halide ballast options?

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Is it possible to DIY the ballast?

It is certainly possible for me! But I have no idea if it is possible for you... :D

Another guy and I designed and built a power supply that could deliver up to 30 Amps at 240 VAC 50 or 60 Hz, and it could be adjusted to deliver any lower power output. It also had short-circuit protection, so you could short the outputs together and it would not even make much of an arc. This was for a rural electric water purification system. We used some big power MOSFETs and an 8051 family microcontroller to sample the instantaneous voltage and current during each cycle to do the regulation.

The only difference between that and an electronic MH ballast is that you would need to add the starting voltage generation. Or you could get fancy and drive the MOSFETs with a higher frequency to generate variable duty cycle square waves from a DC voltage. (ie. synthetic AC)

None of these ideas are very difficult or expensive to implement, if you are a competent electrical engineer. If you are not, then it would be very easy to kill yourself messing around with these voltage and current levels.

You also have to consider that your time is worth something: If I needed 1000 of them to put in a commercial product, I would design my own. If I needed just one to build a DIY projector, then I would spend the $120 or so to buy one and save thousands of dollars worth of my time.
 
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