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Question on electrodes

Posted By: Mr. Neon
Date: Sunday, 20 July 2014, at 10:32 a.m.

Ok, I have this customer that I have done work for for a couple of years now. He is a neon fanatic. I truly think he eats, sleeps and whatever neon.. Most of the time he is at my shop with projects or he will call and tell me of a surplus score of transformers or glass he found. You see he does not want to learn how to bend but will buy glass, electrodes and everything else to do with neon.

We been having some disagreements with brands of electrodes that we both prefer when I bend neon for him. He prefers or I should say demands the popular brand while I like the competition. Both electrodes perform quite similar while I prefer the competition over the popular brand for processing reasons. Here is where the questions begin.

This customer claims any electrode that shows darkening on the shell within less than a year is a bad tube and will eventually fail. Now this is for both a neon and argon filled tube mind you. His claims go on to state that the tube will run much hotter and sputter and will develop carbon more so than normal and with most certainly fail sooner. Its not a processing issue but more so in his beliefs a quality control and or manufacturing issue of the electrode itself. Both the popular brand and the competition electrodes run quite cool in temperature when properly loaded, however, his claim is that the competition darkens faster thus it shows signs of failing. Now, I have seen darkening of electrodes all the time, some more than others. Not to sound stupid here but what it truly the consensus on this? What would cause this to happen if not normal? Is the darkening a sign of certain tube failure sooner? Is it normal to have some darkening within a few months with nor issues? I just want to settle this with the customer as its drives me nuts because it leads from one thing to another with neon..He is a know it all and can be demanding and critical at times. And before you all say it, yes, I have considered dumping him and sending him on is way.

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