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Erik Sine

A Project In Going Green - The Real "Green"

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Here's a small job I just recently finished.




Small potatoes in size for sure, but what's more important are the components used, the pride taken even in the smallest of jobs AND the soon to be end result.

Small sure, but large/bright light output when we talk "Green".

IF there is anything about our electric sign industry when and where someone can coin a phrase "Going Green" AND mean it, AND back it up this is one of those instances. No blanket marketing claim talk here, and I wont try to convince you that what I can do will save the planet....truth is.....no one can, and she doesn't want/need our help. I'm not selling guilt to get you to buy something!!!

The Mayan calendar expired and we're all still here, reality is here...and HERE is my "Green" project.

Yes the sign is simple and average and during the day you would probably miss it. But once night sets in this average signs will transform into the Incredible HULK!!

hulk.jpg

Years back I posted the "Green Machine" in the Portfolio Board of this forum, the process I took to get a bright green sign and all the samples I did. That job is located here http://www.thesignsy...e-green-machine

This project is just another spawn of that, a "redux" !! Green light source behind a green face, and the overwhelming power of rare-earth phosphors coupled with using 13 or 12mm glass....... I LOVE using small diameter glass!!! Yes, slightly more of a load, and more transformer is needed but, this is all about taking pride!!

What's a little unique about this job compared to the latter ("Green Machine") is the neon processing of this one will for the most part be flawless especially when it comes to the electrodes using Fluxeon's "Electra" (Which we now sell here on the Sign Syndicate)


Let's start from the beginning.



In the Beginning there was Fluxeon's "Electra" processing this jobs electrodes each in a matter of seconds under a vacuum (Wham BAM, you're done). The neon is Elite Lamp Technologies Custom Coated Rare Earth phosphor "Kawasaki Green" or as I like to call it "Hulk Green", The Electrodes are Transco To Go's lead free "Novaglo Electrodes"
post-3-0-40205100-1356915517.jpg


Transco's Lead Free Novaglo Electrodes
post-3-0-04331000-1356915520.jpg


Here is the wall and structure I have to work with for this wall sign. Pretty easy when you do all the planning in the shop. No drilling holes to install this job in the field, NONE! Rare...no?!?!?
post-3-0-60859000-1356913625.jpg


The Rear open ceiling
post-3-0-93812800-1356913616.jpg


The installation components. Silicone GTO and Electrode Caps. This sign will be powered by a self adjusting magnetic transformer 10,500kv to 15,000kv.
post-3-0-19476300-1356913628.jpg


There is a five and a half inch space between the rear of the channel letters and the wet location raceway so on my pattern I placed all service holes dead center and used my pattern to make all raceway penetrations ahead of the installation day. I used 1/2" EMT with compression connectors for this.
post-3-0-56123700-1356913608.jpg


Disconnect with rubber boot. Don't forget to loose the "On/Off" plate to make the exterior seal water proof!!! Instead take a Sharpie and mark "On/Off", or just "Off".
post-3-0-33493300-1356913606.jpg


Porcelain bushings for all those high voltage pass thru's you need to make using GTO, I like the porcelains over the plastic bushings for HV. Again, PRIDE!!!
post-3-0-04092500-1356914303.jpg


Big beefy magnetic Transformer
post-3-0-47783000-1356913622.jpg


The shortest connection possible to your first neon lamps is ALWAYS best!!! To the right of the TANK you'll my double nutted structure ground, bottom for the feed and top for the tranny service ground.
post-3-0-23450700-1356914533.jpg


You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. - Winston Churchill

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Continued!!


Custom made lamps and silicone components
post-3-0-65426900-1356914897.jpg



Once this sign was powered I had heard whispers and talk in the past about about variable transformers or "Service" transformers possibly having a too high of a current when the unit was not running near it's peak or optimum load which or this case a 10kv-15kv would be a load of 15kv. So to test this rumor I hooked up a EGL Milliamp Meter, I got a 28.8ma loaded for the neon system, not bad. This 28.8 leads me to the next test below.
post-3-0-27551100-1356914902.jpg



Using a High Voltage probe I tested the load for this sign.


I got 2,443 one terminal one and 2,490 volts on terminal two from both secondary terminals combined we get x 2 = 9,866volts out of a variable 10,500kv-15,000kv TANK unit and with only a 28.8ma reading, not bad!!!! Suspicions from some said the reading would be overwhelming when using a large unit on the low asking end.

