Need help replacing neon sign transformer

sideburn

New Member
Hey all,

I don't know much about how neon signs work, and I dopant want to over volt it or burn it up somehow so I was hoping someone can confirm with me that a transformer I found will work.

The one that came with the sign and is faulty (keeps cutting on and off) shows that it is and EverBrite:

Input - 120v 60hz 115W.
Output - 4.5-0-4.5kv 30ma

The one I found on amazon has the following specs:

Input: 100-240 VAC 50/60Hz 5-25W
Output: 3kV 30mA;

When the sign was working, I measured the voltage by connecting a high voltage prop to the wires on the sign and was reading what appeared to be 2,200kv.

I have a pretty good grasp on electronics but my first thought is the only way to burn out a neon sign would be to give it too many KV right?
I read something about tit being about the current though... ? ...

So I assume this new (cheap chinese) transformer will work ok?

Thanks for any info,

-Tavis
 
Last edited:

Boudica

I'm here for educational purposes.
Hey all,

I don't know much about how neon signs work, and I dopant want to over volt it or burn it up somehow so I was hoping someone can confirm with me that a transformer I found will work.

The one that came with the sign and is faulty (keeps button on and off) shows that it is and EverBrite:

Input - 120v 60hz 115W.
Output - 4.5-0-4.5kv 30ma

The one I found on amazon has the following specs:

Input: 100-240 VAC 50/60Hz 5-25W
Output: 3kV 30mA;

When the sign was working, I measured the voltage by connecting a high voltage prop to the wires on the sign and was reading what appeared to be 2,200kv.

I have a pretty good grasp on electronics but my first thought is the only way to burn out a neon sign would be to give it too many KV right?
I read something about tit being about the current though... ? ...

So I assume this new (cheap chinese) transformer will work ok?

Thanks for any info,

-Tavis
Don't you need a license to work on electric signs?
 

sideburn

New Member
Don't you need a license to work on electric signs?
No it is a vintage OPEN sign I bought off of a private party and its going in my workshop at home... it was working ok but it is intermittently cutting off and on... he said it has issues and probably needs a new transformer.
 

Todd Jelle

New Member
You actually should measure the total tube length then add 1 ft per pair set of electrodes. Use a neon chart to see if your transformer is within range for your total footage of tube.
or....vintex & other mfg make transformers that self adjust for the load, but many also have a limit to the load range. I think the transformer you show would likely do the job (if it is the original trans). As a rule you are better to under load the trans as opposed to over loading it. If someone else bought a transformer to replace the original & it is to small , that could cause the issues your having. Again.... best to calculate to neon load to be safe.

Neon load chart
 

sideburn

New Member
You actually should measure the total tube length then add 1 ft per pair set of electrodes. Use a neon chart to see if your transformer is within range for your total footage of tube.
or....vintex & other mfg make transformers that self adjust for the load, but many also have a limit to the load range. I think the transformer you show would likely do the job (if it is the original trans). As a rule you are better to under load the trans as opposed to over loading it. If someone else bought a transformer to replace the original & it is to small , that could cause the issues your having. Again.... best to calculate to neon load to be safe.

Neon load chart
I Know the one that’s on there now is the original. And it says 4.5kv I think ? Not sure what the -0- means in “4.5-0-4.5kv”. But when the sign was on and working I measured 2.2kv off the wires connected to the tube. It’s a single run tube with one transformer.

The new one that will be arriving tomorrow claims 3kv. But it’s cheap:

HB-C02TE 3KV Power Supply for Glass Neon Sign Light Electronic Neon Signs Lights Transformer with Black Plug https://a.co/d/f8t9lrh
 

John Miller

New Member
If the original tyranny says 4.5kv your new 3kv will not have adequate power. There are self adjusting tyrannies that will set themselves at the proper output. Buy a 1-5kv and your issues are solved.
 

sideburn

New Member
Well like I mentioned, I measured 2.2kv with the sign lit so I’m hoping 3kv will work. I’ll have to see. It should arrive today…
 

netsol

Premium Subscriber
Hey all,

I don't know much about how neon signs work, and I dopant want to over volt it or burn it up somehow so I was hoping someone can confirm with me that a transformer I found will work.

The one that came with the sign and is faulty (keeps cutting on and off) shows that it is and EverBrite:

Input - 120v 60hz 115W.
Output - 4.5-0-4.5kv 30ma

The one I found on amazon has the following specs:

Input: 100-240 VAC 50/60Hz 5-25W
Output: 3kV 30mA;

When the sign was working, I measured the voltage by connecting a high voltage prop to the wires on the sign and was reading what appeared to be 2,200kv.

I have a pretty good grasp on electronics but my first thought is the only way to burn out a neon sign would be to give it too many KV right?
I read something about tit being about the current though... ? ...

So I assume this new (cheap chinese) transformer will work ok?

Thanks for any info,

-Tavis
If I am reading your specs correctly, the first item is producing much higher voltage but is CENTER TAPPED

it does not appear to be a good replacement to me
 
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