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Thread: CAP NextGen Ballasts - Problems?

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    420 Member StinkFinger's Avatar
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    CAP NextGen Ballasts - Problems?

    So as to not clog another persons journal, I thought I would start this thread for anyone that is using or having issues with their CAP NextGen Electronic Ballasts.

    Here's what I've recently read about all Electronic Ballasts. Seems this may not just be only with CAP.

    I have been speaking to Jason Bedell, owner of Lumatek, today about their ballasts and the problems with Vaportrail's "blown bulb" problems. It seems that not just Lumatek's but ALL digital or "E" ballasts have a compatibiltiy problem with Hortilux, SunMaster, Agrosun and other "high end" bulbs. It seems that MOST HPS bulbs require 4000-5000 volts to "fire" the bulb and all digital/"E" ballasts fire in this range.

    It also seems that Hortilux and these other manufacturers have designed their bulbs to fire at a much lower 1500-2000 volts and these digital ballast a surging over twice that through these bulbs. Therefore, this overload is blowing out SOME (but not all) of these types of bulbs. Anyway, because the Lumatek is not strictly an electronic ballast (it has chip circuitry), Lumatek has redesigned the chips in the latest production models to fire at any voltage requirement between 1500-5000. Now, the Lumatek's will work with any bulb of your choosing and this is the only ballast that can make that claim. Because of the chip technology, Lumatek is the only digital/electronic ballast on the market that even has the ability to alter their firing range.
    Next couple of posts will bring the "problem" to light (pun intended).

    SF

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    420 Member StinkFinger's Avatar
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    Re: CAP NextGen Ballasts - Problems?

    Here's H20's message from other thread....

    Quote Originally Posted by H2OGanjaFarmr View Post
    I heard nothing but praise as well... even from the techs at R&M which is the manufacturer of CAP. I originally bought 3 400/600w Nextgen's... worked great untill I switched over to HPS... all of a sudden I would come in and the lights wouldn't be on... I'd have to unplug them... wait so long and plug them back in to reset the circuit breaker... the next day same thing... the next day same thing... then they'd work, then they wouldn't... funny thing is they'd all be in unison except for acouple times when one wouldn't and the other 2 would, Most of the time it would take two resets to get them to light up. I shipped them back to R&M one at a time and they were supposed to send me new ones but about 1 week after they were replaced it all started again... I don't think I was paranoid in thinking they got them back tested them, they tested fine so they sent them back to me. So during this process of sending them back to them I told them I wanted a back up at a discount... they sent me a refurb 400/600w which rattled when I moved it so I sent that back and got a new one... after the 3 replacements I believed to be the same ballasts started acting up again I told them I wanted 3 brand new ones sent to me before I sent the 3 I had back... they did it I sent the 3 back and had them untill the end of harvest which ended up being about a month and they worked fine... before I could start using them again I was Illegally raided and they were all seized, I'm currently fighting for my equipment back... so hopefully when I get them back they'll work as good as they were when I had them... LOL.

    I feel like I gave Nextgen quite a bit of leway instead of just getting different ballasts... I did it mainly because I liked the idea of them... ie... small lite ballast, can be mounted 65' from lamp, with many possibilities for reflector plugs without having an adaptor. I think what happend is I got a bad batch and when I sent them back they plugged them up and they worked so they sent them back... if they would have tested them for a week I bet they would have had the same issues... if I just plugged them in they'd work but when they were on a timer they stopped working on and off, and I know it wasn't the power or timer cause while I was still having problems and sending them one at a time back to R&M I had a magnetic on the same timer and it never failed once...

    Are your's 400/600w or just straight 600w? Let me know how they work in awhile... I plan on buying more 600's in a couple months and I'm not sure weather I should go NextGen, Lumatek or Quantum... If I don't hear anymore bad about them I'll probably go 400/600w NextGen...



    H2OGanjaFarmr

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    420 Member StinkFinger's Avatar
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    Re: CAP NextGen Ballasts - Problems?

