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Changing gas in Nixie tubes.

Posted By: gmarsh
Date: Thursday, 5 July 2012, at 8:20 p.m.


I'm not a neon bender, apologies if posting on the BBS as an industry outsider offends anyone.

I have a hobby of building clocks using Nixie tubes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nixie_tube). I have a potential customer who's willing to spend an extra bit of money to buy a clock with blue digits instead of the usual orange/red color, and I'm thinking if I get the neon gas in the tubes replaced with argon or an argon gas blend of some sort, I could pull this off.

I've e-mailed a couple of local sign shops that advertise neon services, but they're large full-service companies with no interest in odd jobs like this project. There's no independent neon benders that I know of in the area. So to the internet I go...

So my questions are:

- Think this is doable, ie. would an argon-filled Nixie tube glow blue?
- If so, is it possible to do the required glass work for the gas swap without messing up the look of a tube too badly, eg. keeping a somewhat 'original looking' fill nipple on top?
- And if the above two are possible, is anyone on here willing to have a go at it?

Thanks a lot!

-Gary


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