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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is free study of HID ballast mainly Mazda3's OEM Mitsubishi G4,5,6 ballast.

These days, it's not rare to hear about over 50W, 55W high wattage ballast, and standard 35W ballast (aftermarket) are sold all over online market in suspiciously cheap price...
It seems so easy to get unreliable quality ballast if you don't know about it or place to buy. (I will mention about these ballasts at later section)

I got little sample data of few ballasts I could obtain.

First of all, I wanted to see OEM ballast performance.


Mitsubish G5 Ballast (Cold Start)
50mΩshunt resister inline



Amazingly peak of initial boost period's max current is strictly controlled at around 11A. This is because that Mitsubishi ballast has max current control circuit independently and working proper to protect ballast and bulbs.

Once it warmed up enough and stable, 3.4A was measured in average. Assume input voltage 12V, 12V x 3.4A=40.8W
According to ballast data, output supposed to be 34 to 35W its efficiency is about 86%.
(OEM ballast is actually consuming 40 to 42W and outputting 35W)


Mitsubishi G5 Ballast ( Hot Start)
50mΩshunt resister inline


Since burner is warmed up enough, initial boost control is much less than cold start time.


Here are burner current and voltage data of Mitsubishi G5 Ballast

Mitsubishi G5 Ballast (Cold Start)
50mΩshunt resister inline


*initial spike is charging current of condenser in ballast and it's not related to ballast performance

At ignition moment, (it is practically open circuit) extreme high voltage was measured.
Soon after light up, voltage goes down to around 30V, and then coming back to 85V, which is stated on ballast.

Right after light up, 2.5A of current was measured, and then it's going down to about 0.41A
At stable condition, 85V × 0.41A = 35W in average.

Right after light up, 30V × 2.5A = 75W (include loss at inverter)
Power is boosted by initial boost control.


Mitsubishi G5 Ballast ( Hot Start)
50mΩshunt resister inline




For reference,
Here is another sample data from Koito (Denso G3) ballast

Denso G3 ballast (Cold Start)
50mΩshunt resister inline


Due to initial boost control, peak of max current reaches up to 14A, and unlike Mitsubishi ballast, there was no individual max current control circuit, above 8A period, it seems little overworking tendency. However, Denso ballast also has its own protection system against any abnormal operation as well. This means even 14A overwork looking spike were measured, all circuits still have enough capacity to handle them no problem.
In short, they just have different protection/system design.

I am not sure how this difference affects the bulb though. I personally think Mitsubishi ballast is very well designed and reliable.

Denso G3 ballast (Hot Start)
50mΩshunt resister inline


Each make have different tendency, but all of their data shows they are easily be able to pass ECE99 code ( lumen need to reach upto 25% at 1 seconds, 80% at 4 seconds of normal operation lumen)

Now I would like to extend study little more to the cheap aftermarket HID ballast.
As I mentioned at beginning, if you are look at online market, there are tons of suspiciously cheap HID conversion ballast like below $50 or so.
Are these really bright, safe, reliable, why so cheap? That’s my simple question.
Sometimes we even see ballast says 50, 55W high wattage HID ballast at also extremely cheap price.

But many of them, just looking at printed labels are already giving me suspicion.

Something like this…


It says this is 55W HID ballast…

Label says “I norm 3.2A”, I guess this indicates input current of stabilized operation condition. Also (V norm) stated as 13.2V, which means total INPUT performance is
13.2V x 3.2A=42.24W
From this 42.24W, subtract any operation consumption decide ballast out put (burner input),
According to other OEM ballasts analyze, estimated efficiency is about 80% at higher average. I am not sure if I can apply this high efficiency OEM number to those cheap ballast, but let’s say they do have 80% of efficiency, still final ballast out put will be estimated only
42.24W x 0.8(80%)=33.8W

This is like same as 35W OEM ballast actual OUTPUT. Of course it can’t be any brighter than standard 35W OEM ballasts. These are totally misleading information to fake ballast performance seems high. In this way, many OEM 35W ballast should be indicated as 40W ballasts.

Now, I am curious WHAT IS THE FACT going on inside of these cheap ballasts.
Even with cheaper labor, high efficiency factory from China factory, there is no way they can cut actual parts cost radically. Which indicates me there is cost cut at circuit design, omit producing process, QC, use cheaper similar parts for these ballasts to just perform ignite HID bulbs.

If I were getting HID ballast, even if it is USD one, I still get OEM ballast.


