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another stupid electronics question about cold cathodes.

Discussion in 'Channel Zero' started by seeking, Mar 22, 2004.

  1. seeking

    seeking Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: May 25, 2000 Messages: 32,277 Likes Received: 235
    let's say i wanted to use cold cathode lighting in something...a an art faggy sculpture/lamp for instance. now, i know it needs 12v to run it, and i know that the voltage out of a socket is 110 or 120 or something. so can i just buy a '12v adapter' from radio shack, like the kind you'd use to power a radio or nintendo or some shit? is that the same sort of thing?
    is there an easier way to go about it?
  2. villain

    villain Veteran Member

    Joined: Jul 12, 2002 Messages: 5,190 Likes Received: 2
    I suppose you could use a step down transformer. You should watch the amps though. Cause that's what makes or breaks alot of things. Electronics in particular you could have a 12v batter per say but it runs on so many milliamps as opposed to say a light which would have a higher amperage cause it uses electricity to generate heat and light. Cold cathodes are funky on a whole nother level and I couldn't tell you much on them. What I would suggest is looking at the specs. If you want to tweak the amps you could use resistors.

    Here is Ohms Law:


    Energy IS Volts
    Current IS Amps
    Resistance IS Ohms

    If you had the specs I could formulate something for you if you want.
  3. v.greenbacks

    v.greenbacks New Jack

    Joined: Feb 29, 2004 Messages: 28 Likes Received: 0
    wow, college was a long time ago.
  4. villain

    villain Veteran Member

    Joined: Jul 12, 2002 Messages: 5,190 Likes Received: 2

    Haha.. yeah you gotta use the stuff regularly and keep it finely tuned...
  5. ClueTwo

    ClueTwo Veteran Member

    Joined: Nov 30, 2001 Messages: 9,030 Likes Received: 123
    Like Villian my experience isn't all cold cathodes, but from my understanding and talking to a guy that works with me. Under normal operation these cathodes run on a 12V supply(i.e. cigarette lighter socket, computer supply,etc.) then the tube will have a small inverter to up the voltage to a couple hundred volts at very low current. Regardless of where the voltage comes from the inverter is doing most of the work and will be the first to take a shit if you do it wrong. So the answer to your question: Yes, you can use a Rat Shack adapter @ 12V 300-500mAH. Be careful with polarity and try not to go over in current.

    Hope that makes sense....

    ******Forgot to mention that you should defintely check on the cathode and see what it requires for an input (voltage/current) and just try to match it as best as possible. That's pretty much obvious and you;re smart guy, but damnit I don't want to fuck something up....
  6. villain

    villain Veteran Member

    Joined: Jul 12, 2002 Messages: 5,190 Likes Received: 2
    Yeah I'm pretty sure if the amps were too high you would blow the suckas....
  7. High Priest

    High Priest Elite Member

    Joined: Jan 1, 2002 Messages: 4,928 Likes Received: 4

  8. seeking

    seeking Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: May 25, 2000 Messages: 32,277 Likes Received: 235
    thanks folks.
    i think im'a go order some cold cathodes now and put this bitch to rest.

    i really need to learn some basic electronics. there is way too much bitchen shit that can not be powered by the 12oz message board.

    seriously though, i'm a little old to be learning new stuff. it's difficult as hell for me. especially things that deal in absolutes (math etc). it shouldnt be, because i'm very logical so formulas should be a snap, but nope...not the case.
  9. Dirty_habiT

    Dirty_habiT Administrator

    Joined: Mar 8, 2001 Messages: 18,136 Likes Received: 82
    Go to radioshack and get a 110 to 12v transformer. And if you want to learn electronics one of the mose essential tools is a multimeter.... and they are kinda pricey for a good one.