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  • 35W/ 55W Ballasts Roundup

    For peoples followed my H1 bulb tests, you may found that I also make a comparison between different ballasts operated under my H1 bulb test setup. I just got a pair of Morimoto 5Five and planned to test it also, so I think it is a good time for me to extract the scattered information in that long H1 bulb test thread and make a thread for ballasts by itself.

    The next two posts is just a repost from the original H1 test thread, and I will update this once I got the result for the 5Five.

    And here is how the test fixture looks like.




    Oh BTW, I really could like to include other commonly available ballasts (e.g. DDM) in the test, but I just can't get myself to justify the cost for getting one just for test. So, if there is anyone have a ballasts willing to donate for the test, please send a PM to me.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by StupidPig; April 18th, 2011, 03:12 AM.
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  • #2
    I used multiple ballasts in the test, so I guess it is also good for me to see what is the difference between them. Again, I'm only looks at certain parameters, and it is never means it is a complete comparison between them.

    Here is the ballasts I used in this test so far....
    1. No Name China (35W)
    2. No Name China Slim (35W)
    3. No Name Chin (55W)
    4. Xenon Depot Xtreme (35W)
    5. Morimoto 3Five (35W)



    Price:
    1. No Name China (35W), about $30 per pair
    2. No Name China Slim (35W), about $35 per pair
    3. No Name Chin (55W), about $40 per pair
    4. Xenon Depot Xtreme (35W), listed at $79.99 for one ($159.98 per pair)
    5. Morimoto 3Five (35W), listed $110 per pair

    Keep in mind Xenon Depot is selling the Extreme kit at about $200, and giving that they are selling each bulb at $44.9 (about $90 for a pair), the price for the ballasts is about $110 when you brought the kit.

    For Morimoto, the price will also be a lot lower if you are buy stuffs from TRS as bundle.

    Performace:

    Besides I took Lux measurements for each ballasts when running on the bulbs, I also measured the input current with a Clamp on Amp meter, and write down the approximate peak during ignition, and the current after it stabilized. And then I also tried to write down the behavior on what it ramp up the bulb.

    First here is a list of lux readings at 10 mins for all ballasts with the (update from original, TRS Philips rebase bulb is now called XB35) 4300K bulb from TRS.

    1. No Name China (35W) - 6350
    2. No Name China Slim (35W) - 6327
    3. No Name Chin (55W) - 10420
    4. Xenon Depot Xtreme (35W) - 5773
    5. Morimoto 3Five (35W) - 6237

    Basically, the two 35W No Name China ballasts and Morimoto 3Five recorded approximately same readings (within +/- 1%). The 55W No Name China ballasts is about 65% brighter, and the XenonDepot ballasts lagging from behind at about 8% dimmer.

    Power Usage:
    First, I must say that the clamp on meter is just a cheap one from Sears, and I also just write down the approximate readings. The first readings is the peak during ignition, and the second no. is for the steady state.

    1. No Name China (35W) - 8A, 4.1A
    2. No Name China Slim (35W) - 8A, 4.1A
    3. No Name Chin (55W) - 9.5A, 6.1A
    4. Xenon Depot Xtreme (35W) - 7A, 3.9A
    5. Morimoto 3Five (35W) - 7A, 4.4A

    Ramp up Behavior:
    This is the part that both expansive ballasts really show the difference. For both the Xenon Depot and Morimoto ballasts, the ramp up is at slow but steady. By keep tracking the change of lux readings, they do overshoot before reaching steady state, but not very high. XD is less than 10% overshoot, and Morimoto is excellent at about only 1%.

    All the No Name China ballasts, raise the output pretty quick, overshoot by about 20%, then drop back to steady state.
    Last edited by StupidPig; April 13th, 2011, 01:24 AM.
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    • #3
      Peoples been asking a test with the OEM ballasts, so I brought a Matsushita from a member here (http://www.hidplanet.com/forums/show...-Philips-85122). updated from the original. It is confirmed to be a gen 3 Matsushita.

      Price:
      6. Matsushita (35W) - Used, brought from a member here at $50 for a single ballasts.

      Performace:
      6. Matsushita (35W) - 4847

      Power Usage:
      6. Matsushita (35W) - 10.4A, 3.9A

      Ramp up Behavior:
      6. Matsushita (35W) - It ramp slowly and steady like all the expansive aftermarket ballasts (XD and Morimoto), and like the Morimoto, it didn't overshoot a lot.

      Conclusion:
      Either the Matsushita I brought from the member here is a fake, or "OEM ballasts is better" just a hype. The ignition power usage is super high (> 10A), the output is super low (22% lower than the China and Morimoto ballasts). I can recommend Morimoto over these at anytime based on this result.
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      • #4
        Interesting. I have a ddm slim that I would be willing to send you but i would need it back. I'll pay 'to' shipping you pay 'return'. I'm in San Jose so it should be only a couple bucks.

