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Hooking up a rheostat to use with neon ub kits.

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Cerwin Vega Fan

Joined: Jul 22 2003
Posts: 3001


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Post Mon Apr 05, 2004 8:16 pm

I want to run multi neon UB kits and in theory hooking up rheostat will allow me to slowly to switch colors (making it look like I have one kit instead of 2 or more). Problem is I don't how this will work with the kit. When it comes to rheostats I have no idea what brand, what kind to get or how to hook it up. Plus I want to make sure doing this will not damage the transformer in the kits. I know some of you people have had a lot more experience with electronics then me so I'm hoping someone will be able to help me out with this.

Thanks
GlowinPontiac

Joined: Mar 04 2004
Posts: 5959
Location: Central CT


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Post Mon Apr 05, 2004 10:14 pm

i dont think this is possible because the ub kit transformer is designed to run at a certain voltage level. when u use the rheostat to dim the lights it will drop the voltage to a certain level (prob like 10v or so ) and this will be less than the required voltage level in the ub kits transformer. so the lights will not really dim they will prob just shut off and u may burn out the transformers. but im no expert and this may be wrong. icon_confused.gif
Brandon

Joined: Jun 04 2003
Posts: 4189
Location: St. Louis, MO


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Post Mon Apr 05, 2004 11:00 pm

neons are not dimmable. It won't work is my opinion
NeonStyl

Joined: Feb 15 2003
Posts: 975
Location: Florida


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Post Tue Apr 06, 2004 12:10 am

Unfortunately, I have to agree with Brandon here. I doubt it will work the way you intend it to. In addition, you may blow some of the transformers with the Rheostat too. Lemme explain tho.

On my car (Dodge Neon), the headlight on/off switch is also a rheostat... you pull the switch out to turn on the headlights and rotate that same switch clockwise/counter-clockwise to dim your interior lights. Alot of people that added electrical accessories like indiglo gauges and things would simply hook the power for them up to the headlight switch so it came on with the headlights. Well, long story short, come to find out years later after many blown transformers on indiglo gauges and alot of research that the rheostat on our cars leads to the untimely death of the transformers inside the indiglo gauges icon_sad.gif . People that never use their rheostat to "dim" their lights or have hooked up their indiglo gauges another way, never seem to have any problems with the transformers going out on them... hehe.

Just my .02... If you still want to try it, by all means... experiment away!

L8R,
Brandon

Joined: Jun 04 2003
Posts: 4189
Location: St. Louis, MO


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Post Tue Apr 06, 2004 8:56 am

NeonStyl wrote:
Unfortunately, I have to agree with Brandon here. I doubt it will work the way you intend it to. In addition, you may blow some of the transformers with the Rheostat too. Lemme explain tho.

Ouch icon_cry.gif pirate.gif
domestic_disturbance

Joined: Dec 18 2003
Posts: 1621
Location: Columbia Missouri


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Post Tue Apr 06, 2004 9:09 am

NeonStyl wrote:
Unfortunately, I have to agree with Brandon here. I doubt it will work the way you intend it to. In addition, you may blow some of the transformers with the Rheostat too. Lemme explain tho.

On my car (Dodge Neon), the headlight on/off switch is also a rheostat... you pull the switch out to turn on the headlights and rotate that same switch clockwise/counter-clockwise to dim your interior lights. Alot of people that added electrical accessories like indiglo gauges and things would simply hook the power for them up to the headlight switch so it came on with the headlights. Well, long story short, come to find out years later after many blown transformers on indiglo gauges and alot of research that the rheostat on our cars leads to the untimely death of the transformers inside the indiglo gauges icon_sad.gif . People that never use their rheostat to "dim" their lights or have hooked up their indiglo gauges another way, never seem to have any problems with the transformers going out on them... hehe.

Just my .02... If you still want to try it, by all means... experiment away!

L8R,


my daytona has problems with frying the factory lights behind the speedo and tach if you adjust the lights too much
Neon Mike

Joined: Feb 13 2003
Posts: 470
Location: Chelmsford, MA


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Post Tue Apr 06, 2004 5:04 pm

In theory it will would work. By slowly lowering the voltage the neons will dim. However, it is not healthy for the transformer and wi result in a bad tranny.

