no light, help please

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Old 12-15-11, 01:12 PM
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no light, help please

There's several of these type of fixtures around my workplace: http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/b.../lights001.jpg Inside each is a ballast, a coil/core transformer, and a capacitor. A few of these fixtures are refusing to light. I made sure the bulbs inside were good and in fact new and correct, and have so far changed out the ballast and capacitor with (correct exact replacement) new ones, hoping maybe that would resolve the issue. But no. Still won't light. There's power getting to the fixture(s) fine, I checked with one of those circuit alert testers that lights and beeps when there's power there. Any suggestions/comments please. thanks
 
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Old 12-15-11, 01:40 PM
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There's power getting to the fixture(s) fine, I checked with one of those circuit alert testers that lights and beeps when there's power there
But it doesn't mean there is actually enough power to light the lights. For that test you need a real meter or test light or solenoid tester.
 
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Old 12-15-11, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
you need a real meter or test light or solenoid tester.
Is this one I have good enough to test whether there's enough power to light the lights? http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/b...ull1/meter.jpg
If so, please could you describe the test procedure. thanks
 
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Old 12-15-11, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by sgull View Post
Is this one I have good enough to test whether there's enough power to light the lights? http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/b...ull1/meter.jpg
If so, please could you describe the test procedure. thanks
Following assumes single phase. Set the meter to AC voltage at a range that should give about a mid range reading for the expected voltage. Touch one probe to each of the two wires providing voltage to the fixture. Next test each wire to ground. Be very careful you are dealing with lethal voltages. You may want to buy a pair of alligator clip adapters for your probes and attach them with the breaker off then turn the breaker on to do your reading.

If this is 277 volts I strongly advise you hire an electrician.
 
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Old 12-15-11, 03:07 PM
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It's 120 volt circuit. There are three wires, red green and white, entering into the fixture from the pole. I can set my meter to AC V 500V. I'll buy a pair of alligator clip adapters for my probes. I'll turn off the breaker, then I'll clip one of the probes onto the white (neutral) wire and clip the other probe to the red (hot). Then I'll turn the breaker on and check the reading on the meter. What should be the expected reading, if sufficient power is present?
The next step, testing each wire to ground... could you clarify that please, that procedure? thanks again
 
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Old 12-15-11, 04:15 PM
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Voltage should be between 110v and 125v white to red and red to green. It should be less then 5v white to green. Test your meter on a known good receptacle before testing the lights.
 
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Old 12-15-11, 06:07 PM
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Many cases the ballasts are multi tap transformers (120,208,240,277v) . Make sure you wired to the 120 volt lead (or whatever your present voltage is) and the common lead. This is not necessarily the one that came striped from the factory. Also, make sure you wire it as shown on the diagram and not as the old one was wired.
 
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Old 12-15-11, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post
Many cases the ballasts are multi tap transformers (120,208,240,277v) . Make sure you wired to the 120 volt lead (or whatever your present voltage is) and the common lead. This is not necessarily the one that came striped from the factory. Also, make sure you wire it as shown on the diagram and not as the old one was wired.
The "ballast" I replaced was a part like this, apparently referred to as "ballast OCV": http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/b...l1/ballast.jpg
What I've referred to as the coil/core transformer is also inside the fixture, and is what you indicate as the multi tap transformer, which looks like this: http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/b...1/corecoil.jpg
I noticed the way the multi tap transformer is wired, with the 120V lead connected and the other higher voltage leads capped off. As I mentioned, so far I've replaced the capacitor and what I assumed was the ballast (ballast OCV part as shown in first link in this post), but have not replaced the coil/core transformer (multi tap transformer) . Not that I plan on jumping to a conclusion that maybe the transformer is bad, but is it probable that could be the case? Also, inside the fixture(s) I noticed there seems to be no "ignitor" part, I suppose because these type of lights don't need them?
 
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Old 12-16-11, 11:27 AM
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(With meter tested beforehand on known good receptacle), readings from problem fixture are as follows:
white to red: 117V
red to green: 117V
white to green: 001V
 
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Old 12-17-11, 05:22 AM
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You need to replace the transformer.
With HSP lighting I have worked on, the ballast comes as a "kit" which includes the transformer, cap, Igniter (if needed) and mounting brackets. Looks something like this: Amazon.com: Advance 81721 - 71A8172-001D High Pressure Sodium Ballast: Home & Garden Of course this needs to be matched to the lamp wattage you have.

I'm not 100% sure what the ballast OCV is but if you install a ballast kit, you might need to just bypass it. It might be old school parts. Just wire the new kit as shown on the diagram in the kit.
 