        05 300C - 15 Taurus SHO

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        • #5
          ^^^^ Cool! PM sent for my shipping info.
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          • #6
            Great info! So the Mori 3five ballasts you're using must be the older version? Matt mentioned the new ones warm up and stabilize faster than the previous version. I don't have the new ones, but there's a noticable difference between the 3five's I'm currently using and the Xentec/DDM ballasts they replaced.

            Comment


            • #7
              Yes, the 3Five I have is acquired before Feb this year, so it should be the old one. The 5Five is something I just received last week, so it should be the new one (if there is new one).
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              • #8
                I think Matt said that the Matsushita Gen4 is a lot better than the Gen3....

                edit: n/m Matt said Gen3 had unreliable igniters: http://www.hidplanet.com/forums/show...l=1#post394563
                Last edited by xOperator; April 12th, 2011, 08:40 PM.
                Write Something....../

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                • #9
                  Wow, I been approached by more than one guys offering a loaner DDM for the test, one even just living a few blocks away. It is so great that peoples in this forum is so nice. So, just to let peoples know that I'm no longer need more DDM for the test. If anyone do have a different brand which can be easily acquired by public and willing to send it to me for a test, please let me know.
                  Last edited by StupidPig; April 14th, 2011, 05:30 PM.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by oVerRateD View Post
                    I think Matt said that the Matsushita Gen4 is a lot better than the Gen3....
                    I'm sure don't mind to test more OEM ballasts if anyone can send a loaner to me.
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                    • #11
                      Got the Morimoto 5Five result.




                      Price:
                      7. Morimoto 5Five w/AMP connector (50W) - From TRS, list price $110 per pair. The one I got is a special version which come with AMP connectors instead of the standard D2 connectors, because I'm intended to use it with MH1.

                      Performace:
                      7. Morimoto 5Five w/AMP connector (50W) - 7870

                      Power Usage:
                      7. Morimoto 5Five w/AMP connector (50W) - 8.31A, 5.33A

                      Ramp up Behavior:
                      7. Morimoto 5Five w/AMP connector (50W) - It ramp slowly and steady like all the Morimoto 3Five, and it didn't overshoot a lot.

                      Conclusion:
                      Very quite operation! This is the first impression when I turn on those nice looking ballasts. The power draw during ignition is pretty low, so IMO it is much safer than using those power hunger OEM ballasts. It's slow rampup and tight control during the steady state is certainly a plus over the cheap no name ballasts. I was a bit disappointed on the output though, as while it is about 26% brighter than the 35W 3Five, it is a well 24% dimmer than the 55W No Name China. Not sure why 5W difference will bring such big difference in terms of brightness, may be the No Name China one is outputting even more than 55W.
                      Attached Files
                      Last edited by StupidPig; April 18th, 2011, 01:42 AM.
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                      • #12
                        Next will be the DDM 35W and 55W. Thanks for member Bender1 lending two DDM ballasts to me for the test, and all the others who offered to help.

                        Stay tune......
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                        • #13
                          very nice info. keep them coming. now i have some baseline info to compare with my ballasts. btw, what gadget are you using to measure the brightness.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks James for lending me DDM ballasts for the test.

                            Price:
                            8. DDM Slim 35W (35W) - Loaner from member Bender1 (James), price unknown. It doesn't looks like the current generation of DDM 35W slim, as I think the current gen is in black color with DDM sticker, but this one is in silver color and without any DDM sticker or engrave.




                            Performace:
                            8. DDM Slim 35W (35W) - 5735

                            Power Usage:
                            8. DDM Slim 35W (35W) - 6.5A, 3.82A

                            Ramp up Behavior:
                            8. DDM Slim 35W (35W) - It ramp slowly and steady like the Xenon Depot Extreme, and it didn't overshoot a lot.

                            Conclusion:
                            Strange. I was expecting the DDM works more like the no name China ballasts, but it actually work more like the Xenon Depot Extreme ballasts. They have similar power usage, output, and even the ramp control behavior. One thing to notice though, as mentioned at the beginning, this 35W DDM slim ballasts doesn't looks like the current generation of DDM slim.
                            Attached Files
                            Last edited by StupidPig; April 18th, 2011, 03:08 AM.
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                            • #15
                              Thanks again James for lending me another pair of DDM ballasts for the test, this is a 55W version.

                              Price:
                              9. DDM 55W (55W) - Loaner from member Bender1 (James), price unknown. This one looks like coming from the Apexcone Raptor V2 Mid Sized HID kit.




                              Performace:
                              9. DDM 55W (55W) - 8570

                              Power Usage:
                              9. DDM 55W (55W) - 5.49A, 5.29A

                              Ramp up Behavior:
                              9. DDM 55W (55W) - It ramp slowly and steady like the Xenon Depot Exteme, and it didn't overshoot a lot.

                              Conclusion:
                              Again, very strange result. The power usage is particular strange. It didn't show the higher power usage during startup like all other ballasts, and it's power usage is pretty much constant from start to end. Output is a bit higher than the Morimoto 5Five, about 9%, but nothing compared with the 55W No Name China ballasts.
                              Attached Files
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