In other words it would be close to using a 15kv tranny for a 10,500kv load and severely overloading the system and bringing the ma up and causing the GTO leads to degrade. But we're only at 28.8 ma....Rumor Dispelled!!!
post-3-0-27821400-1356914907.jpg


El Fin.....The job is done!!!!
post-3-0-31126400-1356914910.jpg



The Goodies.


The Induction heater Electra by Fluxeon, which this site now sells. For perfecting your electrode processing, any monkey can now do this, no more worrying about the balancing act of finalizing a neon lamp.

Plug this bad boy into a 120v wall receptacle. Put your lamp under a vacuum and put the Novaglo Electrodes between the gun, and pull the trigger. Instant Red Cherry!!!! Neon made easy!!! Use 15mm Electrodes for EVERYTHING!!! Yes, we sell this Induction unit here now, did I mention that??
post-3-0-60908700-1356916350.jpg



I will have to finalize this thread with the final night shot once I get a chance to take that, and with real foot candle readings. You can go the Green Machine thread link above and see the crazy ass numbers light output readings we got from that sign, not much will change here.




The job recipe.


3M Lime Green
Optix LD2447
Plasco 3/4" Trim Cap
Transco's Resin Bond / Channel Bond

FMS Tube Supports
Elite Lamp Technologies Custom Coated Rare Earth "Kawasaki Green"
Transco's 15mm Lead Free Novaglo Electrodes

Silicone GTO
Easy Caps
Magentic Neon Transformer
20amp Disconnect Toggle Switch
Porcelain Bushings

Fluxeon's "Electra" for Electrode Processing


You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. - Winston Churchill

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Nice looking job, again!! Wish all neon installs looked that clean. The 28.8 reading - assume that was loaded? Did you by chance take a primary reading on site? And I assume you broke the load between the two words? Did you happen to do footage also to compare what you found on site - ?

Again, nice job. Looking forward to the night shot.

And as an aside - the photo of the novaglow trode - attached to clear tubing. Obviously not from this job - and obviously NOT welded by Garrett?

gn

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Nice ! Great job Erik. One things for sure , there is no one in San Diego making a living servicing signs that you have built and installed. : )

I've been using my 'Neon Roy' for a couple of years now. Great tool for consistant quality lamp manufacturing.

Happy New Year bro !

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Nice looking job, again!! Wish all neon installs looked that clean. The 28.8 reading - assume that was loaded? Did you by chance take a primary reading on site? And I assume you broke the load between the two words? Did you happen to do footage also to compare what you found on site - ?

Again, nice job. Looking forward to the night shot.

And as an aside - the photo of the novaglow trode - attached to clear tubing. Obviously not from this job - and obviously NOT welded by Garrett?

gn

Nice ! Great job Erik. One things for sure , there is no one in San Diego making a living servicing signs that you have built and installed. : )

I've been using my 'Neon Roy' for a couple of years now. Great tool for consistant quality lamp manufacturing.

Happy New Year bro !

Thanks guys!!!

@ Gary, the 28 was loaded, no I did not take a primary reading. But since I have to go back for a night shot hopefully I will remember and open up that raceway to do so. The chart footage is about 38'/39'. Not sure about the clear tubing, Garett took those two pics, but since it's his custom coating maybe that was a small portion of the glass uncoated??? Not sure, maybe he'll chime in. Welded by Garett, well hahaha, maybe he'll chime in :crazy:

@ Randy, I give a 5 year electrical warranty which also includes the labor to change out any components or lamps, many companies stick with a one year warranty and still charge labor to change anything out. I still have signs that have been up 16/18 years without a service call, those business's are lucky to still be in business and they NEED a new sign by now.

I just don't understand how some people install just absolute crap, no ground, no bonding, secondaries intertwined with primaries, long unbalanced GTO runs, crappy trannies, underloaded trannies, cheap grade GTO and components. It's rush to get a deposit, rush to throw up something on the wall and ask for the check and never look back. It's low rent, low budget.

post-3-0-75940800-1356934252.jpg

I like what I do, I like to take my time, plan right, do it right the first time. Besides....I like playing with high voltage and big transformers.....so my clients are lucky I guess :P

Happy New Year to you too, hope to see you and the wife in Vegas!!


You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. - Winston Churchill

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Hey All,

Yes, ol' Garett is a little rusty on the glass work! I don't get to light up the fires as often as I used to.

That electrode is *processed*, not unpumped. Over the years I have grimly grown accustomed to seing carbon stains on the ceramic from other's neon. Never happens with the Neon Roy! It's not just cosmetic, the carbon depisition layer has a higher voltage drop, which results in a hotter electrode and energy losses.

