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Neon Transformers: Single Ended & Special Effects


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This page shows special effects power supplies for neon and plasma displays.

Single ended, full range dimming, automation, sound activated, etc. Single-electrode drivers need only one electrode to power a display. This is a great advantage for the neon artist when attempting to avoid unsightly power return wires used on artistic and special designed systems. Return current is dependent on the electrical capacitance being a function of the permittivity of the space surrounding the display discharge tube. Proper operation requires positive grounding of the driving unit. Our 115vac units all have 3 wire cords. These are simple to use and popular in the neon speciality market.


Neon Transformers for Large Gas Displays

PVM500 Plasma Power Generator for Conventional and Complex Loads
Circuitry produces up to 300 watts with independent voltage, current, and frequency adjustment.


ADVANCED CIRCUITRY TUNES OUT CAPACITIVE LOADS, ALLOWING MAXIMUM POWER OF RESONANT SYSTEMS

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PVM500 Instructions
PVM500 Schematic
Duty Cycle Writeup

This reliable and flexible Plasma Driver will power conventional resistive loads such as plasma devices with internal electrodes, or Jacob’s ladders, voltage multipliers, arc generators, neon tubing and other similar devices that do not require resonant operation.

It will also power complex reactive (resonant) loads by tuning out the external capacitance to efficiently drive the resonant load, allowing high real-power operation of gas displays ionizing and igniting, DBD, chemical, ion, plasma, ozone cells, vessels, transducers and other research functions. To achieve an equivalent effect without the capacitance-tuning property of this power supply would require an extremely high output voltage. Instead, this is accomplished by simple resonance and observation of when the meter indicates the point of capacitance cancellation in complex loads. You will find this device highly valuable in this type of research. Output power may be adjusted from 10 to 300 watts, and it runs on standard 115V AC wall power (or 220 volts with optional step down transformer).

May also be used for sputtering, plasma etching, chemical vapor deposition (CVD) coating, and physical vapor deposition (PVD) coating, electro-chemical reactions, HHO gas production, and many other research functions.

Advanced Circuitry Features

  • Independent voltage control from zero to maximum output of 30kV pk-pk
  • Independent current control from 5% to maximum output while maintaining voltage setting using duty cycle function circuitry
  • Independent frequency control from 20 kHz to 70 kHz
  • Large 3" ammeter monitors AC line current, indicates resonance peaking
  • Tune out the capacitance that is often a problem found in indirect capacitive coupling to plasma systems
  • Non resonant voltage 0-10kV rms for direct connections to gas vessels with internal electrodes
  • Excellent for driving many types of transducers
  • Maximum output power over 300 watts
  • Short circuit proof by built-in leakage reactance
  • 120vac 50/60 Hz input (240 vac versions available with auto step down transformer, below)
  • Can be used to power the smallest to the largest neon/plasma displays
  • Measures 7" x 4" x 10" and weighs less than 5 pounds
  • BNC jack for monitoring frequency output
  • BNC jack for TTL control
- Mainly intended for conventional loads where electrodes are in contact with plasma (ex: gas vessels with internal electrodes) ... $549.95
- For conventional loads, and also tunable for light capacitive loads of approx. < 50 pfd ... $549.95
- For conventional loads, and also tunable for capacitive loads of approx. 5-200 pfd ... $549.95
- For conventional loads, and also tunable for capacitive loads of approx. 150-1500 pfd ... $549.95
Each version can tune out capacitive loads within the operating range of the secondary transformer; additional secondary transformers are available for capacitances up to 10nf, 100nf and >1µfd.

Please contact us with your requirements if your cell capacitance exceeds the listed ranges, or if you have any questions on the applications or use of this device.
- Optional step-down transformer for international customers operating at 220VAC wall power ... $32.95

PVM2000 Higher Powered Versatile Plasma Generator
Powers Non-Resonant Resistive, and Complex Resonant Capacitive Loads. Provides up to 2000 Watts of high frequency plasma energy, tunable from 20k to 70kHz. With independent voltage, frequency and current control. May be custom made to customers requested specifications.

Unit is intended for the experimenter/researcher working in plasma research physics or other similar fields. A certain amount of knowledge helps to effectively operate the unit as in some cases it must be tuned to the output capacitance and resistance of the load. This is basic boilerplate technology to any electronics engineer and may involve simple impedance matching algebraic formulas.

These units may be built to individual customer requirements. The basic unit as described can be modified within limits. Please contact our tech team to discuss any modifications or options you may need for your project.