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Old 12-17-11, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post
You need to replace the transformer.
I replaced the transformer just now, per the advice. Wired in correctly. Still no light. Incidentally, wiring diagram on transformer indicates the aforementioned "OCV ballast" as the starter. Seem to be back to square zero here. Any further suggestions appreciated.
 
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Old 12-18-11, 07:41 AM
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Does it buzz or hum? Did you give it a min or two to fire? Is there a photocell on the top? Was your voltage checked at the ballast/light?

Your running out of options. You have replaced all components of the light fixture, and have the proper voltage at the light, and still no light. You either have it wired incorrectly, or have faulty parts. I suggest retracing your steps or trying a new ballast kit. You could also try move a known working components to this light and see if it will work.

Just wondering, did you ever try bending up the center tab of the socket to make sure it is making full contact with the lamp?
 
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Old 12-18-11, 08:51 AM
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Is does not buzz or hum. I seem to recall, however, that the identical area lighting fixture on the adjacent pole (which also does not light, even with good bulb) buzzed/hummed months ago, but doesn't anymore. These lights/fixtures, of which there are seven in number, are controlled by a single photocell which is installed on the exterior the nearby building. The particular fixture I've been working with here happens to be between two other such pole fixtures, one as just mentioned which also doesn't light and another which does. During daylight if I cover the photocell on the building, the working light/fixture fires within a minute. After replacing components on this non-working fixture, and with a known good light bulb, I gave it a few minutes to fire but it never did, unlike the other working fixtures on the same circuit as the photocell which did fire. The only voltage checks I've made were those as suggested so far in this thread, but have not "checked voltage at the ballast/light." What would be procedure for doing so (how to connect meter and what readings to look for)?
I've replaced all the components in the non-working fixture with those of an identical fixture in storage (dry, proper storage) which is a spare but in new condition that has never been put into operation since obtained in its new condition years ago; it would be unlikely any of those parts are faulty. I've got it wired correctly, identical to the identical working fixture nearby with same components.
I haven't tried bending up the center tab of the socket yet. Will do.
 
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Old 12-18-11, 09:45 AM
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The lack of any noise is worrisome. Normally the transformer will hum a little. You might have to touch it to feel the humming. Be careful on that aluminum ladder.

Testing voltage at the top of the pole where the lamp is would be the same as you did before. Hot to neutral, hot to ground, neutral to ground. All should read about 120v (except neutral to ground) which you said is the correct voltage when the circuit is on. I just want to be sure you have 120 volts at the ballast.
If you do have 120 volts, then something is missed. You can also ohm out the transformer between the 120 volt lead and the com lead (primary) to see if that is good. Same can be done on the secondary side. You should get ohms of some kind.
 
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Old 12-18-11, 10:40 AM
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When I say I hear no noise I mean from standing on the ground down below the fixture. I didn't yet try listening for noise while up close on the ladder. The buzzing/humming I heard from the adjacent non-working fixture months ago (which as mentioned has stopped, or at least cannot be heard from below) was relatively loud then and could easily be heard from standing on the ground below. I suppose I could stand atop my aluminum ladder while the circuit is live and I'm closer and listen carefully for any hum, and/or touch the transformer (with something non-conductive) to feel any possible humming.
As far as testing voltage at lamp, please correct me if the procedure as I understand it is incorrect:
1. One lead of tester onto hot (black wire going to socket), other lead connected to neutral (white coming from socket, checking for voltage of about 120v.
2. One lead of tester onto hot, as above, other lead connected to wherever green (ground wire entering fixture) is connected, checking for voltage of about 120v.
3. One lead of tester onto neutral (white wire going to socket), other lead connected to ground, as above, checking for voltage of less than 5v.

As far as ohming out the transformer, is that done while circuit is live or while shut off? And if checking between the 120v lead and the com lead is the primary side, between which two wires should my meter be connected to check the "secondary side"?
Thanks again
 
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Old 12-18-11, 11:39 AM
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The fact the the one light was humming and then quit leads me to believe that the ballast/transformer has also failed.

Sorry, I meant check for voltage where the line wires come out at the top of the pole before connecting to the ballast/transformer. Just to make sure the wires in the pole are good. You should get:
120v between the hot (you said red I think) and neutral
120v Between hot and ground
>5v between neutral and ground

To check the transformer, this should be done with everything disconnected from the transformer (Line wires, cap, starter, etc)
Primary: Check between 120v lead and com lead. You should be continuity (ohms)
Secondary: Check between the two wires going to the lamp holder/socket. Again, you should get continuity.

It might be a good idea to check continuity of all the wires going to the socket to make sure they are good too.