If any of you have ever hooked up a neon UB to a power suppy in your house and turned the supply off before the neons you can see the neons dim. The process happens relatively quickly how ever and wouldn't make a very clean looking transition. The fading will start at the ends and work towards the middle instead of the whole tube like you may be thinking off.

And further more I don't know if the neons would fade on. The best way to achive the fade in and out effect would be to have the dimmer control the voltage after the tranny. This would save the tranny and ensure you get the restricted voltage to only the tubes. I don't know of anyone who has successfully accomplished this but it would be a cool effect.
Mav

Joined: Nov 26 2003
Posts: 2675
Location: So Cal


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Post Wed Apr 07, 2004 12:17 am

The best way to do this is actually to use LEDs instead of cathodes or neons. Neons are gas based and require a specific voltage to stay ignited. Like a fire on the top of a match, if you cut half of the match head off and light it, it won't be any dimmer than a full match head. That said, you can't dim a neon.

If you get an LED tube however, you can adjust the voltage to the tube, and the LED bar will light brighter and dimmer. You will be able to accomplish the fade effect you are looking for as well. The only problem you will have is that LEDs are directional, so positioning them properly may be difficult. You may need to make a custom LED bar with LEDs in numberous different directions in order to light the area you want lit, or use more than one of each color.
Brandon

Joined: Jun 04 2003
Posts: 4189
Location: St. Louis, MO


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Post Wed Apr 07, 2004 1:09 am

LED's dim, but do LED Tubes, dim? I would think the transformer that is built in to it (they usea transformer and not simple resistors right??) would not operate at lower voltages and then you run in to the same problem as the neons. I've never taken apart a LED tube (in fact never owned one icon_cry.gif) so I'm just guessing.
Mav

Joined: Nov 26 2003
Posts: 2675
Location: So Cal


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Post Wed Apr 07, 2004 2:03 am

LED tubes run resisters, not transformers. So yes, you can dim them.
DragonJeep

Joined: Jul 20 2003
Posts: 3730
Location: Tampa, FL


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Post Wed Apr 07, 2004 10:15 am

I run my indiglos from my headlight switch but I never dim the lights. It does say on the indiglo instructions not to hook up to dimmable switches.
pOrk

Joined: Jan 03 2004
Posts: 8391
Location: Milwaukee Wi


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Post Wed Apr 07, 2004 12:25 pm

Neons dont dim? I have to disagree with you on that one.

Go to walmart and get a soudn activated neon toob for 10 bucks. PLug it in and turn up your tunes. It dims with the music.

Getting a transformer to dim toobs more then likely wont work, but neons ARE INDEED dimmable icon_cool.gif
Mav

Joined: Nov 26 2003
Posts: 2675
Location: So Cal


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Post Wed Apr 07, 2004 12:29 pm

umm.. those flicker the light on and off to the beat of the music.. because it is a flame, when you cut power to it, it stays lit for a split second longer as it fades to no flame inside it. Thus giving you the dimming effect. Since it's not cutting off for more then a split second, it gives you the dimming effect without actually dimming the power.
dbismyname

Joined: Feb 13 2003
Posts: 1709
Location: clarksville TN


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Post Wed Apr 07, 2004 1:09 pm

^bingo
pOrk

Joined: Jan 03 2004
Posts: 8391
Location: Milwaukee Wi


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Post Wed Apr 07, 2004 1:50 pm

It works as a dim - BOO YAH biglaugh.gif
9sdime9

Joined: Jul 06 2003
Posts: 1905
Location: MA


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Post Wed Apr 07, 2004 7:41 pm

Mav wrote:
umm.. those flicker the light on and off to the beat of the music.. because it is a flame, when you cut power to it, it stays lit for a split second longer as it fades to no flame inside it. Thus giving you the dimming effect. Since it's not cutting off for more then a split second, it gives you the dimming effect without actually dimming the power.



It's NOT a flame actually. It's an electric current being passed through a gas, resulting in Electrons jumping orbitals and then falling back to ground state. When they go from a higher energy level back to ground state they shed the energy gained from the electric in the form of radiant light, hence the glow.
Mav

Joined: Nov 26 2003
Posts: 2675
Location: So Cal


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Post Wed Apr 07, 2004 11:09 pm

yeah, but the average joe doesn't know enough about science to understand that, so I put it in more simplistic form.. =P
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