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Erik Sine

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Erik Sine last won the day on October 10

Erik Sine had the most liked content!

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About Erik Sine

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    The Industries Public Enemy #1
  • Birthday 09/09/1973

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    The Sign Syndicate
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    San Diego, CA
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    Women & Underwater basket weaving

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    1225 Santa Claus Lane
  • Equipment
    Truck, CNC Table, and a Can Opener

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  1. Channel Letter Trim Cap - PLASCO

    Just to give an update. These rolls are now 151 feet in length. I edited the spec info in the original post above, but still need to update all the banners and ads
  2. Plotter software for Mac computers

    Uh, Tinaers, isn't this your company?
  3. Exaggerated LED Spacing

    Thought I'd pop this out early before we start doing our own Sign Syndicate LED Light Spacing Study that we will be posting here on the SS, which will probably start early next year and before the ISA Expo. Before we do so, thought I would ask how many may have been duped by a Manufacturer or Distr Rep that said you could light up a sign with amazing spacing well beyond anything you have ever used, all to find out once you did the spacing they specified and sold you on, you had to end up reconfiguring the sign and double to tripling what you originally used? So far in the last year or two I've heard the similar story from the project planners more than a few times. For example, a 1.2 watt 3-diode LED module 1.5 modules per foot that you can use a single row to light up 24" of can or channel at 8"+ Deep, or rows 18" apart for multiple rows. When it comes to 5" depth one row for a 16" can or cabinet or 8" spacing between multiple rows.? There seems to be this word being coined around by MFG or DIST reps, even Sign Specifier Consultants who claim to be independent and are supposed to be experts, but actually behind the scenes work for certain LED manufacturers...these are the secret reps who just work as consultants but do nothing more than market certain companies and collect a check, their NOT really consultants more than they are salesmen. The coined word is "usable light". What is usable light? When it comes to Sign component sales it means selling a product at max margin for minimum results. The minimum results means a configuring a sign face light to the stressed point of even light before you start to see the light source before spacing is too far apart to create hot spotting or shadows of inefficient light. Sign that are illuminated with usable light CANNOT compete in shopping centers where they compete with other signs for attention. But these usable light signs look awesome in a dark warehouse or Sign Convention floor. The other problem with usable is, after a couple thousand hours of operation and lumen maintenance takes place the original illumination is now lower, so now the LEDs stand out thru the face because of the shadowing or light loss between LED modules or rows. Now, that usable light has expired. Anyhow a hew illustrations below of pics posted in a MFGs webpage that do not display how their LEDs are marketed SIGN CABINET ACCORDING TO MAX SPEC I just simply put this cabinet to scale using the 2" Led Modules. The 9" Spacing in the middle shows you what any shop would use for spacing for a 12" deep cabinet. To the left I eliminated a row to show you what 18" on center between rows is, and where they claim it should be. 18" is typical for HO Fluorescent lamps which light output is well beyond LED modules, is 360˙ and will use the walls of the sign and face to bounce light all around for VERY even lighting. Just imagine to yourself visually eliminating all those rows using the second pic and think of the light there would be for that sign face. Is that how you would light the face for your customer? Where would that light be in say 2 years, 5 years? CHANNEL LETTERS Same question here. 4 Diode 1.8w LED Module same as above. MFG claims one row should light up 24", as you can tell they used multiple rows, as you should to light up an approx 16" Channel. Again, if you're going to claim amazing spacing, why not show it, why show near conventional spacing as illustrated above? Which all leads to my next question. When you're told you can get a bag of 50 modules for 32' of lighting for $$$$, or 100 modules that light up 64' are you actually get what your paying for? Or are you having to tighten the spacing? Most spacing numbers with all these new fancy cute LED "prism" Lenses that claim to be 170˙ or 180˙ which come with a cool chart and graph that most will scratch their head to but it does look scientific, don't seem to be adding up. Don't get me wrong the spacing can work with this "usable light" theory, but how many of us configure and build signs for "usable light". In most cases we build to compete, and of course last. I've been hearing too many stories of consumer complaints and shops having to go back out and redo the signs adding more LEDs. The MFG & DISTR model is gearing up to tell you can you can save money by buying their product because you get sooooo much more footage out of it. The problem lays in the fact that if you put them side by side with a near product that does their spacing differently ( much tighter) you'll see the tighter product is much brighter (duh) and of course over time, it won't hot spot and shaodw as fast because the spacing is MUCH tighter and it won't display as it would for further spaced products Knowing the light output of LEDs, that is now how I would specify or configure LED spacing of modules or rows of modules, they need to be MUCH tighter and smaller. That's just me, and my opinion based on most applications in our industry, and I do know not every signs needs to be blinding light, but consumers want visibility in most cases, where subtle takes a back seat....in most cases Anyhow, just my 2¢
  4. Merger of Giants

