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Anyone know where to buy neon gas? Answered

Does anybody know where to buy a small tank of neon for making your owns tubes and stuff (for like Tesla coils)? The only place I've found was a place in Europe, and I'm looking for something under 100$ (it was about 60 euros for a tank, which is like 140 dollars or something).

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comodore (author)2009-02-20

Hmm, this is a good question... I am not shore I know such a shop...but 60 euros is not 140 US dollars its about 80 US dollars... I am more interested in how you are planning to make your own neon tube because it requires a furnace to heat the glass, than shape it into a tube, witch takes some time, because you need to do that in lots of steps, reheating and shaping and so on... Than put the electrodes and seal it...Than clens it with very high voltage to make the air glow!!! That takes much more power....and than on the end put in the neon gas.... :P

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guyfrom7up (author)comodore2009-02-20

I guess I just remember Euros when they were worth 2x as much as the US dollars, about 75 bucks isn't bad, I guess. High voltage, I can get up to 12kv at 23mA, or 8.750kV at 60mA, or 20kV from a car ignition coil. Think that's enough? Shaping: I'm not that worried about that for now, I'm just going to use a straight glass tube for my first one. I do have a propane torch, but I might need a bit more "kick." Electrodes: They don't seem that hard to make, Just take a small section of glass tube, heat it up and pinch it a little, let it cool, insert wire(s), heat it red hot (but don't kill the wires! Any special type needed?) and pinch it really tight around the wires. Then pump out the air, clean it with HV, and pump in neon, then seal it off.

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If you use a Tesla coil to light the tube, you could stick tinfoil on a small section of the tube (inside and out), and it should work just as well as an electrode. Tesla did this with his own tubes.

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Neon glows red... Than how come the tubes that we call neon tubes glow bright wite?

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I think you are referring to fluorescent tubes (correct me if I'm wrong), that are used in office buildings and the like.

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I am not shore...
Tesla made the first Glowing Tube , a glass tube filled with neon and it shined red... Like picture 1
Today you find Glowing Tubes like in picture 2 and 3 in offices and other building... They glow bright white...
So I am confused, i was thought that neon glows red... What is the gas that fils tubes like in picture 2 and 3 that we see almost every day???

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user

the other tubes are not neon, they are filled with a mix of argon and mercury vapor. The gas itself creates ultraviolet light, so a white phosphor is needed to create a visible white light.

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user

So, the first picture (red glowing tubes) that's NEON gas in them... The other 2 white ones are ARGON+MERCURY VAPOR?

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you know, it's funny that you brought this topic back up, I'm still looking for some neon, but so far I've been denied from pretty much company that I've inquired. I might just settle for the common inexpensive argon... BUT IT'S JUST NOT THE SAME!!! Basically, in the end I want to make a giant "nixie bargraph" audio equalizer visualizer. Like, 8 foot tubes big. Like, a giant cool analog visualizer, it'd be so awesome. And I want it to be red! purple is alright, but it's just not the same glow...

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Yeah, the neon is so much brighter. And the giant visualizer is a pretty awesome idea, if you ever finish it I would love to see the end result. Why do you think you keep being denied?

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cause I am (and more importantly, sound) a little kid (15). I asked my dad to talk to them, but I think it'd sound too weird if they ask any questions and he'd be totally helpless... I wish neon was an off the shelf item :P.

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comodore (author)guyfrom7up2009-07-14

Neon glows red. Than with what kind of gas are the common tubes that glow bright white filled?

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lemonie (author)guyfrom7up2009-06-29

With reference to previous comments - you don't "pump in neon", you allow a small amount in. You will need a good vacuum gauge to get the pressure right. And like I suggested before, see if you can scrounge a bit from a professional sign-maker? L

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guyfrom7up (author)lemonie2009-06-29

right, I was young then :P. There arn't any proffesional sign makers near where I live, but with the help of the local university that I intern at, I think I got a source of neon, but we'll see.

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lemonie (author)guyfrom7up2009-06-29

Oh good! I look forward to seeing a Neon tube - would be a first for this site? L

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guyfrom7up (author)lemonie2009-06-29

i guess it would, and i want it to be good! I might even have the resources of a material research labatory (place i'm interning). I love the lab, why today I even made a super capacitor!

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robotguy4 (author)guyfrom7up2009-03-04

From what I have heard, some glassblowers make their own equipment, as one can't just walk into Mordo- er... Sears and buy an annealing oven. It may be more economical to join a glassblowing group (if possible). Its less mess, and less fuss than maintaining all this stuff yourself...

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comodore (author)robotguy42009-03-04

Or just order hand made, by your specifications neon tubes... :D

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robotguy4 (author)comodore2009-03-04

That works too, I guess... =D

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comodore (author)guyfrom7up2009-02-20

I think you got it under control, but I am not shore 12KV will be enough to clean the tube...
I learned all these from a book, only in serbian...and from a video on youtube that I just can't find...

Do you know to make a small and simple Tesla coil??? If you do I would really really love to see an Instructables about that... and while we are talking about Tesla coils, have you seen these nano ones...
http://www.extremeelectronics.co.uk/coils/nt/index.php?page=nanotess2.php
http://www.extremeelectronics.co.uk/coils/nt/index.php?page=nanotess3.php
Would you know hot to build one of these??? If you would could you share it please???
Thanks and may the power of Tesla be whit you! :D

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guyfrom7up (author)comodore2009-02-21

I am working on a "world's smallest spark gap tesla coil" here's the secondary and topload alas, I've been bogged down by school and such... oh, and it'd be totally contained, no giant NST in the background, i'm making a super tiny hv powersupply sorry if some of these are blury, i took these before I knew how to focus my webcam

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comodore (author)guyfrom7up2009-02-21

WOW!!!
That look ultra nano!!!
Hmm, good luck making a very small power supply....
About the school, I know what you mean, I can't find the time to make an Instructables and I have tons of projects and ideas....Dam the school!!!
I hope, I really do you will find the time to post an Instructables about this...
Have you looked at the Nano Tesla Coil 1 and 2 and the schematic....???
What do you think about them???
I recently posted a question about the schematic given in the Nano Tesla Coil...can you take a look at it, please?
https://www.instructables.com/answers/Build_a_Small_Tesla_Coil/
Please keep me posted on your work on the Tesla coil!
Thank you!

