were plugged into duplex sockets in
boxes attached to the open roof I-joists.
I went shopping at the Borg and came home with a Lithonia 4-tuber with
electronic ballast. I mounted it, wired it up temporarily and took an
old time light meter and did a little survey. It looked like I could
get by with three fixtures over the work area with the old fixtures
moved to augment the ones over the parking area.
So back to the Borg, buy two more lights, wire, 4x4 conduit boxes,
clamps, etc. Come home, rip out old wiring and boxes, install new
boxes, wire them up and mount fixtures. This last part ain't easy
single-handed. Whew, I'm done. Retire to the living room to watch
some toob. Get thirsty, go out to the beer fridge in the garage for a
cupla cold ones. Flip on new lights. Wife says @*^*)+% what did you
do to the TV?
Son of a bitch! As radio amateur for almost fifty years and an
engineer who has done a lot of radio-frequency interferencem (RFI)
testing, I know exactly what is going on. It turns out that the
lights use a "high-frequency" electronic ballast. Without proper
suppression (filtering) these things generate a bunch of RFI.
The following day I tear into a fixture and determine that it has a
ballast made (in Mexico) by Advance Transformer Co. On their web site
I locate the data sheet for the ballast and see that it complies with
FCC Part 18 Class A incidental radiation limits for non-consumer
devices. A trip to the FCC's web site (what a horrible site) and a lot
of digging and I find Part 18 and look at the limits. Awful.
I'm pretty committed to using these fixtures so I figure a call to
Advance tech support is in order. Maybe I can add my own filtering if
I learn a little about the circuitry. I get a guy on the phone,
explain the problem and he says, "Hell yes you're going to have
problems with RFI, those are commercial ballasts and shouldn't be used
in a residential setting. You need P/N so and so, which is a Class B
So my thinking is that the real name of the Borg is "Home" Depot and
it is a "home" improvement center so things they sell me ought to be
useful in my "home."
Back to the Borg where I connect with Assistant Manager, Rich. I
relate my sad tale to him and after some bewilderment over what the
talking about and several phone calls to his supplier who
doesn't know what *he*
is talking about, I have on special order the
new ballasts (at Borg expense). It remains to be seen how this will
all work out but at least I got some decent service and I thought it
was worthy of mention.
Also a word to the wise about using these fixtures in an area where
your off-the-air TV signals might not be the greatest.