Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: whodah vs. 10 bulb ATI Powermodule

  1. #1
    CVR Webmaster / Director Emeritus whodah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    clovis, ca, usa, earth!
    Posts
    7,085
    First Name
    Jeremy
    Occupation
    Computer Guy
    Referred to CVR by
    I am the Co-founder of CVR :D

    whodah vs. 10 bulb ATI Powermodule

    I got this nifty 10 bulb 48" ATI Powermodule from a friend (we did a trade). Fired it up, and all 10 bulbs fired. a couple of fans didn't spin, but no biggy, I can replace them. The bulbs needed replacement. I went to pull the bulbs out and had to put so much pressure on them that I thought they'd burst in my hand! Turns out, the bulbs and the T5 clips were corroded to one another. One by one, they'd eventually SNAP out of the socket, just as I braced for a crushed bulb due to the pressure I was putting on it.

    Then it came time to install the new bulbs. After firing it up, 4 of the 10 bulbs fired. Sigh. doing various twisting of both the bulbs and the T5 clips, I think I got 8 to fire up. Maybe even all 10. I did so many tests, I can't quite recall. But each time I'd power off the unit and power it on, anywhere from 2 to 6 bulbs would fire without me tweaking the clips and/or twisting the bulbs. At one point, I heard a soft 'POP' and it tripped the GFI. Oh boy...

    Upon further inspection, this thing was CORRODED.





    I took a dremel to the 20 T5 clips to get them down to copper. Fired up the fixture. Same sporadic behavior.

    I order 21 T5 clips. (This is a 10 bulb fixture, need 20! 1 for a spare.) And in the mean time, modify it with my favorite silent fans as compared to the stock ones. (Did this to all 5 fans.) An example from another fixture I did showing the difference between stock covers in the back w/ the aftermarket fan vs. the fan in the front with my 'Who Dah? guard'. The stock ATI fans are all black.



    As I started to replace the T5 clips, I had to cut back the copper wire as it was black/green. First just to the stripped line. Then another 1/4" back... Then another 1/2" back... Eventually getting to copper and with the ballast wiring kind of tight, I got all 10 clips replaced. Fired it up, same thing. Had to wiggle them to get 8 to fire up. The other two wouldn't no matter what. I swapped those two's ballast out. Fired it up. Another soft 'POP' and it tripped the GFI. Sigh...

    At that time, I'm giving serious thought to just abandoning the thing. Recycling it, giving it away, giving it back to my friend and letting him keep what I gave him, whatever. After sleeping on it, and realizing just how beautiful of a fixture this is, time to give it another go.

    The plan: take the whole thing apart. Get as much salt-creep/corrosion out as possible. Do a ballast rewire. Clean the reflectors. Weeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!! Off to Amazon to get a gaggle of 18 gauge wire (got the spec from ATI), and ordered 6 new ballasts. (It needs 5. But you know me, or if you don't, you know my statement from above: 1 for a spare!) I have another fixture needing a ballast anyways and I suspect that at least a couple of the ones I'm pulling out will still be good.

    So, here is the fixture during disassembly:



    A ballast slides into each one of those pyramid sections! If this were a Sunpower, one would remove some 15 easy-to-get-to screws and you'd have full access to the fixture to do this work. Oh ya, I did that just the week before for one of tacocat's fixtures. See?



    In fact, now that I think about it, I had pulled a 48" ballast from a spare sunpower fixture I have because a) it was easy to get to b) it helped confirm that the soft 'POP' I heard was indeed a ballast popping and that it was done for.

    At any rate: But we're not working on a sunpower this time, so back to the powermodule. Part of the sexy curves and solid structure (and weight!) it gets comes at a price of access to the components. It isn't TOO bad, but certainly not 'easy' and way more time consuming.

    I took it to basically bare metal, fan wires, and power wires left. I took it to a lab-grade filtered-air compressor and blasted clouds of corrosion, salt-creep, and crud out of it. And here we are, reflectorless!



    All 5 ballasts removed:



    And here is where it stands now. I've got two new ballasts installed (arguably the two easiest) with 4 cleaned reflectors installed. The reflectors aren't perfect, but they aren't too bad. They don't warrant replacement IMHO. Don't touch those wires with the arrows - their live!





    Hopefully I'll have it fully functional in the next couple of days, stay tuned!
    -Who Dah?


    ------------------------------
    if you value your couch, don't invite tacocat over.

