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Massive Mercury Migration

Posted By: terlsworld
Date: Saturday, 16 April 2011, at 1:19 a.m.


Hi all. I am new to neon well fairly new anyway I have been messing around with it for a couple years now just bending whenever the mood struck me. OK so now I have gotten to the point where I am finally thinking why not try to sell a few window signs. My letters are good enough to pass muster with the general public. I am sure you experienced benders would get a nice chuckle more than likely but for some shop owner it seems to be good enough. Anyway now about my problem. I first made an OPEN sign I figured everyone needs one right I use 12MM neon for the word open and 13mm argon for the border. So I put it all together turn it on and its all nice and bright the neon and argon are both burning very bright with the CPI6000 transformer. I leave it on for like 10 hours to make sure the transformer doesn't get hot or anything. No just a little warm all tubes nice and bright. So I sell this sign to a guy and he calls me a few days latter and says his border is starting to fade. I go look at it and the mercury is migrating back tword one electrode. The neon tube is still doing just fine. So I make another sign this with all Argon tubing. Same CPI 6000 transformer and it is doing good for a while then those tubes start to migrate. I figured with the first sign the mercury might have migrated because I was mixing argon and neon on the same transformer. But the second one was all argon. The website claims absolutly no mercury migration. So am I doing something wrong am I an idiot or what? So are these CPI transformers junk or what gives. I have read about the sign wave of electronic transformers and frankly I could care less about any theories about the physics of whats happening. I am looking for some straight answers. So here are my questions I put to you all.

1. Where can I buy transformers that actually work at a reasonable cost.

2. Do I have to switch to magnetic transformers and if I do will that solve the problem?

3. Should I just give up and go to truck driving school?

OK I am awaiting the wisdom of this group to help me if you would be so kind.


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