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 Electrical-type question

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Reprob8
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2007 8:47 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

The new Steelers neon is almost too bright. Do regular dimmer switches work on neon signs or do they require a regular current to make those gases glow?

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equinoxe
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2007 9:03 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Reprob8,

I would strongly advice NOT to use regular dimmer switches for dimming a neon sign!!
The sign is using a high voltage power supply, it doesn't cope well when using a dimmer (neither does the average dimmer cope well when used to dimm a neon sign!).

I don't know a safe method for dimming a neon sign.
Sorry for the bad news ..

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Agi Hammerthief
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2007 9:07 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

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congrats to your first Eaterversary Equinoxe

@R8 i concurr with Equinoxe

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Last edited by Agi Hammerthief on Fri Apr 13, 2007 9:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2007 9:10 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hey Equi!!! Congrats on your eaterversary!!! happy crowd happy crowd happy crowd happy crowd happy crowd KD will soon be around to call you a postwhore...lol Laughing Laughing

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persephone
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2007 9:11 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

GEEZ!!!!! Thread jack! happy crowd happy crowd happy crowd happy crowd happy crowd Sorry, R8, have to congratulate hubby! clapping clapping clapping Well done Postwhore! and a round 40 posts as well!

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Reprob8
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2007 9:26 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

@ equinoxe -- thanks for the advice. I'll live with the brightness! And
Happy Eaterversary!!

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equinoxe
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2007 9:36 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

@Breadcrumb: a second post this month just for you Wink


@all thanks for the congrats Smile

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2007 9:37 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Take this with a grain of salt.... I'm not an electrical engineer. I would be richer is I was.

http://www.neonshop.com/neonweb/nn/tdorr17.html

The site may be a bit slow. But it's informative.

Just be glad you didn't use a normal light dimmer. It sounds like there is a special dimmer used just for Neon Lights.

Perhaps a search on neon dimmer may help.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2007 9:39 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
@Breadcrumb: a second post this month just for you


I feel soooo honored!! Very Happy Very Happy Wink

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Fredd
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 2:26 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Another way that should work is to use a variable transformer (variac).

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Saint Arnold
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 2:53 am Reply with quoteBack to top

You know that thick clearish plastic you can get at Home Depot? You use it for a dropcloth when you're painting? Get some of that and put it in front of the sign. If it's still too bright, hang another sheet of plastic. Simple, really, and you can control the brightness by adding or removing plastic sheets.

And I am an electrical engineer (really! my undergraduate degree is a BSEE), so you can trust that advice.

Equinoxe - happy Eaterversary!! At this rate, you'll reach the "eater is my life" title before.... well, before 2010, I guess.

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jojobean
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 12:57 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

First off, congrats Equinoxe on the one year. I guess it is hard to get around to making posts when Persephone is always hogging up the computer.

Secondly, R8, everyone else's advice has been pretty sound. Don't use a dimmer on these neon lights. I am an EE and working with those transformers are a bit dangerous. Usually neon light transformers are in the kV range, probably around 8-15kV. So working with that is much more dangerous that with your typical 120VAC electricity. It arcs and is quite dangerous. If you don't have experience wiring high voltage stuff, I would highly recommend against it.

I don't know hat a variac would work in this instance... I would have to think about it. It would depend on the minimum voltages could be for those signs. But, that is a pretty dangerous scenario too.

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Grundig
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 1:05 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Trick is to NOT limit the input current to the transformer,,,,,Limit the output current,get 2 10k ohm 2 watt resistors,,,,solder them in series,,,,,1 end will go to the neon,(insulate very well) the other to 1 of the output terminal,s of the transformer.

Yep I,m also a CET, Certified Electronic Technician
Tha variac option will work,,,,,expensive way to go though,.

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callum
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 5:54 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

What's wrong with using sunglasses when the sign is on? Cool

Simple
Safe
Effective
Cheap

I am of course looking at this from a mechanical engineers point of view... Laughing

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John Drake
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 7:06 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Many congrats on your Eaterversary, Equinoxe!!!

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kloneya
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 7:07 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Image Congrats on your Eaterversary Equinoxe Image
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kleindoofy
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 8:10 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Reprob8 wrote:
The new Steelers neon is almost too bright. ...


How can a sign of your favorite team be too bright?

Reprob8, I think you should seriously review your fan status. You're slipping.

Come on! Just because you have dedicated 80% of your life to them, including almost your entire income, rooms of your house, and your SO's crystal collection doesn't mean you're a real fan. Laughing Laughing

[hums: "you, light up my life, ..."]
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icrighthruU
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 12:13 am Reply with quoteBack to top

The sun glasses were a good idea, the plastic even better, you know they sell that plastic in different colors and thickness'. I'm not an EE either but if it's an electrical issue it's my guess that they're the ones to talk to. I once shocked the hell outta myself changing a simple light bulb, so you wouldn't want me takein' a looksie.
If you haven't found a solution yet you may want to check a local craft store. I know they have paints for regular lighting, maybe there's something to fit your needs as well.
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