If it was me sent to the job, I would get two ballast kits sized for the the lamps they are running (150 watt HPS?) and install them rather then swapping it part by part.
 
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Old 12-18-11, 12:12 PM
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Yes, when I checked for voltage (after the first suggestion and with following the accompanying description of procedure from the thread here), I performed the test where the line wires come out at the top of the pole before connection to the ballast/transformer, with the results as posted.

When I do the secondary check for continuity, do I connect one lead of the tester to where one ofthe wires connect to the socket, and the other lead to where the the other wires connects to the socket? Is that right?

As far as the suggestion to check all of the wires going to the socket, well, all there are is two, theblack and the white. Isn't that the exact same thing as doing the secondary check as I just described in paragraph above?

On the sockets of these fixtures I believe its says 100w MH. As I mentioned, the components I've swapped out were identical replacements and from an unused new fixture. Seems to me these unused (and thus for all practical purposes, new) components can be presumed to be as functionally operational as those from a new ballast kit.
 
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Old 12-18-11, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by sgull View Post
Yes, when I checked for voltage (after the first suggestion and with following the accompanying description of procedure from the thread here), I performed the test where the line wires come out at the top of the pole before connection to the ballast/transformer, with the results as posted.
Ok, Good. That one is out of the way.

Originally Posted by sgull View Post
When I do the secondary check for continuity, do I connect one lead of the tester to where one ofthe wires connect to the socket, and the other lead to where the the other wires connects to the socket? Is that right?
Yes. Wires of transformer should be disconnected from the socket.

Originally Posted by sgull View Post
As far as the suggestion to check all of the wires going to the socket, well, all there are is two, the black and the white. Isn't that the exact same thing as doing the secondary check as I just described in paragraph above?
No. Have the wires to the socket disconnected from everything else. Then check for continuity from the black wire from the socket to the center tab of the socket, and the white wire coming from the socket to the screw shell of the socket. This will tell you if the socket is good and the wires are making a good connection.

Originally Posted by sgull View Post
On the sockets of these fixtures I believe its says 100w MH.
If that is the case, then you are using the wrong lamps. Looking at the picture of the light in you first post, that is a High Pressure Sodium bulb. (Yellow light) MH is a white/blue light.

Originally Posted by sgull View Post
As I mentioned, the components I've swapped out were identical replacements and from an unused new fixture. Seems to me these unused (and thus for all practical purposes, new) components can be presumed to be as functionally operational as those from a new ballast kit.
I would agree with you 100%, but your light is not working so we are running out of options.
 
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Old 12-18-11, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post
you are using the wrong lamps. Looking at the picture of the light in your first post, that is a High Pressure Sodium bulb.
Yeah, not proper bulbs. MH bulbs of that type are not available locally. That's my excuse there. But the HPS bulb has been working fine the adjacent fixture, and as well in other identical fixtures around the place.
 
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Old 12-20-11, 04:32 PM
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Checking transformer (with all wires disconnected), continuity reading on meter between com line and 120v lead and com lead: 004 ohms. Between 120v lead and second com lead: 004 ohms.

Secondary check for continuity with meter, (between black and white wires to socket, with all other wires disconnected): 1 ohm.

With wires disconnected from everything else, continuity reading between black wireof socket and tab in center of socket: 001 ohm. Reading between white wire of socket and screw shell of socket: 002 ohms.

After double check of all connections within fixture for correctness, nothing incorrect found. Still, no light. Listening carefully I can hear that transformer does indeed hhum with circuit on. But... no light!
 
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Old 12-20-11, 06:29 PM
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Other then trying a metal halide lamp (or a new ballasts kit for HPS) I am out of suggestions.
 
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Old 12-20-11, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post
Other then trying a metal halide lamp (or a new ballasts kit for HPS) I am out of suggestions.
I did acquire the correct MH lamp and gave it a try. No change. No light.
Thanks anyway TI for trying to help, I appreciate the descriptions of the troubleshooting procedures you provided.
 
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Old 12-20-11, 07:10 PM
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Food for thought:

I was hooking up a new compressor yesterday for a machine shop. Paging through the manuel to find the current draw and other specs I ran across this note: "motors put in storage for over two years are required to have the capacitors replaced"

I hope you know, this going to keep bugging me until you get that light working.
 
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Old 12-20-11, 07:12 PM
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You said the parts you installed came from a new light. I'd suggest reassemble that light, add a cord and plug, plug it in, and see if it works.
 
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Old 12-20-11, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post
I ran across this note: "motors put in storage for over two years are required to have the capacitors replaced"
Is it possible for me to maybe test the capacitor then? If so, of course I'd need to know how to go about it. If the capacitor is bad would the transformer still hum?
 