    Congratulations to David & Corky at SignTech, California Neon Products or CNP who does the Jack in The Box signs just bunked in with SignTech. Big things just got BIGGER. I hear Dave's Neon Museum located in their new building is getting even larger. I need to stop by and take a peek.
  5. No BS Sign Retrofitting

    Right??? That's how old the Neon is too! At 50% but still lit! I'm going to assume the same thinking that makes the decision in their head to buy 50¢ modules to $ave! $ave money for them...NOT their customer, who was told their sign would last 100,000 Hours with their LED choice
  6. No BS Sign Retrofitting

    So... I haven't posted any jobs lately and I need to play catch up. So I'll start with our latest projects and work myself backwards As we've discussed so many times on the Sign Syndicate. There is a time to retrofit, and a time not too. Neon and Fluorescent lamps/systems should not in most cases be retrofitted to LEDs unless accessibility calls for it. Otherwise, it doesn't make financial sense for the consumer to do so, or....just so a shop can make a project sale on BS energy efficiency numbers and mythical saving $$$$ So here are some retrofit jobs that make REAL sense. NEON RETROFIT Here's a chain of Studio's that I've been doing since the early 2000's. This particular sign is only partially mine, everything from the Logo and red letters. This was the first job I did for them leading up to fabricating all new signs for their locations. The white is from the previous location and Neon has been in it's original form since the late 90's, and it's 6500K Snow White. The logo is 15mm Tri-phosphor, Elite 65D I believe. The Logo and Red was done in 2008. It's very hard to tell because red and white is hard to capture and a cell phone cam does no justice but the White lettering is dimmer than illustrated and is about 50% of it's original light output. Not bad for 20+ plus year old lamps!! So the owner called up and wanted a revamp. Had I been the average shop you bet the immediate response would have been LED! SAVINGS!!!!! BULLSHIT! BULLSHIT! Well, no. We're logical over here in SoCal, a land where 50¢ modules would have replaced the Lamp Art. The logical choice, and more economical choice for the consumer? Going from a single halo phosphate 6500K Snow White Neon lamp to a Tri-Phosphor EGL Designer 7100 Series Lamps. When we moved and installed (2008) this sign we did so with Tecnolux Silicone GTO and Caps. All that was needed for this retrofit was new lamps, and leaving the awesome silicone GTO and transformers in place! Now, I owe you a night shot, the iphone pic I took was garbage, so I'll update that soon. But the Logo and White letters match up well, and even with the old faces, the sign illuminates like a new sign at night. Forgot to mention, the white faces are also from the 90's and they've held up quite well, the Trim Cap is Plasco, also held up quite well for 20+ years old. During the day, the ace look good, so no need to replace. LED RETROFIT So a new client... They called, they were moving and wanted to know if they needed a new sign or whether to fabricate a whole new on because the current was lit up like crap. Had hot spots, dim a places, and just crazy outages in sections of letters. It would have been better had I taken night pics, BUT...I didn't know I would be posting and writing about it here so Had this been some other shop, I'm sure the nightmare would have continued Yes, two different LED manufacturers in the same sign Woohoo, the electric sign industry in it's finest form right here! It made me SO proud! If you're familiar with Gaverieli Plastics, I need say no more, let alone Chinese JS LED's....well, their both China and their both crap. They don't last, they fail, they cause companies problems with having to go back and replace and most importantly...They cost the consumer, YOUR client. The second sign which they had, made at a different time and by another company was US LED, also garbage. Illumination was just as bad. Sorry, didn't get pics of that sign because again, it wasn't my plan to make a post here If this wonderful, thoughtful sign package doesn't make you cry, I don't know what will. The original plastic was green vinyl over white acrylic and in such a short time this sign was beat, and probably why they called a new contractor for the work for their sign move. Well, a new sign made no sense. They were just moving a few suites over and they weren't going to get a larger sign so the original would do. New faces with 3M Lime Green over White acrylic. The most important aspect of this Sign.... Yes! NC Reckless-3 LEDs. Top Tier Samsung Diodes running on a Constant Current system...NOT Constant Voltage. 1.2 watt modules. Most important detail about our NC Reckless LEDs? Their made in Korea NOT CHINA!!! Beautiful! Check out that crazy light meter reading! That's almost 300 surface Foot Candles, which is about the equivalent light output to a 13mm Tri-phosphor white Neon Lamp behind white acrylic. If that is not simply utterly gross and disgusting, and you're not just sickened by that number, you have no stomach These Reckless-3 LEDs will NOT be powered up by their low budget power supplies but rather our Union LED Power Supplies made in KOREA, not CHINA!!! It's usually best to retrofit out with what was already in a sign, and not change one light source to another. It's makes more financial sense in MOST cases, not all, but most.
  7. Wouldn't you know it...