    Tank(s): Couple o' frag tanks.
    Lights: Mostly 14K Phoenix w/ T5 supplements.
    Experience: Since ~2003

  2. #2
    CVR Webmaster / Director Emeritus whodah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    clovis, ca, usa, earth!
    Posts
    7,085
    First Name
    Jeremy
    Occupation
    Computer Guy
    Referred to CVR by
    I am the Co-founder of CVR :D
    Side note: after I had already ordered the parts and done a ton of diagnosis, I found out that ATI charges $35/hour labor for any repair to their fixtures! (Plus parts, of course.) That seemed quite reasonable to me. You still have to ship it and/or drop it off and pick it up from the LA area. (An excuse to go the the LBC aquarium, perhaps?) And you figure they probably could have done what has taken me 10-12 hours to date (diagnostics and part replacements) in 2 hours or less, heh!
    -Who Dah?


    ------------------------------
    if you value your couch, don't invite tacocat over.

    Tank(s): Couple o' frag tanks.
    Lights: Mostly 14K Phoenix w/ T5 supplements.
    Experience: Since ~2003

  3. #3
    Zooxanthellae Member mastersushi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Fresno
    Posts
    15
    First Name
    Xue
    Wow! Great job. Good luck with it

  4. #4
    Full Colony Member MoparAce's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    P-Town
    Posts
    2,718
    First Name
    Tony
    Occupation
    That one Insurance Guy
    but was it fun working on the fixture?

  5. #5
    CVR Webmaster / Director Emeritus whodah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    clovis, ca, usa, earth!
    Posts
    7,085
    First Name
    Jeremy
    Occupation
    Computer Guy
    Referred to CVR by
    I am the Co-founder of CVR :D
    Quote Originally Posted by mastersushi View Post
    Wow! Great job. Good luck with it
    Thx!

    Quote Originally Posted by MoparAce View Post
    but was it fun working on the fixture?
    Admittedly, so! But there were some frustrating times along the way, heh!

    Announcer guy, "When we last left off, our fearless light fixture fixer Who Dah? had 2 of the 5 ballasts working on a nearly completely stripped fixture. Let's see what he's up to now!"

    Next ballast, another 'easy' one, but a little more wire running. (Plus, you have to remove the hanging wire to get to these next two ballasts)




    And its pair:




    One small hiccup was that a couple of the T5 clip screw holes were stripped. (Did I mention this fixture was corroded??) I ended up just upping the size of the screw to a #6 (stainless steel). Whatever was in there is a bit smaller and probably metric. This fit in nicely, re-threading itself as I installed it:




    Finally the last ballast. It has its own AC leads since these two bulbs connect to one of the AC input lines. Plus, this has the grounding wire for the whole fixture on this ballast as well. But.... look - it worked!




    NICE! Now it is time to get this wiring mess inside the fixture:




    A couple of sore fingers and broken fingernails later, and the wires are all 'in' the fixture:




    I put on the end cap piece of the fixture and.... TWO BULBS DON'T FIRE! NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! At least no popping though....




    Ultimately, that ballast that controls the 2 bulbs that are on their own circuit hadn't made great contact and/or got pulled a bit upon stuffing of the wires. I undid the stuffing, re-arranged them a bit to ensure no stress on the power wires for that ballast, and viola. All 10 fired up again. Whew!


    Hooked up all 5 fans:




    One last double check to ensure all 10 bulbs are fired up, and they are!





    AAAAAAAAnd, I think the fixture is ready to grow some silly calcium based sea creatures.
    -Who Dah?


    ------------------------------
    if you value your couch, don't invite tacocat over.

    Tank(s): Couple o' frag tanks.
    Lights: Mostly 14K Phoenix w/ T5 supplements.
    Experience: Since ~2003

  6. #6
    Frag Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Fresno, CA
    Posts
    144
    First Name
    Sonny
    Occupation
    Oracle Developer
    Referred to CVR by
    Xaiz0r
    Thanks for sharing your fun project! Fixture looks brand new now.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Wtb ati powermodule/ sunpower 6x54 w
    By reefpinoy in forum Buy/Sell, Trade/Swap
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05-30-2015, 11:19 AM
  2. 6 bulb 48" ATI Powermodule
    By Lacktaters in forum Buy/Sell, Trade/Swap
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 03-27-2015, 11:09 AM
  3. ATI Powermodule 4 x 48"
    By Lacktaters in forum Buy/Sell, Trade/Swap
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 05-21-2014, 09:08 PM
  4. Ati t5/led powermodule
    By Nuocmam in forum Lighting
    Replies: 31
    Last Post: 02-26-2013, 09:42 PM
  5. For Sale: ATI Powermodule 54w x 6 bulbs
    By wesleyforbes in forum Buy/Sell, Trade/Swap
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 12-21-2011, 09:26 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •