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Fixing Juwel Light Bar.


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#1 doresy

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Posted 27 November 2008 - 10:27 PM

Ok, I was bitten by the all too common curse of the Juwel Rio Light Bar failure! Not wanting to pay the price for a new one and to be buying what could be the eventual same problem further down the road led me into taking the matter into hand.
Realizing that this problem was so common (and a poke from a Mod) prompted me into doing this journal in that it may help other members of the forum.
Disclaimer: This method refers to my own experience with a Rio 120 with T8 lighting therefor it is aimed at that model but I am guessing that all Rio's with this lighting are the same in princible. Here we go....

Firstly, inside the light bar there is only a bunch of wires and a ballast. There are 8 wires from the 4 endcaps and a live and neutral. The ballast is long white metal box. If you have checked the tubes/switch/and plug fuse then your problem lays with this ballast.

Right, before you start you need to source a replacment ballast. I checked out eBay and found there was a ready supply of just about every sort. As there are no seperate starters in the modern Juwel light bar then you need an electronic or digital balast. Mine, for instance needed a 2 x 18w T8 ballast (being there are 2 tube at 18w and it's a T8 type light)
You will also have to source a piece of plastic slightly bigger than the piece you are going to cut out of the light bar

After making sure it's not pluged in! remove the tubes. You need to have a cutting tool. I used a small diamond cutter. A dremmel is a good tool too. I decided to cut in from the underneth side of the light bar so the repair would be hidden.

1st picture shows a cut out I made. (Do not cut too deep as you may cut wires, the plastic is onlly 1-2mm thick) Also, do not cut right to the edge as you will need a flange to stick the cover on later.

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Remove the cut out to reveal the ballast

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Next pull out the ballast, you may need to spread the light bar to allow it to come out

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Then you need to disconnect the wires. I marked them with tape and corresponding numbers. To disconnect the wire press down on the little tags and pull on the wire gently. The live and neutral are at the other end.

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Here's the clever part. Cut a small section from the removed piece of casing that the ballast holding screw goes into.

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With these pieces screw them to the new ballast (for spacing then glue them to the new plastic 'patch' which has been made slightly bigger than the cut out. When dry remove the ballast from the patch leaving the mounting piece in place

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Right now the wiring up. With the new ballast I got there were only 6 terminals but I had 8 wires from the tubes. If this happens to you then study the little diagram and it will show you that 2 of the wires need to be connected together.(see connector in picture) If your new ballast is the same as the old one then wire up using the numbers that you stuck on. The live and neutral go up the other end and unless marked you can put them either way around)
It would be a good idea at this stage to test the lights!

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Next, fix the ballast to the plastic using the screws and your mounts that you stuck on earlier.

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Now turn the assembly over and jiggle it into the light bar. You may have to spread it a bit. Now then, I decided not to glue it in place incase I ever had to remove it again. I opted to silicone it in place and added screw (stainless screws) for safety.

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And finally the finished artical in working condition after being switch on and off several times then left on for 8 hours and again switch on and off several times......success :hyper:

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Well I hope this helps someone but remember, I AM NOT AN ELECTRICIAN AND THEREFORE AM ONLY SHARING MY EXPERIENCES WITH YOU. IF YOU CHOSE TO COPY THEM THEN I TAKE NO RESPONSABILITY WHATSOEVER.
Good luck my friend :good:

Edited by doresy, 28 November 2008 - 06:59 PM.


#2 SuperColey1

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 11:00 AM

Nice write up Doresy. Could you put a pic of the working light into the first post just to show it works.

Might be worth noting not to put the wires from the same 2 end caps into the same one if you don't have enough terminals. this could be a problem down the line, not sure.

Could be a life saver. I don't know what it is with Juwel I bars but there are always posts of them not working. Maybe that when they first started using electronic ballasts they were quite new to the cheaper end of the market and maybe not as reliable.

Good Work.

AC

#3 doresy

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 01:34 PM

Nice write up Doresy. Could you put a pic of the working light into the first post just to show it works.

Might be worth noting not to put the wires from the same 2 end caps into the same one if you don't have enough terminals. this could be a problem down the line, not sure.

Could be a life saver. I don't know what it is with Juwel I bars but there are always posts of them not working. Maybe that when they first started using electronic ballasts they were quite new to the cheaper end of the market and maybe not as reliable.

Good Work.

AC


Cheers mate.
If you check out the picture under where I mentionded that 'it would be a good idea at this stage to test the lights' you should clearly see mine working! *EDIT* Oh you mean the original post where all this started (derrr) ok, later maybe :good:
Also, if the instructions are follow correctly no 2 wires from the same endcap will be connected as it is very clear in the little wiring diagram which wire to connect. (It must be 'cos I got it right :lol: )

My total cost of repair was £4 (against £59 for a new light bar) How much it cost my company however, achem :whistle:

I'm with you on the cheap/sub-standard componants theory, but not a slur on Juwel you understand ;)

Edited by doresy, 28 November 2008 - 01:39 PM.


#4 shroob

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 05:51 PM

Very very useful topic. The light unit on my juwel vision 260 has gone, so in the near future I will probably be attempting this myself (well, I say myself I mean my Dad will be helping, as I have no desire to electracute myself). Certainly a saving on money, so its worth a go.

Edited by shroob, 28 November 2008 - 06:07 PM.


#5 SuperColey1

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 05:57 PM

didn't notice the light was on in that pic. lol

AC

#6 flash22

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 07:00 PM

you can drill out the 2 plastic rivits out either end then iirc take the end caps off, then the top lid should slide out

#7 doresy

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 07:05 PM

you can drill out the 2 plastic rivits out either end then iirc take the end caps off, then the top lid should slide out


I tried that first off but the light bar was welded or glued all the way along which is why I went in the way I did.

#8 shroob

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 07:08 PM

Just noticed this has been pinned - well deserved as well.

#9 BigC

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 07:08 PM

Really good thread Dorsey, :good: thank you, it will go a long way to helping others with this particular problem which seems to dogg Juwel lighting.
Regards
BigC

#10 keenonfish

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 07:50 PM

I don't know what it is with Juwel I bars but there are always posts of them not working. Maybe that when they first started using electronic ballasts they were quite new to the cheaper end of the market and maybe not as reliable.

Good Work.

AC


I suspect being stuffed in a small area without an air flow is the main cause.

#11 doresy

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 09:58 PM

I don't know what it is with Juwel I bars but there are always posts of them not working. Maybe that when they first started using electronic ballasts they were quite new to the cheaper end of the market and maybe not as reliable.

Good Work.

AC


I suspect being stuffed in a small area without an air flow is the main cause.


Well no not really as the electronic ballasts run much cooler than the old sort (I believe). I think it's just the mass produced syndrome. We all know that there are many products out there that could be made to literally last forever but where's the profit in doing that for the retailer??? :shifty:

#12 keenonfish

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 10:28 PM

Well no not really as the electronic ballasts run much cooler than the old sort (I believe). I think it's just the mass produced syndrome. We all know that there are many products out there that could be made to literally last forever but where's the profit in doing that for the retailer??? :shifty:


Yes they run a lot cooler as they work on a switched mode principle but they will always benefit from some airflow to carry the heat away. In fact I bet a datasheet on said device would state a minimum requirement! Of course, in such an application it is hard to provide a safe form of ventilation or heat sink and Juwel will not want their light hoods to last forever ;)



Anyway nice job I would have taken a pretty similar approach myself :good:

#13 SuperColey1

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 03:53 PM

I dont think the problem is to do with ventilation. The old Fluval canopies had enclosed ballast areas with no ventialtion and they used the old magnetic ballasts but I haven't seen anywhere near the volume of threads on failures as the I bar.

At least now people don't need to buy new ones or return them to Juwel etc.

AC

#14 tuskancharger

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Posted 13 December 2008 - 11:26 AM

the ballast bar i puchased cost me £16 but i used more or less the same procedure for replacing it

#15 doresy

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 06:13 PM

the ballast bar i puchased cost me £16 but i used more or less the same procedure for replacing it


Still a great saving and what's more hopefully the ballast will be better than the ones Juwel supply in their light bars

#16 jetskidia

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 04:46 PM

Nice one Dorsey :good:
I think mine will need doing soon as its getting tempermental :angry:

From your sig I guess your near to me, would you be prepared to do mine? for a charge of course ;)

#17 treefella83

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 08:04 PM

i wish that i would have read this a week ago .
my trigon 190 is on its second light unit in about 12 months and this one failed too.
i did not think to replace the ballast myself so i cut the ballast out in the same way as the pictures but i purchased an arcadia ultra seal double controller with the new waterproof end caps and fitted them to the holes where the origonal white end caps were.
the light controller is underneath the fishtank so there was no glueing or sealing to do.
jobs a good un £25.00

#18 Airmaster-1

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 08:57 PM

the ballast bar i puchased cost me £16 but i used more or less the same procedure for replacing it


Still a great saving and what's more hopefully the ballast will be better than the ones Juwel supply in their light bars


Dorsey, a fantastic article well done, I will use you notes to mod my blown unit & keep it as a spare. Heeding your disclaimers of course :nod:

I was given a used Juwel Vision 180 with suspected blown tubes. 2 new T8 tubes later turns out it was the lighting unit. Setting up the tank from new, I ordered a new one which I picked up yesterday.

My experience must backup your article and numerous other postings as today it’s back in the box waiting to be returned. It only works upside down and flashes once & dies if the correct way up.

I will be using you article to create a spare from my old one and will expect the working replacement to blow just after a year as seems to be the norm :-(



Air

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Edited by Airmaster-1, 11 January 2009 - 08:58 PM.


#19 doresy

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 10:12 PM

Glad some of you are getting some mileage out of this artical :good:

My own unit is still going strong dispite being almost completely waterlogged daily by condensation! :crazy:

Having been made redundant last week I should be collecting light bars and re-conditioning them :lol: mind you, would have to go some to pay the mortgage :look:

#20 muzzy

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 12:09 PM

I canít believe Iíve only just found this!!
I had the same problem with my Juwel light bar as well. Fortunately it was still under warranty so i got a replacement.

Even though i donít need to do this it has still inspired me to add some lights to the bar cos i now know how to get into it and how much room i have!! :D

Nice one Doresy




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