From: Chuck Simmons
Organization: You jest.
X-Mailer: Mozilla 4.61 [en] (X11; U; Linux 2.0.33 i586)
Subject: Re: neon lamp query
Date: Wed, 18 Sep 2002 11:43:03 GMT
NNTP-Posting-Date: Wed, 18 Sep 2002 04:43:03 PDT
> I have a query about neon lamps; in particular, those little bulb neons we
> use as indicators that the mains electricity supply is on.
> I have a collection of these things and I want to use one as a mains
> indicator on a prototype project. I need to use a dropper resistor, but what
> size? This is a heterogeneous collection of neons and they may well have
> quite different striking voltages. I can pick one and find its approximate
> strike voltage using a charged-up 400V capacitor and a very large dropping
> resistor. But to calculate the final dropping-resistor size, I need to know
> the size of the continuous current that these things are expected to operate
> on; is it about 1mA or nearer 50?
> How much is too much?
> Please email any answers
> Regards Bruce
If you are talking about the baseless type such as the NE-2, probably
about 0.25ma is about right. Neon lamps typically fire at about 90
volts and then sustain a voltage of around 60 once fired. I recall about
a 220Kohm resistor being common with the NE-2 as a line indicator.
... The times have been,
That, when the brains were out,
the man would die. ... Macbeth
Chuck Simmons email@example.com