    Wow How do you know he got fired?
  8. Current Install /Vendor Map. Pretty Impressed! California wins with 14 markers. Big gaps of Sign Installers in North & South Dakota, Utah, New Mexico. But clearly the Eastern side of our country is more Dominant with Sign installers Looking for someone here to do a Sign Installation or Maintenance? The installer map can be found here http://www.thesignsyndicate.com/forums/index.php?/membermap/
  9. With the Economic War between the US and China rages on, we're starting to hear about manufacturers in China already sending out notices to American Sign Suppliers/MFGs that rises in product costs are here....and coming. For the longest time China has had the Monopoly in manufacturing because of unfair trade practices, currency manipulation, very low almost slave-like wages for their people where a lot of employee safety at times is called into question. There isn't exactly a OSHA or Labor Board in China, nor do their factories abide by the same the same environmental regulation & safety standards that American companies have had to abide, pay, and follow by on the world stage, China was always given a free pass and has always been viewed as a under developed country that should receive a handicap.....and we have to ask why? Yes Erik we know this......So what does this have to do with LEDs? If Chinese components weren't already unreliable, and low quality as it is, just think of how their going to be now as this trade war rages on. If China is already having to raise their prices, what do you think will happen to the quality compared to now if their going to have to cut cost just to keep up in sales? Most American sign component manufacturers who have exported their jobs to China have always had nightmare issues with these plants doing almost anything to save a penny. Remember all those failure batch issues in the past???? Now it will get even worse. China is losing the trade war. It's been entertaining to see all these US Sign LED manufacturers who's products are being produced in China, and some who buy just components and then claim the.... "Assembled in America" to offer 7....8..... and now 10 year warranties for their products. Forget what's to come tomorrow with costs that will be driving quality downward, could those warranties even be trusted from products being sold today? Seriously, we're no dummies, and neither are the consumers. If Nearly 85% of the companies who's products were in our Sign Syndicate Light Test Comparisons could barely make 15,000 hours of operation without a large portion degrading in light output, how can they make 7 years, or even 10? Any logical person knows it's always just been a marketing PR stunt.......and I suppose maybe some .33 watt constant current LEDs could make that, but who uses low wattage LEDs for electric advertising? You can use those but you'll need a crap load just to get near equal light of the high powered stuff but that's VERY un-cost effective. Some shops won't care, they'll just throw their arms in the air and say "that's the sign industry...the consumer will eat it". That's fine if you want to live for today, and die tomorrow with a list of angry customers and Yelp reviews. But....if you sell quality and stake your reputation on what you produce and put put, you should care, and you should be worried. It won't get any better anytime soon with Chinese products. The more the playing field gets leveled between the our Grand Country and China, Chinese products will not be able to stay as low as they have been, or.....at least not the types of products you would want them to be at or expect them to be at. Chinese manufacturers will shave what they can, when they can, and cut the quality at will just to make that extra penny, their known for that! You can be sure of something that won't change when it comes to LED components for the American Sign Industry, and that is when it comes to any components NOT made in China. The world still spins on that access and it's been unaffected on that front Why buy/support products from a Dictatorship that suppresses it's people, manipulates free trade, and interferes/obstructs with the US, in government affairs or by hacking? China is NOT our friend, and their not exactly our enemy. I know sometimes we have no choice, but when you don't have to...don't! That is why if you're going to buy overseas components, buy from our friends and allies first. Countries who have our backs, and we have theirs, and who's people we have fought side by side, and scarified with. Especially from countries who have the highest in quality control standards. This is just one of the reasons why we have been proud, and excited to work with, partner with NC LED from Korea. The quality has not changed, the products are getting better, they have high work ethic standards as well as high product standards and their quality control is equal to that of Japan. They are the complete opposite in every facet of CHINA. Our NC LED products do NOT change year after year like just about every LED manufacturer, going from version 2 to version 10. When something works we stick with it and we're BIG on that! With uncertainty from China in the air when it comes to LED Lighting products and Power Supplies Our prices for high quality products have always been VERY competitive, and lower compared to most lower quality products in a lot of cases. The goal post will not change, the high standards bar will never be lowered. Give us a try on your next job, you'll have consistency, dependability and you'll be much happier that you did!
  10. Toggle Switches