The NovaGlo electrodes are among the highest quality I've seen. The mica on the ceramic crimp is a nice touch. the shells seem to be nice and heavy, the pinch seals are annealed so you can get right in there without fear of cracking a tip-off. 5/5 stars, Transco!

Thanks for the kind words about the Neon Roy (Electra), all. We have a new revision, in the new extruded enclosure, with some slight changes to the output, coming in the next couple of weeks (the PCBs are being made as I type). at 165kHz we can now pop mercury-containing electrodes with a special attachment.

Sometime in 2013 we'll have a version of the Neon Roy (Electra) that will handle copper sweat soldering and brazing. (or neon electrode melting!)
and new website and store is being worked on, with an eye toward finishing by next week. www.fluxeon.com

best to all in 2013!

Garett


Sincerely,

Garett Churchill

Fluxeon, Inc.

USA

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So How much is the Neon Roy (Electra)? I would love to have one if I can afford it.


Installation & Maintenance Services

Brian Phillips | expresssignandneon@sbcglobal.net | P. 812-882-3278

Express Sign & Neon | 119 S. 15th Street - Vincennes - IN 47591

express%20neon%20sig.jpg

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We have them for $672.00 $650.00


You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. - Winston Churchill

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Tempting but getting harder to justify spending that kind of money on neon equipment these days......


Installation & Maintenance Services

Brian Phillips | expresssignandneon@sbcglobal.net | P. 812-882-3278

Express Sign & Neon | 119 S. 15th Street - Vincennes - IN 47591

express%20neon%20sig.jpg

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I hear you, Brian-- I can guarantee once you have a Neon Roy you'll wonder how you did without it! Let me know what I can do to help change your mind~

Garett


Sincerely,

Garett Churchill

Fluxeon, Inc.

USA

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I know Garett but neon is slowing down and a 600+ investment is just hard to swallow. I am sure it is a quality piece of equipment and priced fairly but like I said I just don't know if it will pay for it's self.


Installation & Maintenance Services

Brian Phillips | expresssignandneon@sbcglobal.net | P. 812-882-3278

Express Sign & Neon | 119 S. 15th Street - Vincennes - IN 47591

express%20neon%20sig.jpg

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I hear you, Brian-- I can guarantee once you have a Neon Roy you'll wonder how you did without it! Let me know what I can do to help change your mind~

Garett

How about a dollar down and a dollar when you catch me? LOL If I can sell my little blower combo I will buy it!!!!!


Installation & Maintenance Services

Brian Phillips | expresssignandneon@sbcglobal.net | P. 812-882-3278

Express Sign & Neon | 119 S. 15th Street - Vincennes - IN 47591

express%20neon%20sig.jpg

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Continued!!

Transco's Silicone GTO and "Easy Caps". One thing I have noticed since switching over to Transco To Go's silicone GTO, is the fact the that the wiring is wound tighter. Not that it makes a difference in anything but it does make it easier to twist together with electrodes or terminals. Others seem to fall apart and come undone, with the Transco it's real tight and I don't have to spend time pre twisting before twisting a connection.

post-3-0-65426900-1356914897.jpg

Once this sign was powered I had heard whispers and talk in the past about about variable transformers or "Service" transformers possibly having a too high of a current when the unit was not running near it's peak or optimum load which or this case a 10kv-15kv would be a load of 15kv. So to test this rumor I hooked up a EGL Milliamp Meter, I got a 28.8ma loaded for the neon system, not bad. This 28.8 leads me to the next test below.

post-3-0-27551100-1356914902.jpg

Using a High Voltage probe I tested the load for this sign.

I got 2,443 one terminal one and 2,490 volts on terminal two from both secondary terminals combined we get x 2 = 9,866volts out of a variable 10,500kv-15,000kv TANK unit and with only a 28.8ma reading, not bad!!!! Suspicions from some said the reading would be overwhelming when using a large unit on the low asking end.

In other words it would be close to using a 15kv tranny for a 10,500kv load and severely overloading the system and bringing the ma up and causing the GTO leads to degrade. But we're only at 28.8 ma....Rumor Dispelled!!!

post-3-0-27821400-1356914907.jpg

El Fin.....The job is done!!!!

post-3-0-31126400-1356914910.jpg

The Goodies.

The Induction heater Neon Roy by Fluxeon, which this site now sells. For perfecting your electrode processing, any monkey can now do this, no more worrying about the balancing act of finalizing a neon lamp.

