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Author Topic: 12V Halogen light in shack - stupid idea or actually feasible ?  (Read 6472 times)
F4GFT
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Posts: 16




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« on: October 29, 2012, 09:06:45 AM »


Gentlemen, I have the possibility to convert a 4m2 (35 sq ft) room into a radio shack. The only way to illuminate the room is via downlights, which are usually low voltage (12V) halogen lamps. Given the power requirements (about 170W), a switched p/s is the usual way to go, but I am afraid I'll be generating a constant S9 noise floor on short wave by doing so. I read that filter quality varies significantly between manufacturers - I'd like to ask this community if you have made good experience with some manufacturers. Most electronic transformers are cheap chinese no-names, and I don' trust these a bit, but what about a product from a manufacturer like mean well? I'd like to know your opinion before I give up on the idea to have a dimmer and buy a copper transformer.

Regards
Andy F4GFT
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WX7G
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« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2012, 11:21:26 AM »

Andy, you can buy a switching power supply made for ham gear and it will probably have the extra EMI filter needed. Or, purchase a linear power supply such as an Astron AS-20A.
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W8JX
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« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2012, 11:31:14 AM »

Why waste time with Halogens? How about 12v LED spot light that would use a few amps at most.
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NA4IT
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« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2012, 04:27:39 AM »

I would definitely go with 12V LEDs instead. Less heat, less power draw.
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SV1EBY
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« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2012, 04:52:33 AM »

The halogen light is of much better quality than the LED's. No need to buy a PS, you can buy just a transformer.
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N0FPE
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« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2012, 04:21:25 PM »

A 12V 50watt halogen generates TONS of heat. I wouldnt use them for anything now days. The LED technolgy has improved so much in the last few months that thats the ONLY way to go. Lose the heat, drop the power needs. And it is in NO way hard to light LEDS now days. A very very small transformer will light a whole string of them. I just converted a bunch of 12v 50 watt halogen fixtures to LED and it took a whole 10 minutes each and the girls standing under them at a bank teller line LOVE them because the light is nice and LESS HEAT!

IMHO halogens are dead.

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VE7DQ
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« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2012, 08:24:15 PM »

LEDs have a ways to go, developmentally, regardless of what the LED evangelists say...  I keep looking at the LEDs at the box stores and I'm not satisfied... yet.

Generally, on the cheap ones, their colour spectrum leaves a great deal to be desired, their light output and pattern is lousy and some of them can generate RFI from their cheap, built-in power supply.  They also don't dim down at the same rate as a tungsten or halogen lamp, so they can't be mixed well.  They are expensive for what you get.

It's not like they can be tested in the store; one must purchase them at retail and become a tester of what is, for the most part, a non-returnable item. 

I have a mix of tungsten, halogen and CFL lights in the house and garage, depending on the application.  I have more than several LED lamps that I have found to be frustratingly unsatisfactory for any purpose outside of a display case, stored in a box in the basement.

Incidentally, I tried to return some defective CFLs to the retail store today.  They don't take them back but told me to take them to a recycle center here that is closed on the weekend.  Hazmat and all that.  Quite an inconvenience for a (not so) simple light bulb.   Angry   Tungsten and halogen for me... for now!   Grin

73
Tom
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K1CJS
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« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2012, 07:01:31 AM »

Since the halogen lights themselves won't have any effect on your radios, why not use them?  All you have to do is supply them with a quality power supply to eliminate any power supply noise that may occur, but try them the way they are.  Could be that the existing power supply will do the job noiselessly.
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W8JX
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« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2012, 09:59:03 AM »

Since the halogen lights themselves won't have any effect on your radios, why not use them?  All you have to do is supply them with a quality power supply to eliminate any power supply noise that may occur, but try them the way they are.  Could be that the existing power supply will do the job noiselessly.

A terrible wast of a rigs powers supply's they are basically dummy loads. LED's would make emergency power operation a lot easier power drain wise too.
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K1CJS
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« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2012, 05:18:14 AM »

A terrible wast of a rigs powers supply's they are basically dummy loads. LED's would make emergency power operation a lot easier power drain wise too.

Who said anything about using a rig power supply?  There are well made 'quality' power supply systems made for those lamps just as well as there are cheap, shoddy ones.
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W8JX
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« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2012, 06:42:56 AM »

A terrible wast of a rigs powers supply's they are basically dummy loads. LED's would make emergency power operation a lot easier power drain wise too.

Who said anything about using a rig power supply?  There are well made 'quality' power supply systems made for those lamps just as well as there are cheap, shoddy ones.


If this was 1990 I would say fine on Halogen because it was best available solution then but today with CFL matured and LED maturing it is kinda foolish hang on to past with dummy load lights. I even use LED lights in fridge now. Why do i want to turn on a 200+ BTU heater in it every time I open door?   
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KB1GMX
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« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2012, 02:08:21 PM »

I keep playing with LED as it's power efficient and the color temperature is getting better but
it's not there yet.

So I use a mix of lighting in my room. CFL for raw economy though I chose those with better color
that are so harsh.  I also have LED off the solar charged battery where power economy counts.
I add mains powered Halogen for the color and when i need the greater brightness.  That what
switches are for.  The lighting is layers for general light to keep me from hurting myself in the dark,
and then specialized task lighting.

I don't ask if its feasible, I ask will it do what you want?


Allison
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K1CJS
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« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2012, 04:48:44 AM »

...I don't ask if its feasible, I ask will it do what you want?

Exactly.  Why go through all the trouble of changing lighting out if it will do what you want it to--light up a room.  There again, when you change it out and find that the new setup isn't what you expect, do you change it out again?  And again??

Hey, I've changed out light bulbs for CFLs, but I haven't gone so far as to change out fixtures that limit the use of the type bulb that can be used in them.  Nor have I changed out specialty fixtures that do the job of lighting an area just because I don't like the 'color' of the light they produce.
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F4GFT
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« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2012, 12:02:27 AM »


Gentlement, thank you for all your answers. My initial question was not geared towards unwanted RDI due to switching power supplys, not power consumption, but your replies raised my consciousness about this issue. Last weekend I installed four LED strips and a LED floorlight in my kitchen, and am surprised how mature this technology has become. The two switching power supplies (I mixed 12V and 24V technology) do not create RFI in my station, although I must say that the rig and antenna are quite far away from the kitchen. After this experience, I will consider LED technology for my shack, and got myself a diffusor film which would turn a LED strip into a nice downlight.

Thank you all for your participation.
Andy F4GFT
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