    Quote Originally Posted by H2OGanjaFarmr View Post
    I heard nothing but praise as well... even from the techs at R&M which is the manufacturer of CAP. I originally bought 3 400/600w Nextgen's... worked great untill I switched over to HPS... all of a sudden I would come in and the lights wouldn't be on... I'd have to unplug them... wait so long and plug them back in to reset the circuit breaker... the next day same thing... the next day same thing... then they'd work, then they wouldn't... funny thing is they'd all be in unison except for acouple times when one wouldn't and the other 2 would, Most of the time it would take two resets to get them to light up. I shipped them back to R&M one at a time and they were supposed to send me new ones but about 1 week after they were replaced it all started again... I don't think I was paranoid in thinking they got them back tested them, they tested fine so they sent them back to me. So during this process of sending them back to them I told them I wanted a back up at a discount... they sent me a refurb 400/600w which rattled when I moved it so I sent that back and got a new one... after the 3 replacements I believed to be the same ballasts started acting up again I told them I wanted 3 brand new ones sent to me before I sent the 3 I had back... they did it I sent the 3 back and had them untill the end of harvest which ended up being about a month and they worked fine... before I could start using them again I was Illegally raided and they were all seized, I'm currently fighting for my equipment back... so hopefully when I get them back they'll work as good as they were when I had them... LOL.

    I feel like I gave Nextgen quite a bit of leway instead of just getting different ballasts... I did it mainly because I liked the idea of them... ie... small lite ballast, can be mounted 65' from lamp, with many possibilities for reflector plugs without having an adaptor. I think what happend is I got a bad batch and when I sent them back they plugged them up and they worked so they sent them back... if they would have tested them for a week I bet they would have had the same issues... if I just plugged them in they'd work but when they were on a timer they stopped working on and off, and I know it wasn't the power or timer cause while I was still having problems and sending them one at a time back to R&M I had a magnetic on the same timer and it never failed once...

    Are your's 400/600w or just straight 600w? Let me know how they work in awhile... I plan on buying more 600's in a couple months and I'm not sure weather I should go NextGen, Lumatek or Quantum... If I don't hear anymore bad about them I'll probably go 400/600w NextGen...



    H2OGanjaFarmr
    Hey Man.

    I bought a NextGen about a month ago.

    I'm also having the same problem as you described with the NexGen 1000w. The light fires, perhaps 1 or 2 times out of 10. I'm on my second replacement. I'm using a Hydrofarm reflector and a Sunmaster bulb. I read somewhere that there's a compatibility problem with some bulbs not being ballast "friendly" and tricks the ballast into thinking it's not the proper voltage.

    I'm getting an error code of 4 on my unit (Solid Green with Flashing Red), you the same?

    Luckily, I'm on keeping the thing on 24/7 until flowering and then I'll have to decide what to do. Any info you can provide will help with some more "ammo" when getting C.A.P to offer some type of recommendation.

    Ahhh, what to do...?

    Thanks!
    SF

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    420 Member StinkFinger's Avatar
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    Re: CAP NextGen Ballasts - Problems?

    Here's a picture with description of the fault code that is displayed on the ballast.



    Anyone else having the same issue?

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    Resident Connoisseur PitViper's Avatar
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    Re: CAP NextGen Ballasts - Problems?

    I dont have E balasts but Ive heard the same thing on the forums. Its not a Lumatek or CAP problem per say but the lamps. My supply guy will sell what ever you may order but he will be 1st person to recomend magnetic balasts ....E balasts have very few problems, M balasts have no problems

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    Re: CAP NextGen Ballasts - Problems?

    Thanks for starting this StinkFinger... If you hadn't I would have... LOL.
    I want to buy more NextGen's if it's not a large scale issue so I hope people who have NextGen's post weather it's good or bad...


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    Re: CAP NextGen Ballasts - Problems?

    I just picked up 3 600W switchable NextGen jobs. My local shop recommended these above all else, plus gave us a good deal with a good warranty. They're light, cool running, quiet, and quite efficient. I'm a fan.

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    420 Member H2OGanjaFarmr's Avatar
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    Re: CAP NextGen Ballasts - Problems?

    Quote Originally Posted by PitViper View Post
    I dont have E balasts but Ive heard the same thing on the forums. Its not a Lumatek or CAP problem per say but the lamps. My supply guy will sell what ever you may order but he will be 1st person to recomend magnetic balasts ....E balasts have very few problems, M balasts have no problems

    I think the specific issue StinkFinger is talking about with the NextGen's is a NextGen problem though... The bulb blowing up or burning out is one thing... these damn NextGen's I had and he has won't fire... they have to be reset... and then they still may not fire. It may have something to do with the firing range of the lamp like the problem with Lumatek but this is definitely a ballast thing... I think Lumatek's problem is figured out... Hopefully if this is a widescale problem NextGen figures it out really quick cause I plan on buying plenty of ballasts soon and if it's still an issue there is no way I'll buy NextGen's... I really like their features so it'll be an inconvienience for both me and them... LOL.