Here I got few sample ballasts of 35W and 55W (cheaper ballast from china market), also HELLA ballast to compare performance.

could it be some sample ballast,,? No labels on them but they look like ballast I showed above.

Opened 55W


It seems to have minimum caulking but you can tell they tilt ballast case and tried to conserve them. Well, most of high voltage device are on its left side, this kind of make sense… and there are few unsecure bridged wiring too…
Circuit is 2 compositions. (Main circuit and control circuit)

Opened 35W

This one doesn’t have caulking somehow..

After removing calking of 55W ballast, here is compare picture of 35W and 55W

Right hand side is 55W one.

Both of them have same parts (resister volumes etc). Even main trans spec is same (normally use different tans for different output rating)
Main switching FET was different but almost all of their specs were same.. I really scared this is high wattage ballast?? Might be they just changing few resisters..
Of course no significant max current control like Mitsubishi ballast.


By the way, HELLA genuine OEM ballast is totally different structure from those two suspicious ballasts. They just look similar on case (cheap one is just mocking casing)
Here is in side of HELLA ballast to compare





Back to subject..
Here is control circuit board of 55W one.



It seems to have decent IC, this is the one probably main control module. On IC, there is HYLUX letter. Supposedly it is some German company but, unfortunately I couldn’t figure it out. Suspicious..


Anyway, let’s using lumen tester and check these ballast performance.
For reference, HELLA’s OEM ballast set as 100% standard.
(Many cheapwer ballasts are only mocking HELLA’s ballast casing and I never seen some product copy well even inside structure. BTW, Philips ballast is HELLA’s OEM, so they are exactly same)

Result

Ballst HELLA 35W 55W
Brightness 100% 80% 134%
Input V 11.89V 12.12V 11.62V
Input A 3.57A 2.98A 4.82A
System Comsumption42.4W 36.1W 56.0W
Ballast OUTPUT 35W 28W 47W

·Test burner: Philips 85126( D2R)

Well, just as I expected, they really don’t have actual output as stated in their label.
There is no point indicating INPUT volume since they are varies depend on ballast efficiency. If ballast only has 64% efficiency, even 55W input end up 35W output. Nothing is deferent from OEM standard 35W ballast.

It’s also important to know these results are from with 1 minutes of ignition. As ballast operate, created heat bring its efficiency down without proper heat control design (not talking about existence of heat sink, but parts layout, parts itself, control circuit)

Another fact from these test also showed that those cheap ballast couldn’t meet ECE99 code (lumen need to reach up to 25% at 1 seconds, 80% at 4 seconds of normal operation lumen). For 55W one, it actually reach up to almost 35% of normal operation lumen in less than second, but right after it drop down lots and took so long to reach 80% of normal operation lumen.


If you are looking to try HID, make sure you get them from reliable source. That’s all I have to say. And OEM ballast does have reason to be OEM. Quality, reliability, protections, they are really on top of those.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
[quote author=ziegs2020 link=topic=139393.msg3004670#msg3004670 date=1237486719]
Great post, but a lot of your pictures in many of your posts are not showing up properly.
[/quote]

thank you for informing me ( >_<) I am not sure why some pictures are uploaded and some doesn't. I try my best to fix! Hopefully..lol
Do you have any recommeded online picture storge?
 

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[quote author=upashi link=topic=139393.msg3004690#msg3004690 date=1237487128]

Do you have any recommeded online picture storge?
[/quote]

www.tinypic.com

its free and takes seconds to load a pic for anyone to see
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
[quote author=Screwd up 6 link=topic=139393.msg3004785#msg3004785 date=1237489505]
[quote author=upashi link=topic=139393.msg3004690#msg3004690 date=1237487128]

Do you have any recommeded online picture storge?
[/quote]

www.tinypic.com

its free and takes seconds to load a pic for anyone to see
[/quote]

Thank you so much. I will transfer my pictures when I get a chance and fix my posts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Unfortunately I got this test while ago when I was still in Japan and I don't have same tester to perform test here... Sorry for inconvinience.
 

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Nice write-up!!!

I guess when it comes to selecting a HID kit, you get what you pay for..
 

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While this is definitely good to see what an OEM ballast can do, I think this is slightly unfair as the ballast that you chose to test as the "cheap" ballast is not sold on this forum.

If anyone has access to serious electronic testing equiptment, I would like to see our ballast on the tester.

