Driving fluorescent electronic ballast via SSR

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by Domophone, Sep 10, 2013.

  1. Domophone

    Thread Starter Member

    Sep 10, 2013
    Hi Guys,

    This is my first post (hopefully the first of many). I have formal backgrounds in electronics and physics, and have used this site many times in the past, so it is about time i finally joined.

    I'm attempting to drive an electronic ballast using an SSR.

    The Circuit essentially goes

    L1 (120V) --> ballast --> SSR --> N

    ballast has a lot of issues starting when the SSR is energized. It will flicker indefinitely until i manually ground the neutral side of the ballast. At this point, the lights will stop flickering and start correctly (even when my manual ground is removed).

    Now the strange thing (to me at least) is that the circuit works just fine if i have two ballasts in parallel. I've tried a few things including attempting to add load to the circuit via resistors in parallel with the ballast to emulate a second ballast and some rudimentary noise filtering.

    i'm hoping there is something simple that i have missed. I have no shortage of equipment at my disposal (scopes, function generators etc) so i figure i can perform most tests you guys can think up.
  2. wayneh


    Sep 9, 2010
    There is. You forgot to tell us what the heck you're talking about! ;)

    What is L1? What is N? Why do you need to "drive" a ballast? Is there a schematic anywhere to be seen?

    As you've noticed, no one here was able to respond without more context.