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Old 12-20-11, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
You said the parts you installed came from a new light. I'd suggest reassemble that light, add a cord and plug, plug it in, and see if it works.
Actually I did try that. And the reassembled light didn't work. But the new light was slightly different wired than the problem one than I'm working on, as it has its own photocell installed on the top of it. So I figured maybe that's why I couldn't get it to light, but that was just a wild guess.
 
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Old 12-20-11, 08:10 PM
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I assume you put black tape over the photocell.
 
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Old 12-20-11, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
I assume you put black tape over the photocell.
No, stupidly I didn't. I just ASSumed the components in the new light were probably good and that my bench test just wasn't the same somehow as what it would actually be in the field.
 
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Old 12-20-11, 09:38 PM
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If you get it to work next step would be to swap it out with the one that didn't work.

If you get it to work next step would be to swap it out with the one that didn't work.

Another test I'd preform at this point before swapping out, assuming it does work, is to disconnect the two power wires at the bad light and connect them to a pigtail bulb socket with a 100 watt incandescent light bulb in it.

 
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Old 12-20-11, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post
Just wondering, did you ever try bending up the center tab of the socket to make sure it is making full contact with the lamp?
Yes, I should mention here, for the record, I did that too.
 
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Old 12-20-11, 09:45 PM
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We posted at the same time. See my post above.
 
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Old 12-20-11, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
If you get it to work next step would be to swap it out with the one that didn't work.
Good suggestion. I'll go ahead and do that if I get it to work. But that's a pretty big IF.
 
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Old 12-20-11, 09:50 PM
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Try substituting the pigtail socket with a 100 watt bulb directly to the power at the bad light first. I'm thinking maybe a voltage drop under load.
 
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Old 12-20-11, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
Try substituting the pigtail socket with a 100 watt bulb directly to the power at the bad light first. I'm thinking maybe a voltage drop under load.
I'm not clear on what you mean. Just stick a 100 watt incandescent bulb in and see what happens then? Or get a pigtail socket, like the one in the picture you posted (along with 100 watt incandescent bulb) and substitute that with the socket and its two leads that's already there?
 
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Old 12-21-11, 05:27 AM
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Originally Posted by sgull View Post
I'm not clear on what you mean. Just stick a 100 watt incandescent bulb in and see what happens then? Or get a pigtail socket, like the one in the picture you posted (along with 100 watt incandescent bulb) and substitute that with the socket and its two leads that's already there?
Not exactly. Disconnect the power leads from the ballast, the hot and neutral, and connect the hot and neutral to the pigtail socket. You want to test just the power to the light.
 
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Old 12-21-11, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
Not exactly. Disconnect the power leads from the ballast, the hot and neutral, and connect the hot and neutral to the pigtail socket. You want to test just the power to the light.
So let me get this straight. Would I be disconnecting the (red and white power leads which enter into the fixture from the pole and then connecting them directly (essentially bypassing the ballast) to a pigtail socket that has a 100w incandescent bulb screwed into it? If I'm understanding that correctly then my question is why do I need to use another (different) pigtail socket, why shouldn't I just connect to the leads on the existing socket?
 

Last edited by sgull; 12-21-11 at 11:14 AM.
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Old 12-21-11, 11:08 AM
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Would I be disconnecting the (red and green) power leads which enter into the fixture from the pole
The power leads would be red and white. Green is a ground, not a power lead.

why do I need to use another (different) pigtail socket,
Because you are only testing the power in not any component of the light.

That was a typo when you wrote "(red and green) power leads" wasn't it?
 
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Old 12-21-11, 11:13 AM
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Yes Ray that was a typo. Meant to type red and white there.

Ok, I just did what you last suggested. Get light fine with 100w incandescent connected directly as you suggest.
Also, on light fixture on bench (from where I switched out new parts for old parts from the troublesome light in the field) I bypassed the photocell and then went ahead and tried with the HID bulb but got no light, although I listened carefully this time and could hear the transformer humming.
 
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Old 12-21-11, 06:26 PM
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The transformer may still hum even if you if you had a bad cap. I am not sure how to test a cap, or if you can with a meter, I just always replaced them as a kit.

If you can't get the light to work on the bench, then you do have some wiring/component issues. Do you have a wiring diagram inside the light to go by? Can you open a working light and see how it is wired?
 
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Old 12-21-11, 06:53 PM
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Ok, I just did what you last suggested. Get light fine with 100w incandescent connected directly as you suggest.
Good. We know now it is a bad fixture. I'd suggest get one working on the bench then swap out. A lot easier then working on a ladder.
 
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