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Neon sign alternatives

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by simon, Oct 14, 2003.

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  1. simon

    simon Guest

    Hello. Can anyone help please?

    My daughter wants me to build a neon sign with her name on it. I
    explained that a one-off would be far too costly.

    Has anyone here a suggestion for alternatives. I did think of using LEDs
    laid out in a script type text but wondered if it was possible to
    purchase an optical light guide (for want of a better description) with
    a solitary high output LED at one end then shape the guide to form her
    name.

    Is there such a material, similar in structure to optical fibre, but one
    that emits light uniformly through the walls of the guide? Hope I've
    made my requirement reasonably clear.

    Thanks for any guidance.

    Simon.
     
  2. Most computer shops sell 'neon wire':
    http://www.beingseen.com/cable.html

    And then there's the more sturdy light cable:
    http://www.neon-das.com/Flexible_Neon_Rope.html

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. simon

    simon Guest

  4. Gary Tait

    Gary Tait Guest

  5. Jim Meyer

    Jim Meyer Guest

    Get her name legally changed to "Budwiser".

    Jim Miller
     
  6. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    "Budweiser" would be even better ;-)

    But daughter would probably be thrilled with her real name done in
    chasing LEDs instead of neon.

    ...Jim Thompson
     
  7. I find it funny that you'd suggest such heresy.
     
  8. Have you actually priced this out from a small sign shop? There's
    nothing that looks quite like neon and you might find the pricing
    isn't all that insanely high, particularly if you're willing to mount
    the tube
    and "transformer" (usually a very light little SMPS module these days)
    yourself and provide a cover of some sort (for safety purposes).
    How about routering her name in script into a sheet of plexiglas
    (perspex?) and edge-lighting the acrylic sheet with a slim red CCFL
    via an inverter and wall-wart? There's also the "neon wire" as already
    mentioned, which has a subtle glow (made in Italy, I believe),
    extruded wire "rope" that has discrete incandescent lamps in it which
    you can get at home DIY stores (a bit thick perhaps). You could mount
    and mask sections of that, but the light is not 100% uniform. It can
    be cut to various discrete lengths (marked on the "rope", I believe
    the discreteness is something like a foot or two) There are some cool
    LEDs that have an IC die mounted internally that change "randomly" to
    7 different colors; 50 of those appropriately mounted would look
    really nice (but I don't know where to buy them in small quantities).

    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
     
  9. I guess that beats "Open".
     
  10. I would make the letters out of a translucent (not transparent)
    material, such as plastic, that can be shaped, maybe with heat. Then
    I would put small LEDs behind it, close together, to illuminate it.
    The LEDs can be any of several colors, and can be connected in series
    or parallel. They won't be seen behind it, and if they're close
    together the illumination will be uniform. If the translucent
    material is milky white, then multiple colored LEDs could be used, and
    the colors coud be switched.

    And then you could alwys use ropelight. But there's nothing that
    looks like neon glowing inside a glass tube. :)

    --
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    goes directly to the trash unless you add NOSPAM in the
    Subject: line with other stuff. alondra101 <at> hotmail.com
    Don't be ripped off by the big book dealers. Go to the URL
    that will give you a choice and save you money(up to half).
    http://www.everybookstore.com You'll be glad you did!
    Just when you thought you had all this figured out, the gov't
    changed it: http://physics.nist.gov/cuu/Units/binary.html
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  11. simon

    simon Guest

    Nice one :)

    Simon.
     
  12. simon

    simon Guest

    Even funnier :))
    Simon.
     
  13. Gary Tait

    Gary Tait Guest

    Whereas On 14 Oct 2003 14:18:32 -0700, (Spehro
    Pefhany) scribbled:
    , I thus relpy:
    The segments are 18".
     
  14. I wonder if they are the same in the UK, with the higher line voltage
    than in North America?

    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
     
  15. manifold_1

    manifold_1 Guest

    I agree that neon has it's own look. When I was young I always wanted
    something in the house that was neon. Eventually I took a class and
    learned how to bend and bombard the tube myself; now I have three
    pieces of neon sculpture in the house. The "cool neon" or
    Electroluminescent or ELWire is just not the same as real neon. It is
    safer, cheaper, and easier to work with though. ELWire works on the
    same priciple as EL backlight panels except that the phosphor coating
    is on a wire inside a thin plastic tube instead of a plate.

    The cost at a neon sign shop should be between $75 and $300 for the
    tube. The transformers are about $40 for the aforementioned switching
    types. We get ours here: http://www.t2-neonpower.com/
     
  16. [snip]
    Last week we went to Fazio's for lunch. This pasta joint opened a
    month or so ago, brand new bldg and everything. The "PASTA" sign in
    the window above our booth was a clear tube, and the 'transformer' was
    a few inches above it, and I was amazed by how small it was, maybe a
    bit bigger than a Windsor tie knot. I thought about it for a minute,
    and came to the cconclusion that it was some kind fo HF affair, with a
    xfmr made with a ferrite core and powered much like a SMPS.


    --
    @@[email protected]@[email protected]@@[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@@[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@,@@[email protected]@[email protected],@@[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@
    ###Got a Question about ELECTRONICS? Check HERE First:###
    http://users.pandora.be/educypedia/electronics/databank.htm
    My email address is whitelisted. *All* email sent to it
    goes directly to the trash unless you add NOSPAM in the
    Subject: line with other stuff. alondra101 <at> hotmail.com
    Don't be ripped off by the big book dealers. Go to the URL
    that will give you a choice and save you money(up to half).
    http://www.everybookstore.com You'll be glad you did!
    Just when you thought you had all this figured out, the gov't
    changed it: http://physics.nist.gov/cuu/Units/binary.html
    @@[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@@[email protected]@[email protected]@@[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@@
     
  17. simon

    simon Guest

    I'll give this link a try.
    Thanks,
    Simon.
     
  18. Andre

    Andre Guest

    Yup, sounds exactly right.

    Principle is exactly the same as those teeny little case lights on
    PCs- they use a small micro-inverter based on a resonant transformer a
    bit like a TV flyback.

    -A
     
  19. Gary Tait

    Gary Tait Guest

    Whereas On 15 Oct 2003 15:03:47 -0700, (Spehro
    Pefhany) scribbled:
    , I thus relpy:
    The Uk ones claim 1 Meter (although I'd suspect 36") segments.
     
  20. Gary Tait

    Gary Tait Guest

    Whereas On 16 Oct 2003 04:35:17 -0700, (Andre)
    scribbled:
    , I thus relpy:
    Except they don't have to work as hard, they work at mains voltage.
     
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