# hey all ! New to the site and ive got a question!

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by laserboy, Jun 25, 2009.

1. ### laserboy Thread Starter New Member

Jun 25, 2009
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Im an engineering tech(mech) and although ive taken basic electrical courses , im basically a noob, ive fiddled around with 555timers, potentiometers, resistors, capacitors and led's .
So heres the question, Ive built a wooden plaque for my deer skull and antlers, and have routered in 12v neon(car)lights to illuminate the skull(looks awesome! in my poker room except for the car battery on the shelf lol) i want to build a lightweight inverter to turn my home AC to 12V DC.??

Part 2 lol

the circuit board for the neon lights has components in it that respond to audio. id like to build a board with just the basic components to to turn the lights on (No audio) I know ill need a small transformer, but the other components are so small i cant read whats on them to order them!!!
I hope some one can point me in the right direction . Thanks.

2. ### beenthere Retired Moderator

Apr 20, 2004
15,815
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Couple of things. Neon lamps take over 90 volts to ionize. Perhaps those are LED's?

An inverter makes DC into AC. For 12 VDC, you would want a step down transformer and rectifier to make 120 VAC into 12 VDC.. How much current do you need?

Part 2 depends on the identification of the lamps.

3. ### laserboy Thread Starter New Member

Jun 25, 2009
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Hey thanks for replying so quickly.
the lamps are definetly neon gas filled lamps, im not sure how much current they require i tried looking on the tubes for info but there wasnt any. But they were originally hooked up to the cars 12Vdc via the cigaret lighter. I know that for neon lights you need initially higher voltage to start them and then lower voltage to keep them lit. So if the rectifier changes the sine wave from Ac to dc? and the step down transformer lowers the the voltage what component produces the high voltage to ionize them? A bunch of capacitors storing energy?

4. ### beenthere Retired Moderator

Apr 20, 2004
15,815
282
Be careful if you poke around - those neons need 90 - 130 volts to fire. Can you post a photo of the board (and any associated transformer)?

5. ### Audioguru New Member

Dec 20, 2007
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896
Neon lights for cars are powered from a 12VDC to high voltage inverter. The inverter can be powered from a 12VDC AC/DC adapter if it can provide the rated current of the inverter.

You will need to have its schematic and its parts layout to disconnect the audio driving parts.

6. ### laserboy Thread Starter New Member

Jun 25, 2009
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ok ill post a pic of the lights and the board tomorrow, thanks again for all your help

7. ### laserboy Thread Starter New Member

Jun 25, 2009
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ok heres the pics

hmm the pics seem to come up as x's so just click on my profile and they are in an album called neon lights