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Thought I'd post some pics of a project I recently put up for a group of owners I've been doing some signs for over 15 years, this is the latest project located here in San Diego in Pacific Beach California. This job was supposed to be up last December, but as you can imagine things don't happen over night like they should in for this project in California and a good reason why business's leave California for other fruitful states in our grand union. This project was no different and unlike other states.....here,anything built on the beach, you have to go through the California Coastal Commission. This establishment won't be ready after much delay until almost a year later, and set to open this November possibly December. This project was originally composed of a third sign, a 18' tall projecting sign which got denied in the permitting process. Can't get them all in California I guess you can say. So we're left to be happy with what THEY allow us to have. Anyhow, this project is two 4' x 20' Electric wall sign cabinets, 1/8" alum walls and 3" deep open face channel letters spaced 1.5" from the cabinet background. 18mm Tri-Phosphor Voltarc Accent 30 border, and Voltarc 15mm Rare Earth Phosphor Sparkling Blue Letter outline lighting. The owners wanted a halo lighting similar to a previous job so we used Our NC LED's Constant Current Green LED Modules for low light subtle Rear Letter Halo Lighting. All Lighting Powered by Franceformer's for Neon, and our Union Elecom for the driving the NC Green Constant Current LED's A big thank you to Joe Walsh of Voltarc for helping us get what was needed for this job, the Neon is Brilliant and of course stands out over the beach night city scape. This Beach won't be needing a light house for lost fisherman after all now thanks to Voltarc! There aren't very many Neon signs on this coast that I know of, in fact....I can't think of any so these signs are a real beacon. They must be because the owners asked me if after installation and first lighting if I could hook up a dimmer......" a wut??!?!" Early assembly shots Tranny trays And a shot of our LED Wall Pass Thru System A solo illumination shot of our Green Constant Current NC LED Modules, using just a single stroke for a light subtle offering. Wall Pattern Day. If you're going to do a sign project on a hot summer day you might as well be RIGHT on the beach. All that project stress went away sitting on the scaffolding listening to the seagulls, the crashing of waves, and smell of sea spray. I won't lie, I wanted to just bust out a hammock and go to sleep. Yes, I was working in Van's....I'm in SoCal, so that's all you need to know! Westrim Products Graphed Pattern Paper!
I won't go into details but I just want to say, and give a big Thank you to Voltrac, namely Joe Walsh. I deal with reps on a daily basis and vendors all the time. Thank you Joe @Voltarc for taking care of us. Glad you're still in the Neon Industry, and it can't be a surprise you're one of the few left to serve the needs of it. We appreciate you being there!
I always love to share some of the projects that I get the opportunity to do once in a while when I do get one. I think these days I take on certain jobs just so I can share here on the Sign Syndicate the applicable use of some of the components that we stock and sell here through this site. Chances are sometimes someone may see something for the first time and that can be helpful. When I do these various jobs once in a great moon I like to show different vendors that I believe in. This time it's all Voltarc mixed in with Masters Technologies wet location sleeving and two piece electrode caps powered by Trasnco's military grade all 100% copper balanced Neon Transformers. So let's start from the beginning. The old building that's getting renovated. This landmark Tennis Store has been around the neighborhood since the 60's and it's a very known location if you play tennis in San Diego. There are no more Electrobit grounding rings available so now I have to turn to Masters Technologies Grounding Plates to bond conduit to conduit and conduit that is attached to the polycarbonate rears and in turn bonding the letter pan Here's what I'm working with behind the wall where the sign is located, a block wall with18" of height/clearance from stud floor to roof of wall for electrical access behind the letters Ever go to the sign shows years ago and see a lighted neon lamp sitting at the bottom of a fish tank filled with water? Well, this is the stuff...Enter Master