Basic Features

  • 220V single-phase input 
  • Includes 2 kilowatt VARIAC that provides total power control to the load
  • Current control by duty cycle provides adjustable chopped current pulses at a constant voltage
  • Digital meter on front panel shows system operating frequency
  • Individual analog voltage meter shows DC voltage of the power amplifier
  • Individual analog current meter shows current to the power amplifier and indicates resonant rises
  • Frequency adjust control allows a smooth linear adjustment throughout the frequency range
  • Adjustable over-voltage shutdown for those high Q resonant loads that generate high peak voltage powers at resonance. Maximum voltage will depend on your load parameters.
  • Transformer is oil filled and conservatively rated at 50kV peak for those high resonant voltage rises. Basic unit tunes out 10 to 200pfd.
  • The 2000 watt transformer includes built-in protection circuitry that will shut the system down should the voltage exceed the transformer's insulated rating. Usually at least 50,000 V peak-peak.
  • Optional transformers may be ordered for other capacitive loads; please contact us and specify your requirements.
  • Heavy-duty power switch switches both sides of the fused 220V lines
  • Optional Built-In Timer, on request
  • Power on and fault indicating lamps 
  • Dimensions of 16" x 12" x 6", Weighing 67 lbs with VARIAC
  • Optional variable 50kV load TEST capacitor and air cooled resistor is available for testing. See downloadable data, and contact us for details.

pvm1000

 PVM2000 Instructions

 Tech data on resonant and non resonant applications


- Ready to use for 10-200pfd capacitive loads, includes external variac for total voltage control ... $5995.00
- variable capacitor and air cooled resistor available for load testing ... $1200.00

PVM400
HV Power Supply, 20kV pk-pk, 20-30mA at 20-60kHz. Designed for Large Single Neon and Gas Artistic Displays up to Four Feet in Diameter Sphere Where the Virtual Ground Return is the Intrinsic Capacitance of the Surroundings.
High Voltage, High Frequency Power Supplies

Powers up to 48" Plasma Globes
Single Electrode Operation

FEATURES:
INPUT - 115 VAC at 1-2 amps (plugs directly into wall outlet); 220VAC is also available for overseas use 
OUTPUT - Variable 1-20kv
FREQUENCY - Variable 20-60khz
CURRENT - Reactance Limited to 25 ma
SAFETY - Over Voltage Shutdown Manual Reset
NOTES - Non-Resonant Operation
OPTIONS - Flashing, Sound & Music Control, and Pulsed Duty Cycle Attachments Available on PVM400DELUX

High-powered front panel adjustable output plasma driver operates from 115 or 220 vac and is intended for larger plasma globes up to 48 inches diameter (about 33 cubic feet), or similar-volume plasma columns and large gas filled discharge vessels. (Above this volume, our PVM500 should be used.) Rectangular shaped unit is 2.75" x 4" x 10.25" deep and is built on an aluminum chassis with plastic cover. The front panel holds the fuse, power control adjustment, indicator lamp, and power input cord. The output end is open with a 12" 30kV high voltage wire and 4' grounding lead. Factory set open circuit voltage shutdown protects the transformer from too-light and no-load operation. Internal circuitry protects against short circuits. Open circuit voltage is 20kV pk-pk with a short circuit current of 25 ma load lines at 125 watts of output. The power adjust control varies the frequency from 20 to 60 kHz and controls output. Full load output line current is 1.5 amps.

PVM400 Instructions

- 1-20kV 20-60kHz 150W Adjustable Power Supply ... $219.95
5-9 @ $204.95ea.  10+@ $189.95ea.

- The PVM400 with 220VAC input (for International Customers) ... $219.95
5-9 @ $204.95ea.  10+@ $189.95ea.

PVM400DELUX - with Optional Features to Enhance your Display
Similar to PVM400 but with additional features for those who want to add animation for a special display. Provides many options for the neon artist to dazzle, amaze and captivate the audience.
Powers up to 48" Plasma Globes
Single Electrode Operation
PVM400DELUX

This is the PVM400 with several additional features:
1. This model PVM400DELUX has a built-in controller that allows you to change the display texture over a considerable range. This feature greatly enhances the display effect by controlling the ratio of pulse on to off times. (See the Duty Cycle Writeup for additional information.)
2. Contains a 3.5 mm audio jack that accepts a 5 volt level, allowing the unit to flash to any external source.
3. Excellent effect when activated in coincidence to the base beat of any music system when using our BASEBEAT10 as shown below.
4. Unit can be made to flash at a 50/50 rate from 1 to 30 flashes per second with the below FLASH10.
5. Multiple units up to four displays may be activated by our 10 program ANIMATOR40 shown below.

PVM400DELUX Instructions
Duty Cycle Writeup

- PVM400 Deluxe Version with Control Feature Options ... $299.95
5-9 @ $284.95ea.  10+@ $269.95ea.