    I thought I heard about changes. I guess no one knows of those changes? I suppose I'll have to do my own research, I figured maybe some knew on the top of their head.
  11. International Sign Assocation - UK

    No real equivalents here. ISA is built like a wheel. You have your outer layer which is filled with the same ol individuals that ARE in the sign industry that regurgitate from one association to another and back again. Sort of like musical chairs. They have the same old ideas, like to feel important, and have ego's bigger than most. Lot's or relationship building, relationships that come before the industry itself, lot's of fake awards to the undeserving. Then you have the inner part of the wheel located at the center, or hub....that's the part actually attached to the vehicle. They are the ones that actually pull a paycheck. They manipulate the outer wheel and pull the puppet strings more or less to get what they want. Whatever the outer wheel wants, or may want that actually understands the industry that the association is for, most likely won't get. The hub uses the outer layer to just like what the wheel is for, traction and get all the wear for the purposes of the hub to continue to spin. Most of the good outer layer leaves, and only the old will stay for whatever reason, I'll say it's ego. But their are some good ones, don't get me wrong and I give them all credit for staying. What we need here in the US is an American Sign Association, built by those in the industry, not by those who came from the plastics industry one day, the truck lift gate the next, then to the Sign Industry for a time, then cycle again to the Pool & Spa. I'm sure after all those industry associations they know how to run one, BUT, they don't know the industry they represent, they only know and bring a business model, the model does NOT serve those in the industry. You can't genuinely care about something if you aren't truly in it, your heat has to be in it. I was part of the USSC. I was reluctant to join when asked, but a few said I should, go for an "experience" he said. I can only say I tried, many of the same ol regurgitants didn't like my being there because I was real upfront (they already knew who I was and what I was for) so many were used to because I was expected to continue with the same ol program, just vote on what the ego wanted to get across. I was going in to turn the ship around and put the electric sign industry forward, something that was lacking here in the states. After a short time it didn't seem possible. We were all there to just put on a sign show, make money first rather than put an Association first and build a reason why people should join and continue to build content....which was my priority. Real change would not be possible without cleaning house and purging those who have been there for so long in aiding the associations failure. I was on my way out when a new president was about to be elected in, someone who was new and wanted to clean the association up. I thought, wow a real chance. He came in, he asked me to stay and and help him run it. But, I noticed he was still surrounding himself with the same old people that couldn't make it work all those years. In short, it failed to launch, or make any real change. I wasn't allowed to do what I was supposed to do, the old regurgitants tied my hands at a time when the motor was about to spark. So, seeing I would only waste my time being there as I had no desire to only build a convention show first, make others an income over a actual association, I walked away. I'm not built like they are. I can't look people straight in the eye and convince them to join my association that has no real benefit to them for joining, no real learning experience, useless wasted money on studies no one can use, and the only priority is to come see their annual party which is just a keg buried in the middle of no where with nothing to see or do, just grab a red cup and drink...no girls...no DJ....no show... What a shame with USSC, they had a real chance but they just lacked "courage" to do what's right for the electric sign industry, and I called them out on it....and was physically threatened for it, LoL ....Truly, what a laughable threat too As it's been said before I even joined, years ago here by another grand member who truly know what he was talking about, and what makes associations fail is just that......"Ego" I can never say never. Maybe one day....one day if all the conditions were right I would give one the thought of my valuable import time a second chance
  12. Toggle Switches