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dhurgham.khudhair (author)2015-03-01

Hi . I would like to know if can I use Neon As a dopant gas at 500C . Is there any risk from the use of this gas at high temperature.

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guyfrom7up (author)2009-07-01

I decided I'm just going to use helium because it has a decent glow (I think the gold/yellow looks nice), it's easy to get (I found a way of getting 99% quality for a few bucks, balloon quality is usually 94-96%) and it's cheap. Does anyone know how to bombard a tube that only has electrodes on one end? Like how do people bombard plasma globes? For all nixie related tubes, all the electrodes are on oneside, so how to bombard? For a bombarding transformer, I'm going to string a couple of microwave transformers in series (in a positive negative formation as to put much less stress on the insulation) and dunk the whole thing in HV oil. Does anybody think this is safe?

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lemonie (author)guyfrom7up2009-07-19

To ignite the full length of tube you need current going down the length of it. Plasma globes conduct from the centre to the outside, where being a globe the shortest path is pretty much anywhere so it doesn't just stream continuously to one point. Nixie tubes are different (as Goodhart)

If you can get one electrode in you can get two in. You need a side-arm for pumping & filling, which you then seal-off.

L

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Goodhart (author)guyfrom7up2009-07-02

The anode is usually a wire screen or mesh, here is some random info on them: Nixie Tube bombardment

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guyfrom7up (author)2009-06-29

hm... this brings about another question, where to get large glass tubes? I suppose a local way would be to take apart a flourescent light, but that's dangerous, but is it overly dangerous? I mean, on japanese shows people hit eachother with them, but then again I don't think I should base my health on that :P.

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lemonie (author)2009-02-19

Do you have a vacuum-pump? Otherwise there's not a lot of point in buying Neon for lighting. L

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guyfrom7up (author)lemonie2009-02-19

I recently fixed up a vacuum pump, I'm not sure how strong of a vacuum it can pull, but it did come with a half horsepower motor, so I assume it has some power to it that it needs a motor that large.

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lemonie (author)guyfrom7up2009-02-19

Is it an oil-filled vane-pump and does it have a pressure gauge? You need to get these things down to a few Torr I think?

Neon supply?

L

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guyfrom7up (author)lemonie2009-02-19

also, what tank size and stuff should I ask for in the quote? I don't want a HUGE tank, maybe like the size of a fire extinguisher? That should fill up a lot of tubes because the tanks at high pressure and the tubes at low pressure, right?

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guyfrom7up (author)guyfrom7up2009-02-19

well, I just sent a request leaving many of the blanks saying N/A and explained my situation in the comment box and told them to call me. Wish me luck!

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lemonie (author)guyfrom7up2009-02-20

I think Neon is one of those "trade" products, that you won't get in small quantities. I might suggest asking a commercial (Neon) sign manufacturer if the can spare you a bit? If you can turn up with a glass ampule they might. L

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guyfrom7up (author)lemonie2009-02-19

Well, for some reason my computer can't read my sd card, so I'll just post an internet picture of one I found. Mine was in pretty bad cosmetic condition (paint chipping, and stuff like that), but I cleaned it out and replaced the oil (before it was brown, now it's a yellow clear, which is the color of new oil). upon futher looking at the internet i found that rotary it's a "vane mechanical vacuum pump offers an excellent ultimate pressure of 1x10-4 Torr."

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lemonie (author)guyfrom7up2009-02-19

Yeah, that looks good (never mind the paint), but you will need a gauge - because the pressure you fill at is important. Where did you pick that up? L

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guyfrom7up (author)lemonie2009-02-19

The school got 2 for free from some guy who just had them sitting in his barn or something. One of them was a better model, but it was totally siezed up. I fixed up the other one (flushing out the systems, removing all the dirt and such, replacing oil, etc.) and my tech-ed teacher just gave it to me. yay. I got the 1/2 HP motor earlier (I cleaned that up first)

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NachoMahma (author)2009-02-19

. Try a welding supply. If they don't carry it, they should be able to order it or tell you where to get it.

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n8man (author)2009-02-19

*high pitched voice* You could always use helium...

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11010010110 (author)2009-02-19

did you try neon sign makers ?

there is argon available in welding supplies

it lights in light blue

incandescent lamps are filled with argon. try applying high enough voltage to a burned lightbulb (the 2 electrodes that stick in it) or one of them and ground outside the lamp

see here what light other gases make

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guyfrom7up (author)110100101102009-02-19

Well, argon is easy to get, but it doesn't have the same glow...

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11010010110 (author)guyfrom7up2009-02-19

the really cheap fluorescent starters from the 90's were filled with neon. today most of them moved to something that lights in very light purple if that helps - the phosphor in mercury lamps glows in red similar to neon when electricity goes thru it (or maybe thru the nitrogen very close to the phosphor and the phosphor turns the uv into red) to see what i mean hold a mercury lamp in your hand and pulse into the base with the spark thing from a lighter

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