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#32454 - 12/23/03 06:01 PM Neon signs
Attic Rat Offline
Member

Registered: 12/14/03
Posts: 530
Loc: Bergen Co.,N.J. USA
..Anyone here versed in the ways of neon???I had a troubleshooting job today, and,the sign has 16 letters,all individual, and powered by (3)15kv.,.30ma,120v. xfrmrs...The letters are mounted to the building exterior on VINYL SIDING..when I went to check them today,I didn't get nailed..lucky me..I was on a fiber-glass ladder,but I saw a small arc when I removed the letter lens..there was also alot of buzzing...The owners complaint is that at night, the 1st 6 letters are significantly darker than the rest...My question is this,should I ground these letters and replace the ballast, or ...??? Help!!!
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.."if it ain't fixed,don't break it...call a Licensed Electrician"

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#32455 - 12/23/03 06:18 PM Re: Neon signs
iwire Offline
Moderator

Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 4343
Loc: North Attleboro, MA USA
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Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Massachusetts

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#32456 - 12/23/03 06:36 PM Re: Neon signs
Attic Rat Offline
Member

Registered: 12/14/03
Posts: 530
Loc: Bergen Co.,N.J. USA
Thanx so much Iwire!!! I appreciate the links..
_________________________
.."if it ain't fixed,don't break it...call a Licensed Electrician"

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#32457 - 12/23/03 06:48 PM Re: Neon signs
iwire Offline
Moderator

Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 4343
Loc: North Attleboro, MA USA
AR I was in the same position last spring, I was sent to work with some Neon and did not know much about it.

I did what you did, I asked here and was directed to the web sites I gave you.

If you need more do a Google search for Neon trouble shooting.
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Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Massachusetts

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#32458 - 12/23/03 06:51 PM Re: Neon signs
Attic Rat Offline
Member

Registered: 12/14/03
Posts: 530
Loc: Bergen Co.,N.J. USA
..Thanx bro,..thats why I love this place...people really give a hoot!!!



[This message has been edited by Webmaster (edited 12-23-2003).]
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.."if it ain't fixed,don't break it...call a Licensed Electrician"

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#32459 - 12/24/03 03:18 AM Re: Neon signs
:andy: Offline
Member

Registered: 10/18/03
Posts: 272
Loc: Germany
buzzing and arcing sounds like a ground fault. did you check for wet spots at the electrode connections (turn sigh off before!!), or perhaps a GTO wire was cut by a metal letter...
try to locate the sound with not touching anything. i already had to experience how 4kV feel... now i'm more careful

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#32460 - 12/24/03 03:41 AM Re: Neon signs
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
AR,
I've done a wee bit of work with Neon signage.
How old is the sign in question?.
There are a number of things that could be causing the last letters to dim.
Firstly, a lower voltage output from the Secondary side of the transformer(s) feeding the letters, will cause the light output to drop.
A poor grounding connection on one side of the Secondary winding will have the same effect.
Are the transformers centre-tapped?, if so, check these connections too, there should be a good ground connection at these points.
The reason I ask about the age of the sign, is because, the last letters may be the original parts, where the other letters may have been replaced earlier on in the sign's life.
Neon signs usually have some form of a Phosphor coating on the inside of the glass(not unlike a Fluorescent tube), as this coating "wears out" the tubing gets dimmer, but this usually takes years.
I would say that you probably have a bad connection somewhere in the system.
Hope this helps!.
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#32461 - 12/24/03 05:18 AM Re: Neon signs
Sandro Offline
Member

Registered: 12/30/01
Posts: 449
Loc: Stoney Creek, ON, Canada
Excellent reference websites. I come across my fair share of sign repair, but I have limited experience with neon. Thanks Iwire.

Sandro.

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