Technologies wet location two piece caps and sleeving. This is a little further after drilling all the holes and placing all the polycarbonate rears. Here we're using Transco's Silicone Easy Caps and their 14 AWG Silicone GTO. The Neon Lamps are Voltarcs 12mm Green, their sickly bright at night you just wait! The small overhang room did make this installation VERY easy! The round logo box we used Voltarc's 15mm (Tri-Lite Triphosphor) One of the cool added parts of this jobs is the Stainless Steel overhang face they added for the renovation. Love the look, and we had a part to play to make sure it would make the single stroke of Voltarc's NeoBlue (Purple) pumped red would be applicable for installation. Doing a single stroke Neon border in this case Purple can sometimes be a challenge when it comes to installation but I made sure that the 56 liner feet would not be an issue. I wanted everything balanced and what better choice than the use of Transco's balanced UNT Tank to be a part of this project. Transco's Tank is a TRUE balanced Neon Transformer when you Mid-Point Return this unit, most other Neon Transformers you would have to perform a Virtual Ground Installation, and that "Balance" was my plan from the beginning. By doing a Mid-Point Return I turned this 15kv tranny into two separate 7,500kv's. Most importantly, I didn't run 20' of GTO from Transformer Terminal to the outer most electrodes like you see in so many cases (Conventional Series Wiring) which result in numerous maintenance calls down the road. Doing a Mid-Point ground I started at the center of my Neon Load making my runs only 18" from the Transformer secondary Terminals to the first set of electrodes that will work their way out bringing the outermost lamps or connection back to the transformer. If you were to take a High Voltage Probe and measure at the Mid-Point ground terminal you would have about 0 volts. Doing the installation this way assures VERY long life with the secondary conductors as short as possible. VIRTUAL RETURN WIRING CONVENTIONAL WIRING & MID-POINT RETURN WIRING Here in the Transco Transformer Box I have the two short secondary home runs splitting the 56' linear lamp foot load in half, with the return path coming from the outer most lamp connectors of the load. The Transco disconnect switch and double nutted ground with the panel ground at the bottom (structural) with the service ground which is the Transformer ground at the top. Before anyone asks, YES this is a shot before the Transformer box is sitting on top of treated studs! The Voltarc NeoBlue lamps which are pumped with Neon gas for the purple look with the two piece Masters Technologies wet location caps and sleeving which jackets over the Transco Silicone GTO. Finishing up and closing out this deal Finally, the night shots of this finished project All in all a fun job as usual and like any job with a few headaches along the way, if you have an upgraded membership as a member of "The Order" you can read about that. But nothing that didn't get remedied and most importantly the customer is VERY happy in the end. Total package 784 watts, 8 hours per day @ 365 days a year roughly $.12kwh = $274.71 as an annual cost of operation for wall sign mixed in with some linear border tube lighting, NOT BAD!! Special thanks to Joe Walsh of Voltarc for getting me what I needed to get this job completed!! THE PROJECT RECIPE Voltarc 12mm Green Voltarc 15mm Tri-Lite Voltarc 15mm NeoBlue (Pumped Red) Transco UNT Tanks Trasnco 14 AWG Silicone GTO Trasnco Silicone Easy Caps & Boots Transco Transformer Boxes Trasnco Disconnect Switches FMS Neon Tube Supports Masters Technologies Wet Location Sleeving Masters Technologies Wet Location Two Piece Caps Masters Technologies Grounding Plates Sheffield Polycarbonate
I took on this job recently because I wanted to purposely show what and how you can use the electric sign components that we stock here on The Sign Syndicate http://www.thesignsyndicate.com/forums/index.php?