Neon Electrodes for Sign Lighting

By: Lightsources  09-12-2011
Keywords: Electrodes

Through our precise manufacturing techniques, overseen by engineers with a tremendous commitment to quality, Voltarc produces Masonlite MilleniumTM Neon Electrodes – the unrivaled choice for signage professionals worldwide.

At Voltarc we use the best raw materials, including shells deep drawn from the finest-quality, pure soft iron, and nickel plated in a custom-built, dedicated plant. The result is first-rate electrodes without the risk of contamination.

Our lead wires are made of standard nickel wire for corrosion-resistance and flexibility, along extra length of copper-clad Dumet sealed into the pinch to enhance confidence in the metal-to-glass seal, and solid-nickel wire for high purity and low outgassing, attached to the shell for reliability via a welding method pioneered by Masonlite. 

Masonlite Millennium™ Neon Electrodes - Bombarding and Pumping Procedure

The following procedure is for 15/50C and 15/50CT electrodes on 15mm or larger diameter coated Sign Tubing. Adjust the procedure for other electrode sizes, smaller diameter tubing, and tubes less than 18" long.

Preheat

  1. Open vacuum valve and evacuate tube to approximately 2 to 3 Torr (2 to 3 mm Hg) pressure. Close vacuum valve. 
  2. Turn on bombarder and bring current to between 150 and 200 mA.
  3. Continue bombarding until the tube reaches 275° to 300°F (135° to 150°C).  Always release bombarder switch prior  to opening of main stopcock. Then open vacuum valve. Evacuate tube(s) for 45 to 60 seconds, depending on tube length and configuration.

Step 2

  1. Turn on bombarder and raise current to 325 mA;
    continue heating until tube reaches 375° to 400°F
    (190° to 205°C). Note:  for uncoated tubes, heat to
    482°F (250°C).  At this point reduce pressure to 1 Torr
    or slightly less. 

Step 3

  1. Increase current to 800 mA.
  2. Bring neon electrode shells to a bright, cherry-red color, (1,652° to 1,832°F (900° to 1,000°C)) while maintaining ½ to 1 Torr pressure. Once all shells are of a uniform color, release the bombarder switch and open the vacuum valve. 
  3. Evacuate the tube(s) to the lowest possible pressure - at least 3 to 5 millitorr (3-5 microns).  Continue pumping until you can comfortably handle the tube(s) - about 122 °F (50°C).
  4. Release accumulated moisture in the tabulation(s) at this time with the aid of a heat gun or hand torch. This prevents transfer of moisture to the finished tube(s) during flushing and/or backfilling of the inert gas(es).
  5. Backfill the tube(s) to the designated pressure with the desired gas using a positive pressure gauge if possible.
 Masonlite
Millennium™ Electrode Type
Preheat Current
Pressure
 Step 2
Pressure
Step 3
Pressure
12/30C 150 mA 225 mA 450 mA
12/30CT


13/30C 2 Torr 2 Torr 1 Torr
13/30CT


12/25C 75 mA 125 mA 300 mA
12/25CT


13/25C 2 Torr 2 Torr 1 Torr
13/25CT


15/30C 150 mA 225 mA 450 mA
15/30CT 2 Torr 2 Torr 1 Torr
15/50C 200 mA 325 mA 800 mA
15/50CT 2 Torr 2 Torr 1 To


    Masonlite MillenniumTM Electrodes
    Lead Glass Electrodes: Mica Disc - Ceramic Collar - Premium Steel Shell

    Part # 1

    Description 2

    Rating (mA)

    Glass Length

    20270

    10/20C-2

    20

    2"

    20271

    10/20CT-2

    20

    2"

    20304

    12/25C-2

    25

    2"

    20305

    12/25CT-2

    25

    2"

    20274

    12/30C-2 1/2

    30

    2 1/2"

    20275

    12/30CT-2 1/2

    30

    2 1/2"

    20276

    13/25C-2

    30

    2"

    20277

    13/25CT-2

    30

    2"

    20282

    13/30C-2 1/2

    30

    2 1/2"

    20283

    13/30CT-2 1/2

    30

    2 1/2"

    20285

    15/30C-2 3/8

    45

    2 3/8"

    20286

    15/30CT-2 3/8

    45

    2 3/8"

    20288

    15/50C-2 3/4

    80

    2 3/4"

    20289

    15/50CT-2 3/4

    80

    2 3/4"

    20298

    18/120C-3

    120

    3"

    20299

    18/120CT-3

    120

    3"

    Keywords: Electrodes

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