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    Re: CAP NextGen Ballasts - Problems?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boombollie View Post
    I just picked up 3 600W switchable NextGen jobs. My local shop recommended these above all else, plus gave us a good deal with a good warranty. They're light, cool running, quiet, and quite efficient. I'm a fan.
    Have you used them for more than a month yet?



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    Re: CAP NextGen Ballasts - Problems?

    I haven't. I'm just as interested as all ya'll though, so I'll be giving a full report.

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    420 Member H2OGanjaFarmr's Avatar
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    Re: CAP NextGen Ballasts - Problems?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boombollie View Post
    I haven't. I'm just as interested as all ya'll though, so I'll be giving a full report.
    Awesome... can't wait... fire those babies up and check back on the regular...



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    420 Member StinkFinger's Avatar
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    Re: CAP NextGen Ballasts - Problems?

    Well here's my dilemma with being the "guinea pig" on this problem.

    Right now, I've been through TWO veg and flower periods. Meaning at the beginning of my grow I couldn't get the light to fire for almost 2 days, while waiting for the replacement ballast the CFL lights in my ceiling can lights were the primary lights for this period, and they started the flower cycle. Then when the replacement ballast came, and I put back on the timer, I had trouble firing that up also for almost a period of 36 hours.

    So, for the last couple of weeks, I've just kept the "problem" ballast on 24/7. I'm sure if I switch this back on the timer, with 18/6 I'll have the same problem with the ballast firing again.

    At this point, I just can't risk the light not firing and being accurate. Since I'm almost hitting the flower cycle the ballast will become critical and needs to perform.

    So for the time being, I've purchased a traditional m-ballast to get me through this grow. I can't return the NextGen at this point, so I'll figure out how deal with this after I finish this grow.

    I might test the NextGen again with the HPS bulb when I switch over to flower, just to see if perhaps it has something to do with the bulb, but I'm not having high hopes for this fixing the issue.

    Just wanted to keep you in the loop.

    I'll be back.

    SF

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    420 Member H2OGanjaFarmr's Avatar
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    Re: CAP NextGen Ballasts - Problems?

    Quote Originally Posted by StinkFinger View Post
    Well here's my dilemma with being the "guinea pig" on this problem.

    Right now, I've been through TWO veg and flower periods. Meaning at the beginning of my grow I couldn't get the light to fire for almost 2 days, while waiting for the replacement ballast the CFL lights in my ceiling can lights were the primary lights for this period, and they started the flower cycle. Then when the replacement ballast came, and I put back on the timer, I had trouble firing that up also for almost a period of 36 hours.

    So, for the last couple of weeks, I've just kept the "problem" ballast on 24/7. I'm sure if I switch this back on the timer, with 18/6 I'll have the same problem with the ballast firing again.

    At this point, I just can't risk the light not firing and being accurate. Since I'm almost hitting the flower cycle the ballast will become critical and needs to perform.

    So for the time being, I've purchased a traditional m-ballast to get me through this grow. I can't return the NextGen at this point, so I'll figure out how deal with this after I finish this grow.

    I might test the NextGen again with the HPS bulb when I switch over to flower, just to see if perhaps it has something to do with the bulb, but I'm not having high hopes for this fixing the issue.

    Just wanted to keep you in the loop.

    I'll be back.

    SF


    Why can't you return the NextGen?


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    Re: CAP NextGen Ballasts - Problems?

    Quote Originally Posted by H2OGanjaFarmr View Post
    Why can't you return the NextGen?


    H2OGanjaFarmr
    Because I've had it since late December. I'm totally out of the return period of the store. No biggie. Worst case, it'll find it's way to e-bay. I'd like to figure out the problem though, so I'll keep it awhile. The unit is quiet, pretty cool in temp, totally small and portable. If I didn't have the firing issue, we'd have a definite winner. I've got it running currently (albeit on 24 hours a day), and until I swap out for HPS, it'll stay on, ;-)

    SF

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    420 Member RPsmoke's Avatar
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    Re: CAP NextGen Ballasts - Problems?

    Bums me out to read this. Was about to pull the trigger on some 600w Nextgen's. Might just go with a magnetic ballast, sounds like it might be the way to go, until the e-ballasts get all figured out. Subscribed to see what yall do. Thanks for making this thread. +rep

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