Plug this bad boy into a 120v wall receptacle. Put your lamp under a vacuum and put the Novaglo Electrodes between the gun, and pull the trigger. Instant Red Cherry!!!! Neon made easy!!! Use 15mm Electrodes for EVERYTHING!!! Yes, we sell this Induction unit here now, did I mention that??

post-3-0-60908700-1356916350.jpg

I will have to finalize this thread with the final night shot once I get a chance to take that, and with real foot candle readings. You can go the Green Machine thread link above and see the crazy ass numbers light output readings we got from that sign, not much will change here.

The job recipe.

3M Lime Green

Optix LD2447

Plasco 3/4" Trim Cap

Transco's Resin Bond / Channel Bond

FMS Tube Supports

Elite Lamp Technologies Custom Coated Rare Earth "Kawasaki Green"

Transco's 15mm Lead Free Novaglo Electrodes

Transco's Silicone GTO

Transco's Easy Caps

Transco's UNT Tank Neon Transformer

Transco's 20amp Disconnect Toggle Switch

Transco's Federal Bushings

Fluxeon's Neon Roy for Electrode Processing

I think I'm missing the concept of the "Neon Roy".

You use this thing to "preheat" larger shelled electrodes so you can pump them easier on smaller diameter tubing? Is this right?

Also Erik, I would like to take a moment to show whomever attaches the tie wire to your tube supports the proper way to accomplish this. I know it's a small thing, but "pride" should cover the little things to.

Are you forced (by inspectors) to use rubber boots on non-exposed neon units in channel letters?

I always recommend my customers to never use a rubber boot on an electrode unless they are forced to. Then go back and take them off when the inspector leaves!

Neon has been around since the 1800's....rubber boots are around twenty 20 years old and I have yet to see one that doesn't do harm to a neon unit.

I don't mind them as much on exposed inside applications because they make the job look clean and they probably won't hold much moisture. But outside they can cause so many problems....at least here in Michigan where it gets very cold and very hot!

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I think I'm missing the concept of the "Neon Roy".

You use this thing to "preheat" larger shelled electrodes so you can pump them easier on smaller diameter tubing? Is this right?

Also Erik, I would like to take a moment to show whomever attaches the tie wire to your tube supports the proper way to accomplish this. I know it's a small thing, but "pride" should cover the little things to.

Are you forced (by inspectors) to use rubber boots on non-exposed neon units in channel letters?

I always recommend my customers to never use a rubber boot on an electrode unless they are forced to. Then go back and take them off when the inspector leaves!

Neon has been around since the 1800's....rubber boots are around twenty 20 years old and I have yet to see one that doesn't do harm to a neon unit.

I don't mind them as much on exposed inside applications because they make the job look clean and they probably won't hold much moisture. But outside they can cause so many problems....at least here in Michigan where it gets very cold and very hot!

Yes, you can use bigger diameter trodes on smaller glass.

Yes, we don't like winterbush either and those get trimmed before the faces are screwed on.

On the electrode caps, inspectors here like to see that, it makes them "feel" more comfortable, and safe.


You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. - Winston Churchill

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Hi Ron,

The idea of the Neon Roy (Electra)is to eliminate the #1 problem with neon quality: bad electrode processing. Electrodes can (and are regularly)
-under processed
-over processed
-unevenly processed
all of which have dramatic effects on the appearance, loading and life of a tube.

A skilled operator can process electrodes correctly 99% of the time, but I have seen 20-year veterans send out units with black rings on the ceramic. bad!!!

Plus, you can easily put a 60mA electrode on 10mm glass with no difficulty at all. We use 60mA electrodes on just about everything now.

and You can process cold cathode without a 22kVA bombarder (and the cost to install the electrical lines).

The Neon Roy (Electra) completely removes any requirement of skill. The pumper only needs to focus on getting the glass hot now. and since this can be done independently of electrode heating, the glass can be heated at higher pressures and heated much faster. so the whole pumping process is not only perfect due to induction heating of the electrodes, but it's also much faster!


Holler back if you have any more questions!


Garett


Sincerely,

Garett Churchill

Fluxeon, Inc.

USA

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Hi Ron,

The idea of the Neon Roy is to eliminate the #1 problem with neon quality: bad electrode processing. Electrodes can (and are regularly)

-under processed

-over processed

-unevenly processed

all of which have dramatic effects on the appearance, loading and life of a tube.

A skilled operator can process electrodes correctly 99% of the time, but I have seen 20-year veterans send out units with black rings on the ceramic. bad!!!

Plus, you can easily put a 60mA electrode on 10mm glass with no difficulty at all. We use 60mA electrodes on just about everything now.

and You can process cold cathode without a 22kVA bombarder (and the cost to install the electrical lines).

