bug zapper help

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by bladerunner, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. bladerunner

    Thread Starter Member

    Apr 15, 2012
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    4
    I have had 2 Stinger bug zappers in the last 2 years and both of them just quit working. I purchased a new one after the first went out. This one, I decided to try and fix it. This large model has two transformers (one for each bulb). As far as I can tell it has no ballast but there is a large transformer that is attached to both screens. there is a small glass bulb, my guess a starter for each bulb. The black at the bulb connection is 120v (both of them). Checking between the (?) starter wires when the black wire is connected to the bulb port is 15 ac volts. The bulb does not light and the starter does nothing.

    The bulbs are new. The starter is from an F4 starter canister (removed). Don't know what the transformers should be putting out? Or they may be ballast but they don't look like it.

    Any help out there. Hate to buy another if they only last one season but really need them. Live near a large lake.

    If you need I can send a wiring schematic. It makes this post too long.

    Thanks

    Bladerunner
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012
  2. BillB3857

    Senior Member

    Feb 28, 2009
    2,400
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    The drawing shows only two wires for each of the devices you are calling transformers. The connections to them, the lamp tubes, small glass bulb and power show a typical florescent lamp starting circuit using a ballast and starter. When power is first applied, a contact in the glass bulb is closed which allows power to flow through the filaments in the florescent tubes. This pre-heats the gas inside to aid in ionization. After a short period of time, the contact in the glass bulb opens. When it opens, a strong inductive kick comes out of the thing you are calling a transformer. This kick causes an arc to form through the gas inside the florescent tube.
    If the unit were mine, I would remove the two florescent tubes and check to see that the filaments at each end of each tube are good. If they are, I would replace the glass bulb. They should be easily available but must be matched to the wattage of the florescent tube.

    Transformer = ballast
    glass bulb = florescent starter.
     
  3. Brownout

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2012
    2,375
    998
    Starting voltages for iron-core ballasts can be in the range of 250-400V. Plese be extreemly careful when taking measurements. Running voltages are in the ~100V range. Most likely, your tubes are bad. I think bug lights are special tubes that produce must more short-wavelength light, but I'm not an expert. Here is a good website for general information and theory about fluorescent lighting.

    http://donklipstein.com/f-lamp.html
     
  4. gerty

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 30, 2007
    1,153
    304
    One of my students brought a bug zapper in for repair. He tried to measure the output of the high voltage transformer (zapper) and his meter went blank.
    I put a high voltage probe on it and measured 4kv..:eek::eek:
     
    Dwayne Oxford likes this.
  5. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
    16,247
    6,744
    Ahh. Bug zappers are not only dangerous to people...they are dangerous to meters, too!
     
  6. Brownout

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2012
    2,375
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    That remindes me... be mindful of which transformer you're taking measurements on. Never use a DMM or any other regular meter to measure the HV transformer. Only use a special HV meter.
     
  7. bladerunner

    Thread Starter Member

    Apr 15, 2012
    83
    4
    Ok, the transformer(s) to the lights are ballast. However, They only have two lines from them and they are both connected to the lights like the attachment indicates. (they look like transformers not typical ballast. As far as the transformer for the zapper, it is separate and does indeed put out about 4 kv. I am an electrician and deal with high voltage but I know little about electronics. The transformer for the zapper is ok. Its the lights that don't work and the tubes are new. The two wire ballast(s) again have a output under no load of 120V AC and about 15V AC when plugged into the lights. What are they supposed to read. I cannot find it anywhere. Is it possible that both of them went out at the same time.


    Thanks again.


    Gary
     
  8. Brownout

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2012
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    It's not easy to know if what you're measuring is correct or not. Different tube/ballasts systems work on different voltages. I ( for one ) can only say in what ballpark the measurements should be. It might be that the 15V you're showing is because you're connected to the filiment heaters, and your lights are failing to strike. So, it could be your starters are bad. Depending on the type of starter you have, they might have a little light just after the application of power, then go out after a few seconds. If they stay lighted, they may be bad. Try measuring the output voltage of the ballast with the tubes connected, and the starters disconnected. You should see much higher voltage -- I think. If you do, then you may suspect the starters. If you don't then you might suspect the tubes. Again, I'm not an expert in trouble shooting flurescent lighting, these are just some ideas.
     
  9. Brownout

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2012
    2,375
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    One more thing. It occured to me that the starter is nothing more than a delay switch. So, if you suspect bad starters, you might try substuting a heavy duty switch in it's place. Place the switch in the "on" position, apply power, and then turn the switch off after a few seconds. Be very careful, as when the switch is turned off, a large inductive voltage spike might be present on it. I'd recommendthick a di-electric stick of some sort to operate the switch.
     
  10. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
    16,247
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    That's what I call, "a person pretending to be a starter". It's a very good way to diagnose and gives you the opportunity to see if the filaments glow. Obviously, do it in a darkened room.
     
    Brownout likes this.
  11. bladerunner

    Thread Starter Member

    Apr 15, 2012
    83
    4
    #12 lol
    Brownout
    Thanks to both of you.

    The starter I am using not new and I actually removed it from its case. WHile this should not make a difference removing the capacitor probably did. If this is the case, will have to find a starter that does not require a capacitor.

    Thanks again
    Bladerunner
     
  12. BillB3857

    Senior Member

    Feb 28, 2009
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    It may be a lot easier to find a starter that is already the proper one for the type tube you have. Usaually they are based upon wattage.
     
  13. bladerunner

    Thread Starter Member

    Apr 15, 2012
    83
    4
    I would assume the wattage is what the bug zapper is rated for? \

    Thanks

    Bladerunner
     
  14. BillB3857

    Senior Member

    Feb 28, 2009
    2,400
    348
    The wattage for the starter is based upon the tube it is starting, NOT the entire device the tube may be installed in.
     
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