    Any requirements for using toggle switches for T-Boxes or sign bodies change in the last few years? Thought I heard something about them or how they are being used was going to change, or not. Thanks
  13. Old as hell, those dog years kicked in! Thanks Gary. Patriots won on my Birthday, I can't complain
  14. So.... I'm sure not many American Sign Companies and Vendors will benefit in anyway (and probably could care less), in fact the Brits will probably benefit more as far as user ship goes but.. Yeah..... Apparently ISA and the BSGA have created a partnership, ISA is good for creating something from nothing, that ends up as nothing, nothing as far as benefits for the end user but a return for the association itself. So, this is most likely another cycle, another idea conjured beacause their background is not of our industry but birthed from others. If ISA was filled with actual sign industry people and not Lori Andersons, this probably wouldn't have even been a thing. But here's the curious part that we, here at the SS have ourselves were kicking around. At least the BSGA, British Sign & Graphics Association takes "Pride" in their country to integrate such a name and their flag in their association logo, and I'm sure their more "Pro-UK" than ISA is Pro-American. Now, I don't know much about the BSGA, except for a few members here that are over there across the big pond, but just off appearance I'm sure they do great for their country men and women, well........ I know they do because I've read some of the "goings ons" over the years, nothing current but still, I'm sure it hasn't changed much. I've always wanted to visit their show, because I've always wanted to visit the UK So what have we always gotten with ISA? Well the theme is "International" We get the Association that cares more about overseas monies than building incentive for our own countries manufacturers, or taking up our homegrown manufacturer concerns. No integration of our country's great flag that has been sacrificed for, or good 'ol Red, White, and Blue in our supposed industry "Leadership Association" logo run by non-industry people of course. I mean, if someone had to ask what the colors of ISA is right now....as we stroll through a show, I would think it was Red with a gold star. So now let all the marketing programs commence to our manufacturers to sell them on overseas and partnership programs that DON'T really equal ours or make sense. Somehow there will be a equation chart for "Channel Letters" to "3D Built Up Letters" (<---------- Haha, I made a international funny....funny only if you follow things "international") Guess for now the closest way ISA can get to "Red, White, & Blue" integrated into their logo is by Union Jack, NOT by old Glory.....money must be calling... Maybe the USSC, United States Sign Council can benefit from this, their the only independent Association and their Pro American Themed. Oh....wait.... I forgot, they dropped the Red, White, and Blue too.... Oh and, I don't even think their called the USSC anymore. Yes I remember now....they decided to chase the coat tails and live in the shadow of ISA and their the...Sign World, or Sign Expo, something like that....maybe it's ISA "Jr", or step-child. Still.... .....ISA-UK will allow ISA and BSGA to work together on issues common across the sign, graphics and visual communications industry, including codes and regulations, research, workforce education and events......This is an exciting move for ISA and for BSGA," said Lori Anderson, ISA president and CEO. "The business world is no longer contained by borders and this partnership offers tremendous opportunities for the growth of our industry. Together, we are stronger." This Makes me shutter, not that ISA will ever have much bearing on ever bringing actual change (Thank God) to US regulation and policy, well they sort of, as it pertains to failures, and being on the wrong side of issues for the electric sign industry. I'm sure ISA-Euro is next but... I just hate to read all the upcoming bullshit articles about all their ideas, and supposed ongoing (Salesman face) success with their new venture in all the brochure rags to come. Look for Euro type regulations and ideas. Look for Euro like Environmentalism topics and issues. Regulation & Environmental Tyranny has all but killed our US manufacturing and jobs in the past. All these imported ideas to "Improve" and make American Sign Companies and Manufacturers "better" by making us more.....Euro like. Oh boy, just when I made a self commitment to never dig into ISA again because I was sooooo tired of it. I was actually going to try real hard to find something to cheer for about them, seriously I was.... Until I read about this.
  15. Neon Transformer Recommendations

    Look for a Neon Pro or Franceformer, or Ventex model. Most likely a electronic, plug in, pull chain model that will auto load 1kv - 10kv (10kv model) Ebay or amazon