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Lichtenberg Electric Etching (Read 4,294 times)
 
Ed Weber
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Re: Lichtenberg Electric Etching
Reply #60 - Oct 18th, 2016 at 10:25am
 
Grant, I want to clarify a few things in your post for the other members interested in this subject.

There are countless types of neon light transformers available built for specific applications such as dimmable or intermittent.
The GFI circuit that would cause these neon light transformers to not work as a lichtenberg device is either listed as a secondary gfci or UL 2161.
You can purchase non UL listed transformers without the secondary gfci

Please use caution when dealing with electrical devices
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Grant Wilkinson
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Re: Lichtenberg Electric Etching
Reply #61 - Oct 18th, 2016 at 11:03am
 
Tks for the clarification, Ed. I guess that my luck is not good. I have not been able to find a transformer - remember I'm in Canada - that will work as a Lichtenberg burner. I've had 6 different transformers now and none worked. There was no indication on the labels that they had GFI circuitry.

I notice now on Ebay, for example, there are new transformers listed and the seller specifically says that they cannot be used for experiments like Jacobs ladders and I assume they cannot be used for Lichtenberg burning, either.

I've spoken to techs at France and at Allanson. Both told me that nothing that they manufactured after 2003 would work, as they all have built in GFI. One of the France ones that I had did have a reset button, but it only allowed a second or so of burning before the GFI tripped again. The Allanson ones that I had tripped and there was no way to reset them. The tech told me that, once they tripped, they were garbage.
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« Last Edit: Oct 18th, 2016 at 11:04am by Grant Wilkinson »  

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Ed Weber
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Re: Lichtenberg Electric Etching
Reply #62 - Oct 18th, 2016 at 12:15pm
 
There is an out of the box solution for those who don't want to waste time/money chasing down parts and attempting to build a unit. Is it expensive, depends on what you think is expensive. Personally I don't have the time/desire to fool around with old microwave ovens or the like and build a unit.
Multimedia File Viewing and Clickable Links are available for Registered Members only!!  You need to Login or Register costs $300, but you're done. Just follow safety procedures and you should be fine, no guesswork.
Also here is an example of a site that clearly indicates there units that do and do not have the UL 2161 certification.
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Hope this helps

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Grant Wilkinson
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Re: Lichtenberg Electric Etching
Reply #63 - Oct 18th, 2016 at 12:31pm
 
Tks again, Ed. I had seen the Conestoga unit. As you say, "what's expensive". For me, situated in Canada, this excellent unit is much too pricey. Shipping charges are just over $100 to Canada compared to $20 in the US. When the total amount - price, shipping, canadian taxes is added up, it comes out to over $600!

I've sent a question to the other site you linked to. Even their Non-UL approved models have ground fault protection, it seems. At least, I can't find one that does not. Clearly, they must exist, as evidenced by the Conestoga unit. With luck,they will point me in the right direction.

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« Last Edit: Oct 18th, 2016 at 12:44pm by Grant Wilkinson »  

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Ed Weber
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Re: Lichtenberg Electric Etching
Reply #64 - Oct 18th, 2016 at 1:08pm
 
Grant, please let us know what you find out, it will definitely be helpful for other members looking into this process.
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Grant Wilkinson
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Re: Lichtenberg Electric Etching
Reply #65 - Oct 18th, 2016 at 1:10pm
 
Will do, Ed.
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Re: Lichtenberg Electric Etching
Reply #66 - Oct 18th, 2016 at 4:33pm
 
For me, neon transformers are they way to go. Much finer lines make for great detail. I hope the transformer i purchased works for this. The reviews on amazon included many poitive ones for this purpose. Just need the tiime to gather the other parts.
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Re: Lichtenberg Electric Etching
Reply #67 - Oct 18th, 2016 at 4:50pm
 
@
Grant Wilkinson

Out of curiosity and in hindsight, if you had to start over would it have been better to buy the commercial product or build your own?
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Re: Lichtenberg Electric Etching
Reply #68 - Oct 18th, 2016 at 5:15pm
 
This is the one I just received Saturday from Ebay.  Let me know what you guys think of it please.

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Thanks alot
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Ed Weber
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Re: Lichtenberg Electric Etching
Reply #69 - Oct 18th, 2016 at 7:14pm
 
Chris Neilan wrote on Oct 18th, 2016 at 4:33pm:
I hope the transformer i purchased works for this. The reviews on amazon included many poitive ones for this purpose.


