How to connect an old school TL tube with a ballast transformer and a starter schem/demo/more

Please read the textbox first. Video where I show how to connect an old school TL (fluorescent) tube with the help of a “ballast transformer” and a “starter” consisting of a bimetal (Bi-metal) + a parallel capacitor that form together a switch that opens very suddenly after activation (=adding voltage & current) by 230 V/110 V/50 Hz/60 Hz.

Combined with that fierce opening switch, the ballast transformer dumps out a high voltage pulse inside the TL tube, that ignites the TL tube.

Very important: in such a TL tube there is on both sides of the tube a filament (glow filament, incandescent) that, in the first moments, has to “light up”, that means: it sends a substantial amount of electrons into the tube, thus generating charged particles that help the tube to ignite, sending out electrons.

When 1 or 2 of these glow filaments (left-right) are burned through (no Ohms resistance measurable, easy test with an Ohms meter) the TL tube is “defective” for normal use (110 V/230 V/50 Hz/60 Hz).

But on a High Voltage generator such a tube can be used more or less “forever” as a light source. I have published some circuits about how to connect such a so called “worn out” TL tube to a HV generator that makes them usable as a light source for many many years.

So don’t throw them away, an issue could be that they give out a somewhat lower light intensity (Lumen) when they are used in such a way.

The (AC, in this case) resistance of the ionised gas pillar inside the tube has a certain resistance. That is what happens there inside the TL tube, regarding the gas pillar.

I don’t use MOSFET/transistor ballast transformers that can also generate that voltage pulse to ignite a TL tube, they often burn out after (sorry to say) 3 years or so. Of course: talking about the mains, be it 110 V AC or 230 V AC.

The classic ballast transformer, made with a high inductance copper wound coil, is more reliable on the longer term, I talk about 5 to 10 -12 years.

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