The Neon Roy completely removes any requirement of skill. The pumper only needs to focus on getting the glass hot now. and since this can be done independently of electrode heating, the glass can be heated at higher pressures and heated much faster. so the whole pumping process is not only perfect due to induction heating of the electrodes, but it's also much faster!

Holler back if you have any more questions!

Garett

Hi Garett,

It's a little confusing to me because I'm assuming you still have to go through the entire pumping process after you have blasted the electrodes with the Neon Roy. Because you still haven't gotten the glass hot.

Do you have and instruction sheet you can attach that we (or I ) can read because I'm just not seeing the advantage.

If I understand correctly you evacuate the tube, then blast each electrode with the Neon Ray. Then what? Do you allow air back into the tube then process as usual? Do you let the electrodes cool back down then pump the unit again?

If you've baked the electrodes before the glass has been heated, when you begin to heat the glass won't the electrodes just get hot again, only faster?

I'm sure I'm missing something! Help!

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Hi Ron,

The glass is heated by either an oven, or by electric bombarding. but now our 'bombarding' currents are much lower, so you can use 2-4 60mA neon transformers if you want to. otherwise you can use a regular bombarder. After the glass is hot, open up the main stopcock and then use the Neon Roy (Electra!) to process the electrodes. Done!

Because you are not trying to time the temperature of the glass with the proper processing of the electrodes, the pumping process is much, much easier. You still need the vacuum system of course to remove impurities.

Let me know if you have any more questions, Ron!

Garett


Sincerely,

Garett Churchill

Fluxeon, Inc.

USA

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Hi Ron,

The glass is heated by either an oven, or by electric bombarding. but now our 'bombarding' currents are much lower, so you can use 2-4 60mA neon transformers if you want to. otherwise you can use a regular bombarder. After the glass is hot, open up the main stopcock and then use the Neon Roy (Electra!) to process the electrodes. Done!

Because you are not trying to time the temperature of the glass with the proper processing of the electrodes, the pumping process is much, much easier. You still need the vacuum system of course to remove impurities.

Let me know if you have any more questions, Ron!

Garett

Garett...."After the glass is hot, open the main stopcock and use the Neon Roy"....at this point the electrodes are already cherry red.

And Garett, I'm sure you're familiar with the coating inside and electrode designed to be discharged into a neon tube during the bombarding process to grab onto and help evacuate impurities from the tube. When does this process take place?

Maybe I need to call you because I become more confused with each post.

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Hi Ron,

The point is, sometimes the electrodes are cherry red, some times only one is, somtimes the timing was bad and the glass gets overheated before the trodes are up to the proper temperature. sometimes the trodes are cherry too soon. Sometimes they are burned with carbon reduction, sometimes they sputter metal debris into the tube.

The Neon Roy (Electra) eliminates all this guesswork. the bombarding is now done at a higher pressure with the only purpose of heating the glass, and not a single thought into heating the electrodes. The Electra does that. perfectly. every. time!

The clean-up action does not take place (in any significant amount) until the lamp is ignited after the rare gas is admitted. no impruities are absorbed by the electrodes during bombarding. Carbon Dioxide is liberated and helps flush out impurities like water vapor, but it's an impurity itself.

Feel free to call me 858-346-1900

Garett


Sincerely,

Garett Churchill

Fluxeon, Inc.

USA

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Hi Ron,

The point is, sometimes the electrodes are cherry red, some times only one is, somtimes the timing was bad and the glass gets overheated before the trodes are up to the proper temperature. sometimes the trodes are cherry too soon. Sometimes they are burned with carbon reduction, sometimes they sputter metal debris into the tube.

The Neon Roy (Electra) eliminates all this guesswork. the bombarding is now done at a higher pressure with the only purpose of heating the glass, and not a single thought into heating the electrodes. The Electra does that. perfectly. every. time!

The clean-up action does not take place (in any significant amount) until the lamp is ignited after the rare gas is admitted. no impruities are absorbed by the electrodes during bombarding. Carbon Dioxide is liberated and helps flush out impurities like water vapor, but it's an impurity itself.

Feel free to call me 858-346-1900

Garett

Garett, thanks for clearing it up for me.

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Here's some updated pics taken from my iphone because we happened to be in the neighborhood last night but plan on coming back with my SLR camera.

post-3-0-98491400-1358533154.jpg

Check out how much light is splashing on the black asphalt from the sign, and compared to the subway sign floor splash nextdoor

post-3-0-18690300-1358533151.jpg


You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. - Winston Churchill

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      A video of a members Neon Issues


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