Upashi: Can you post the equiptment you used? I might buy the equiptment to test ours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
[quote author=dabears2k link=topic=139393.msg3007915#msg3007915 date=1237603891]
While this is definitely good to see what an OEM ballast can do, I think this is slightly unfair as the ballast that you chose to test as the "cheap" ballast is not sold on this forum.

If anyone has access to serious electronic testing equiptment, I would like to see our ballast on the tester.

Upashi: Can you post the equiptment you used? I might buy the equiptment to test ours.
[/quote]

The purpose of this post was not compare product being sold here but testing my simple questions about too cheap ballast out there and confirm OEM ballast performance.
As I stated previous reply, when I had this test done, i wasn't even in this country and never know what kind of product in this forum either. So please don't take it that I tried to do unfair report.

I simply wanted to share the information about unsecure ballast I found and I have no intention doing business for Mitsubish or any other ballast. Just free study.

Anyway,,
All analyze I did for these ballast can be done by basic testers since I only tested input and output's A and V..To record test result, had to have recording soft which shop I was in had in Japan. And brightness testers, somehow my parents had..don't know why they had,,lol

These are the ones used to test ballsts.



Please consult your electircian or ballast designer for test performing and safety.
 

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Yep. I am please to see this. Some people tell us that they can get a HID kit at $45 on ebay. I say sure but if they sell it to you at $45 and still make a profit, what kind of quality parts do you think you get? You get crap. I know and seen it and that's why we don't sell that.

Someone can test a Volt, Xtreme or any kit we sell. We have no problem with the quality of our HID kits

Oliver
 

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This might be a newbie question but I need to know, please.

I have 06 3 with factory HID.

1.Can I just replace to 6000k D2S bulb with factory ballasts?

2.I think my passenger side ballast is out, do I need a same ballast as factory oem or any suggestions?

Thank you,


Lee
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
1. Yes you can.

2. I would try sourcing some good condition used OEM ballast. But it seems bit pricy

06 model may have minor change on ballast spec and can be either
This kind of bigger box one( used one avarage $150-$170 on eBay)

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/NEW-OEM-04-05-06-Mazda-3-Mazda3-HID-BALLAST-IGN-_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQhashZitem33656490beQQitemZ220744421566QQptZMotorsQ5fCarQ5fTruckQ5fPartsQ5fAccessories

or newer smaller box one like

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/07-08-09-Mazda-3-Xenon-Headlight-HID-Ballast-Module-OEM-_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQhashZitem588c7ca9ffQQitemZ380314102271QQptZMotorsQ5fCarQ5fTruckQ5fPartsQ5fAccessories


Check to see which fit yours.


If you have to go for aftermarket, you need D2S socket type one. Then probably you should leave original ballast attached so ignitor access hole is sealed proper, and drill holes on low beam bulb back cap. You may want to remove original ignitor part from housing too, or two D2S socket in housing, no much space and may affect manual leveling clearence.
Whatever method, sealing must be carefuly done.
 

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Great post.

I was thinking about this the other day...why is there such a disparity among HID conversion kits...as far as price goes?

I mean, they go from 500 bucks down to 50 bucks. It's absolutely crazy.

I decided to go with the Phillips Xenon kit.
 

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So basically your research states:

If you have OEM HID, get OEM HID. If you have OEM Halogens, get expensive HID kits so you can blind people if you don't have it set up properly, or cheap ones so you don't blind people and still get an upgrade from Halos.

Expensive HID kits are made to be used with expensive parts, in my opinion. There's no point in upgrading one component if you're not gonna upgrade all of them (in the lighting case), as you won't get the most out of your money doing so.
 

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[quote author=M3-GT link=topic=139393.msg3010971#msg3010971 date=1237787727]
Yep. I am please to see this. Some people tell us that they can get a HID kit at $45 on ebay. I say sure but if they sell it to you at $45 and still make a profit, what kind of quality parts do you think you get? You get crap. I know and seen it and that's why we don't sell that.

Someone can test a Volt, Xtreme or any kit we sell. We have no problem with the quality of our HID kits

Oliver
[/quote]

I believe you guys provide the 'DDM' HID kits(?) I got my DDM Tuning 'Raptor' HID kit almost a year ago and am VERY happy w/ the quality and perf. I hope to hell the innards of the revised 'Raptor' kits are good quality. And when are they gona be back in stock cause I have a bunch of friends who wants them and me to help them put it in.
!
 
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