Replacing fluorescent fixture with a normal tungsten lamp - wiring trouble!


Fluorescent light fixtures are commonplace in both residential and commercial settings. Fluorescent light bulbs have a typical lifespan of 8,000 to 15,000 hours, and ballasts often work for more than 50,000 hours. Fixtures made since at least the year 2000 generally do not have a starter, just a ballast. Troubleshooting these fixtures falls into four basic categories -- power, bulbs, bulb retainers and ballast.


The simplest problem is one with the power supply, so start with the systematic process of tracking the power flow. Use a noncontact voltage tester at the breaker box to check that the circuit breaker is on and that there is power present in the output wire from the breaker. Next, remove the switch cover and check for the presence of power at the switch. Finally, remove the fixture cover and check for the presence of power at the fixture, with the light switch on. If power is present at each point, proceed to checking the bulbs.

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Back to Sam's F-Lamp FAQ Table of Contents.

Fluorescent Fixtures and Ballasts

Fluorescent Fixtures

The typical fixture consists of: Lamp holder - the most common is designed for the straight bipin base bulb. The 12, 15, 24, and 48 inch straight fixtures are common in household and office use. The 4 foot (48") type is probably the most widely used size. U shaped, circular (Circline(tm).) and other specialty tubes are also available. Ballast(s) - these are available for either 1 or 2 lamps. Fixtures with 4 lamps usually have two ballasts. See the sections below on ballasts. The ballast performs two functions: current limiting and providing the starting kick to ionize the gas in the fluorescent tube(s). Switch - on/off control unless connected directly to building wiring in which case there will be a switch or relay elsewhere. The power switch may have a momentary 'start' position if there is no starter and the ballast does not provide this function. Starter...
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The Fluorescent Lamp

The greatest development in lighting since the 1879 incandescent
History (1938 first commercially available - Today)

Fluorescents are a large family of light sources. There are three main types of fluorescent lamps: cold cathode, hot cathode, and electroluminescent. They all use phosphors excited by electrons to create light. On this page we will discuss the cold and hot cathode lamps. Electroluminescent lamps use "fluorescence" but are so different they are covered on another page. From this point when we refer to 'fluorescent lamp' we will be talking about a lamp with a glass discharge tube and fluorescent coating on the inside, this is how the cold and hot cathode type of lamps are designed. Induction lamps are a form of fluorescent lamps but they don't have electrodes. We have a separate page for them here.

The standard fluorescent...

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3a. Fixing the CPU board. Much of this information thanks to Leon. I've taken his info, reworded it and added a bunch of comments and notes.

Initial CPU Checking.
There are a couple of things that should be noted right off when trying to fix an original non-working Gottlieb System 1 CPU board. First, is there any battery corrosion on the CPU board? If so, stop now and fix this by going here. The corrosion needs to be removed, neutralized, and any broken traces and corroded parts repaired and/or replaced. This will especially be an issue around the Z6,Z7 chips (to the right of the battery) and Z8,Z28 chips (to the left of the battery). All bets are off until a corroded CPU board is fixed. After any questionable parts are replaced, be sure to use a DMM set to continuity and check all the related board traces. Even one broken trace can definitely make a CPU board not work.

Second, is there 4.95 to 5.2 volts DC at the CPU board? Best place to check for this is at the C16...

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Subverted in this episode of Stark Raving Mad, in which Ian asks Henry to get three straws and two maraschino cherries, only to reveal upon the latter's return that he just wanted him out of the way. Then he asks for a four-slot toaster and a Belgian waffle maker. Fortunately, he figures it out before leaving. In the Sherlock episode "The Hounds of Baskerville," it starts with Sherlock bursting into 221B Baker Street soaked in blood and wielding a harpoon:

Sherlock: Well, that was tedious.

John: You went on the Tube like that?

Sherlock: None of the cabs would take me.

This is how every episode of MacGyver works, hence the parodies. Though we do get to see how he puts it all together, he can make anything out of anything. So if you've got Noodle Implements, he can get it done. Duct tape usually helps, though. Word Of God states that the reason for this was to prevent children watching the show from trying to duplicate the experiments themselves and possibly...
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