/store/category/3-sign-supplies/ as well as a few other vendors that are Vendors/friends of the SS I got this job from an architect that has worked on similar projects that I have over the last few years. He likes my work and he passed my name to a client of his that needed some sign work done. As most of you know I don't really do signs any more, I'm not in the Yellow Pages, I don't advertise and I do select jobs from time to time but only for past clients or word of mouth where their mainly non-bid. Now I'm mainly a Distributor now but I do like to dip in from time to time as Electric Signs are my passion and I will always want to keep my self updated and informed about codes, new products etc. This is knowledge & information I can also pass onto my clients, theirs nothing worse than a rep who doesn't understand what it is YOU do, what they sell, or understand your need. So let's start from the beginning. Here's the old sign and the beginning of the renovations for the venture I usually use GE Lexan from my normal supplier for the reverse channel backs but now they stock some Polycarb from Shefield. I'm just routing all the backs and 1/2" acrylic push thru's on my 4'x8' ShopBot CNC Table using my favorite Belin Bits. Now usually I make all my PolyCarb rear tabs or brackets out of the aluminum scrap and simply brake them into angles. But I wanted to try out Transco To Go's Channel Bond since it's made for bonding PolyCarb to Poly Carb. I could have saves time and used a heat rod and made 90's with these but I like to try new things. So I started off making some polycarb angles with some cutouts done on the router table One light application from a #48 applicator and clamp for an hour, I imagine I could have left on for less time but I have a lot of clamps and not a whole lot of letters Light bond to the letter backs Now Channel Bond is amazing, this stuff is strong! Try and break it! You'll probably hurt yourself trying. Notice the one metal brackets, that's for letter pan bond and part of the bonding system that is grounded back at the tranny box or raceway. You have to have at least one of those. My 1/2" acrylic push thru's with 3M white trans film. More Channel Bond for bonding the 1/2" acrylic letters to my rear cab diffuser acrylic. I cut my lettering in the aluminum .03 larger than the acrylic letter, this provides a good snug fit with very little spacing between the letter and metal. Done, Channel Bond cures pretty fast. My color of halo lighting to be used for the letters is orange. So for that we used Voltarc's Lead free 12mm Green pumped red neon gas to give it that orange color. For the Cabinet illumination we used EGL's ol Faithful Designer 13mm CL65 Tri-Phosphor glass. We also used the Transco To Go's Novaglo Lead Free Electrodes. This install day sucked, it was 85F with 84% humidity and all I did was sweat with clothes sticking to me the whole day. Here's my dad who enjoys helping me from time to time pounding all the drill point prior to busting out the hammerdrill. This is my favorite pattern paper by Westrim it comes in a 48" roll and has a 1" grid throughout. The patterns had to go up very fast before they started to wrinkle, can you tell from the pic? Work in progress Working on the rear parapet wall raceway. This sign is powered by two new, older generation Transco Transformer which was not a lot of fun to find some old stock of, but it was possible with a few calls and two France transformers as well. I like to use the manly 12kV & 15kV transformers, not the guurly 9's and smaller. I have CL signs that have been up 16-18 years and have yet to get a service call, load em up right, install them right, and you won't have any problems. Simple as that! The GTO for the system is Transco To Go's 14AWG .375" silicone GTO-15 cable. This is the first time I've ever used a thick 14AWG GTO cable, it's STILL very flexible! The Transco To Go 20amp Disconnect Switch rated for outdoor. Of course the double nutted system ground (on the bottom), and service ground (top) or the transformers. Transco To Go's Silicone "Easy Caps" with the silicone GTO. Behind in the rear you'll see my bond that is attached to the metal bracket to also in the rear electrobit grounding ring that bonds the flex to the system ground on the raceway. Speaking of Electrobit grounding rings, good luck trying to find these anymore, I had to use a few grounding rings made by another company whom I don't even know the name of of their thinner and not so bulky or as wide. But i think I like electrobits ring screw better. Wish I would have taken a pic of the ring in question but I don;t think I have one to snap a shot of. Anyone know who makes these? I don't even know how I got mine. El Fin! I love Matthes (PPG) Paint finish, it looks so nice. I'll have to go by at a later date to take a night shot. The clients were very happy with their sign. Anyway, I thought taking this job would give me a great opportunity to post later and show you all how and what you can use on your electric sign jobs, bring about new ideas with what we stock here on The Sign Syndicate.com located here. http://www.thesignsy...-sign-supplies/