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Author Topic: Display For Noble Gas Discharge Tubes  (Read 22434 times)

Offline pSlawinski

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Display For Noble Gas Discharge Tubes
« on: March 11, 2005, 12:26:58 am »
Hey, I just wanted tho show off the display I made for my noble gas discharge tubes.

Display:

Large Image: http://www.metal-halide.net/bulbcollectorforumpics/Large/DSC04817.jpg

Power On:

Large Image: http://www.metal-halide.net/bulbcollectorforumpics/Large/DSC04818.jpg

As I currently have this set up I am over driving the tubes. (suprised?)? Is there anyone here who knows what size transformer would work for about 10' of 8mm tubiing?

Offline Tim

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Re: Display For Noble Gas Discharge Tubes
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2005, 12:35:43 pm »
Cool looking display!? Did you have the tubes custom made, or are they available someplace premade?? Unless someone has an answer here, I would talk with your local neon sign shops about recommondations for a suitable transformer.? Who knows, a shop may even give you an old one if they understand your interest.

Offline mr_big

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Re: Display For Noble Gas Discharge Tubes
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2005, 02:01:34 pm »
If you are overdriving gas discharge tubes like this then they will only last for a couple of hours
« Last Edit: March 11, 2005, 03:35:51 pm by mr_big »

Offline pSlawinski

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Re: Display For Noble Gas Discharge Tubes
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2005, 10:49:59 pm »
I did not have these custom made, however the company I bought them from on eBay did have them custom made.? If you would like a set you can get one here: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=413&item=6161024318? As far as the over driving goes, I don't think that that will have any significant impact on life ...? The only ones to worry about are Helium, and Krypton because they become very hot and could shatter if left on too long.? As a precaution I only run these tubes for a maximum of 3 minutes.? Even running them for that short of a time the Krypton and Helium tubes become too hot to touch.? This has been an ongoing project since last August, so it is nice to finally see it completed.? I think the wait was well worth it :wink:.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2005, 11:06:49 pm by pSlawinski »

Offline Zelandeth

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Re: Display For Noble Gas Discharge Tubes
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2005, 09:18:50 pm »
Okay...now this is something I'm recalling from vague memory - so you might wanna check up on me.  This was also for neon tubing...so with mixed gasses it might be different.

To find the correct operating voltage for the tube (assuming you're using a traditional transformer type ballast and not an electronic one), connect it up to a variac, and strike the discharge.  Then decrease the voltage to the point where it's just starting to flicker.  That's then 78% of the correct operating voltage.

Then you just need to find a ballast rated to that sort of voltage/current.  Though it's a relatively small tube - so voltage probably isn't a huge problem...current limiting is, and I really don't know how to go about finding the correct operating current.  Maybe the simple one would be to stick a couple of incandescent bulbs in series with it - see how much that reduces the tube heating by (just using them as high power resistors).

---

Another possibility.  The small 12V inverters used to drive CCFLs (like those used by modders in computer cases and such), will happily drive small neon lamps and such - you might want to give each "element" a shot with an individual one of those.

This driver might also be worth a look. BatNeon Driver for sale at LED Sales.  You might have to email them to see if the open circuit voltage would be sufficient to strike it though.

Offline pSlawinski

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Re: Display For Noble Gas Discharge Tubes
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2005, 03:30:38 am »
I used to have small transformers for each tube.  Then I tried to set them up in this nice case, well I got a transformer that would power all this and funny enough it was actually putting out 13v instead of the required 12v.  I kinda let the magic blue smoke out of all the transformers :(

Offline mr_big

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Re: Display For Noble Gas Discharge Tubes
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2005, 03:47:10 pm »
Could you post some pictures of the transformers

Offline pSlawinski

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Re: Display For Noble Gas Discharge Tubes
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2005, 03:56:59 pm »
Unfortunately, no I can't.  I don't have them here with me.  I may even have thrown them away.  I can check this weekend when I head back home though.