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Just recently, an 'Advance' brand electronic fluorescent lamp ballast let out some magic blue smoke at school.

I noticed that the light wasn't on in the workshop. Everyone always leaves the lights on for whatever reason. The time was only a quarter after nine AM, so I thought this was strange. When I went in there - SMACK! - the smell of burned plastic/electronics hit me!

Nothing happened when the wall switch was thrown.

And so I helped Arch, who works for the landlord, to replace the ballast.

Below is a description of what I found!

Initial findings

The case of the ballast was made of thick metal, probably steel. It was riveted together on each end, so I got my tin-snips out and cut off the rivets (the rivets were also holes for mounting the ballast). This is what I found when I looked inside...

More to come...