Chris, could you tell use which item you purchased please
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Grant Wilkinson
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Re: Lichtenberg Electric Etching
Reply #70 - Oct 19th, 2016 at 9:18am
 
Arllin: I would suggest, but can't be sure, that the one you bought will not work. The description specifically says that it has "open circuit protected" features. Further, it says that "It is built for neon signs, use in a jacobs ladder will most likely burn it out in minutes". I realize that we are not using these for Jacobs ladders, but as I understand it, the problem is the same. We are running the output to a dead short, essentially and with short protection built in, it won't work.

Arlin: Disregard all the above and see my later posts.

Ron: While I have lost money on this experiment, it does not come close to the cost of the commercial unit. To land the Conestoga one in Canada is more than $600 Cdn. I can't contemplate spending that on a new "toy".  Smiley

Ed: I'm going back and forth with the tech at Amazing1. They do have a transformer that will work, but he warns that it is likely too powerful. It is a 12000 volt one, like the neon transformers, but the amperage is 60ma, not the 30 that is found in most of the neon ones. Here is a quote from one of his emails, ", if the etching is done by holding the transformer output through insulated wires and probes, then you wouldn’t want to hold or have your hands anywhere near the output of a 15kv 60ma transformer, there is just far too much danger in that kind of setup." They did have the lower amperage ones, but it looks like they no longer do. I have asked him, and I'll keep this group posted as to his reply. For me, though, the issue is also cost. Even if I could devise a way to use the 60ma safely, it would be more expensive than the Conestoga unit.
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« Last Edit: Oct 19th, 2016 at 10:44am by Grant Wilkinson »  

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Re: Lichtenberg Electric Etching
Reply #71 - Oct 19th, 2016 at 9:42am
 
I admit to being completely baffled now. I found one on Amazon. Allanson SS1235ICH 35mA 12000v Neon Transformer Power Supply.  According to reviews, it works well for Lichtenberg. However, on the Allanson site, it is specced as having the latest GFI circuitry available. The Allanson tech told me that none of their transformers manufactured after 2003 would work. I had 3 Allanson units newer than that, and none of them worked for more than a second or so before the GFI kicked in.

So, in short, don't listen to me.  Smiley I don't know why the allanson tech would give me inaccurate information, unless he is concerned about liability issues. There is no reason why reviewers on Amazon would say it worked if it didn't.

If anyone here gets the Amazon unit and gets it to work repeatedly - not not just for one burn - I would be grateful if you would post about it.
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« Last Edit: Oct 19th, 2016 at 9:44am by Grant Wilkinson »  

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Re: Lichtenberg Electric Etching
Reply #72 - Oct 19th, 2016 at 10:44am
 
OK,yet another update. I just talked the tech from Allanson. I explained that I was confused. In our email exchange, he clearly told me that none of their units made after 2003 would work for us, as they all had GFI. I explained about the reviews on Amazon and about the Conestoga unit.

He told me that this was new to him, but that the new solid state units - like the Amazon one - do have GFI, but that it must be more "forgiving" than the older magnetic units like the ones I tried.

I think that I've confused enough of you and taken this as far as I can. If anyone buys the Amazon Allanson unit and gets it to work, please report here.
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Re: Lichtenberg Electric Etching
Reply #73 - Oct 19th, 2016 at 11:14am
 
Grant Wilkinson wrote on Oct 19th, 2016 at 9:18am:
Ron: While I have lost money on this experiment, it does not come close to the cost of the commercial unit. To land the Conestoga one in Canada is more than $600 Cdn. I can't contemplate spending that on a new "toy".  Smiley


Thanks Grant

What about those of us in the States? In your opinion, would $300 be worth it?
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Re: Lichtenberg Electric Etching
Reply #74 - Oct 19th, 2016 at 11:45am
 
Ron Sardo wrote on Oct 19th, 2016 at 11:14am:
Grant Wilkinson wrote on Oct 19th, 2016 at 9:18am:
Ron: While I have lost money on this experiment, it does not come close to the cost of the commercial unit. To land the Conestoga one in Canada is more than $600 Cdn. I can't contemplate spending that on a new "toy".  Smiley




Thanks Grant

What about those of us in the States? In your opinion, would $300 be worth it?


IMO, I see it as a specialty tool.Ask yourself how much you would use it.Is every peace you make going to get zaped ?From my experience with my unit,not every peace is suited for this and I don't see myself using it enough to warrant paying $600 or $300.

Another thought is maybe finding an older used neon sign from a junk /second hand type store.
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