- Optional 220V/50Hz Step Down Transformer With European Plug for international customers ... $59.95
Neon control modules. We have 3 different modules that can control the neon transformer output. The BaseBeat module dynamically responds to music, with adjustable patterns, sensitivity, and duration of output. The Flasher module has the traditional on/off cycle, adjustable from 10 cycles per second to one cycle per 5 seconds, and able to control 1 or 2 transformers. The Animator is an advanced version of the Flasher, controlling up to 4 transformers with 10 different patterns, and also able to be custom programmed. So depending on your needs, we’ve got you covered.
BaseBeat Module
Musical light flasher responds to the beat of the music. Great visual aid to any band or home music sound system. Neat effect when using our DC75 under-car neon transformer.
basebeat10 
BASEBEAT Instructions
ATTENTION Music Lovers!
  • Makes neon lights flash to the musical base beats
  • Neat action display
  • Great addon to existing music systems

Interfaces with our PVM400DELUX transformer (or any transformer with an audio/animation control input) and can control a large display of neon tubing to flash along with the base beat of the music.

Great for bars, clubs, concerts, bedrooms, living rooms -- anywhere music is played and you would like a neat visual effect. Ready to use and easy to operate, just connect to any audio output and adjust for effect.

- Ready to Use ... $69.95
5-9 @ $64.95ea.  10-24@ $59.95ea.  25+@ $54.95ea.
Flasher Module
Great attention getting and special effects. Flash two displays in anti-coincidence. Use with our DC75 auto neon and any transformer with a control lead. Neat effect for under-car neon.

Flashes a single PVM400DELUX, or two in anti-coincidence -- that is, one "off" the other "on" and reversing. Mating plugs fit into the PVM400DELUX unit. Adjustable flash rate.

Shown as board-level, and operates from included 12 volt wall adapter. Sold in a plastic channel with adapter wired in and two mating plugs for our PVM400DELUX.

- Ready to Use ... $29.95
Animator Module
Controller for up to four individual gas displays from neon tubing to neon art pieces, globes, columns, etc. Unit has ten selectable programs, and can be customized.

4-channel operation controls 4 PVM400DELUX's, with up to ten selectable programs (selection is displayed on a digital readout). Animation speed is adjustable. Complete with mating plugs. Enclosed in small plastic channels with access to all controls. Custom programs on request.

The ANIMATOR40 can also be used with our NEON21 and NEONIZER transformers.

- Ready to Use ... $79.95
5-9 @ $74.95ea.  10-24@ $69.95ea.  25+@ $64.95ea.

PVM12
12-Volt Single-Electrode and Proximity Driver Will Power up to a 14” Plasma Globe and Many Other Neon and Artistic Displays. Make a Plasma Tornado.

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PVM12 Instructions

INPUT - 12VDC 3A (includes a 12V wall adapter)
OUTPUT - Variable 1k-20kV
FREQUENCY - Variable 20k-50kHz
CURRENT - Reactance Limited to 20mA

Front panel adjustable output power supply, excellent for driving plasma globes up to 14" in diameter (about 1440 cubic inches) and other similar-sized displays and cells such as our plasma tornado, neon tubing, etc. Single ended driver for gas-filled displays operates from 12 volt input at 3A minimum. Variable open circuit voltage of 1k-20kV with short circuit current of 20mA. Frequency is adjustable from 20k to 50kHz and is controlled from the front panel; voltage auto-adjusts to capacitive load & frequency. What you will find in practice is that as you are adjusting the frequency, the display will suddenly "come to life" and get very bright -- this is the peak harmonic resonance of the circuit. There may be other harmonics, but there will be one that is strongest, and you can then fine-adjust this power supply to your desired output.

Unit is built on a metal chassis with plastic cover. Size is 2.75 x 3.25 x 7.5" rectangular with a 12" output lead. The included 12V adapter operates from any wall power (100-240VAC), so both American and international customers can plug this into their wall outlets and be ready to go.

- 20kV 30W power supply ... $99.95
10-49 @ $89.95ea.  50-99 @ $82.95ea.  100+ @ $79.95ea.

NEONX10ADJ (GRADRIV10): Continuous-Range Adjustable Neon Driver
Dimmable neon power supply allows full range dimming without display ever pulling apart! Discharge appears as a wriggling worm at its lowest setting -- a very interesting & eye-catching effect.
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NEONX10ADJ Instructions

Can be set to draw very low input current, excellent for extended battery or solar powered applications.

Module is built on a rugged printed circuit board and is mounted in a plastic channel. Complete with input jack for mating to 2.5mm regulated DC wall adapter and high volt output lead with return ground if needed.

Unit is excellent for powering neon and all types of gas filled vessels using one or two electrodes, or can power objects simply by proximity.

Allows total dimming without pulling of ends away from electrodes. Provides an even distribution of light along the entire display length down to where discharge becomes so dim it is almost invisible, at which point the discharge looks like a wiggling worm...NEAT EFFECT!

