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Old 06-24-2008, 04:02 PM   #1
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Neon light sign

My friend has a neon pizza sign,
The first half ( Pizza ) works but the name of the pizzarea does not ? He ask me to look at it so I did??? I know some electrical but never worked with a neon Circut befor! are these hooked in series ? I did find a broken wire. replaced it and it is still out ?
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Old 06-24-2008, 10:33 PM   #2
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Be careful working around neon signs when they're energized. If it has the older type magnetic ballast, the tubes are fed with anywhere from 5,000 to 15,000 volts. The newer electronic ballasts operate at a much lower voltage, but high frequency.

There's usually only 3 things that go wrong with any neon system.

1) The tube has a small leak, and no longer has the proper amount of gas in it. Alot of these leaks occur around where the wire goes into the tube.

2) The ballast is bad. If there's only one ballast, it takes special equipment to test it. If there's more than one, substitute a known good one. Then you'll know if it's the ballast or something else.

3) Broken wiring. I know this sounds kind of dumb, but sometimes it can be hard to find a bad splice, especially near the tube. The newer electronic ballasts frequently have ground fault protection on the high voltage side, a nick in the insulation, even if it's not grounded, can cause the ballast to shut down.

Some of this stuff can be fixed by anyone, some of it takes a sign shop to make it work.



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Old 06-26-2008, 07:55 PM   #3
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God I hate neon. In the olden days when work was in short supply, I learned to repair/replace neon signs.

You can test the transformers by simply shorting them out. It will make a big arc like a science fiction device but be careful. It hurts like hell to get hit. It feels like a sparkplug shock.

If the sign has 2 transformers, start by testing the one that is bad.

The circuit goes from the transformer into the first letter and in series thru the others. At the last letter it goes back to the sign.

They make a neon tube tester that you can hold up to the glass tube and see if it glows but you arent going to want to buy one for one job. There is another method using "street" tools but I am not remembering it. Google "testing neon tubes" or something.

I don't do neon anymore
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