  • Open circuit voltage to 7500 peak at 60 to 125kHz
  • Drives up to a 15 ft display
  • Short circuit current 15ma
  • Input: 11 to 15 volts DC at 3 amps fully loaded
  • Adjustable current by duty cycle controlled pulse
  • Can be set to draw very low input current
  • 7" output leads, 12" input leads
  • Compact 7" x 2-1/8" x 1-1/8", weighing less than 5 oz!
- Assembled and tested ... $89.50     (5-9@$84.50ea, 10-24@$79.50ea, 25+@$69.50ea)

- Power supply for GRADRIV ... $15.95
12 Volts 4 Amps, Fully Regulated. Operates from 100 to 240 vac input with a standard 3-prong US plug. 3 foot output cable with a 5 mm output plug. Included IEC power cord. CE recognized.


Lower Power Transformers For Smaller Single-End Displays

Single Electrode And Proximity Powered
For the Neon Artist Working With Specialized Gas Displays
Eliminates Those Unsightly Ground Return Wires
Single electrode drivers need only one electrode to power a display. This is a great advantage when attempting to avoid unsightly power return wires used on artistic and special designed systems. Units operate on the electrical capacitance of the discharge tube and require positive grounding for optimum performance. These drivers will operate all gas discharge displays up to their rated sizes.

 

NEON21 (MINIMAX70): 7kv 10ma
minimax7 These low-cost, high-voltage sources operate from a 12 volt battery for field use, or a wall adapter for normal 115 vac use (wall adapter sold seperately if needed). Virtually indestructible circuitry is open and short circuit protected and will withstand reasonable amounts of EMP. Output is end point grounded and is at a high frequency of 25 to 35 kHz. This higher frequency allows easy conversion to high voltage DC sources using voltage multiplier stacks. The direct high frequency output can be used to power plasma and gas discharge (neon) display tubes, and will work with the ANIMATOR40 control module for programmed pattern outputs. All models include appropriate input and output leads for easy terminations.

This device provides a 7kV open circuit 10ma short circuit output that requires 12VDC @ 1 Amp input. Open frame with potted transformer 5 x 1-1/4". Easily generates 30kV at 0.5ma with our MULTI50 five stage multiplier. Also used in our HOVER (experimental hovercraft), KIRL1 (kirlian photography), and PLPEN1 (plasma burning and etching pen).

Circuit design is virtually 99% efficient and is a real advantage for solar and battery power where every watt counts. Board level layout is 5 x 2" and is simple to use. 12" input and output leads with dimming control. Uses our 12DC/1.5 wall adapter (below) and draws 1.5 amps when operated at full output. For field use, it will run from any 12V battery with at least 1.5A output. Dimming control will reduce current to less than 0.1 amps and allow operating from solar cells or batteries.

Instructions

- Transformer only, without wall adapter ... $39.95
10-24 @ $34.95ea.   25-99 @ $32.95ea.   100+ CALL

- 12V wall adapter for NEON21 (except as noted below) ... $9.95
- 14V special grounded wall adapter for single-ended neon displays ... $19.95
* Use this 14V wall adapter if the NEON21/MINIMAX70 transformer will be used for a single ended NEON GAS display for special effects: this is where the neon tube is powered with only one wire and the return of the energy is via the capacitance of the gas and the surrounding air eventually going to earth ground. This mode absolutely requires the use of our 14DC/1G, a 3-pin internally grounded wall adapter for this capacitive ground current to return back to the power supply source.
Plans
- Paper Plans ... $5.00
- Downloadable Plans ... $3.00

NEONIZER
Our Smallest Single Ended One Electrode Driver Fits Into a 7/8” Diameter Plastic Tube. Suitable for Plasma Sabers, Musical Neon and Many Other Animated or Stationary Displays.
Neon Transformers, Neon Power Supplies

Neonizer Instructions

Small finger-sized unit operates from included 12vac 0.2 amp wall adapter. Device will power up a 36" piece of 12 mm thick discharge tube using only one electrode. Open frame construction of 3/4" height x 5/8" width x 3.75" length is easily enclosed for small laboratory applications. Will work with the ANIMATOR40 control module for programmed pattern outputs.

  • Input: 9-12 volts, AC or DC, battery or adapter
  • Output: ~3kv open circuit
  • Plasma saber effect of “flowing light”
  • Great supply for small desktop neon artifacts
  • Simple, safe and indestructible circuitry

- Transformer + Adapter ... $34.95
5-9 @ $29.95ea.  10-24 @ $27.95ea.  25+ @ $24.95ea.  100+ @ $22.95ea.
The NEONIZER comes with an adapter, but if you need one separately, our 12 volt AC 0.2 amp wall adapter is available:
- Wall Adapter for NEONIZER ... $4.95