anyone use plexiglass faceplates?

KA4HJH ka4hjh at
Mon Nov 22 06:04:17 CET 1999

>Eek!! I'd beware the "cold cathode" flourescent lamp... it has 
>striking voltages
>of (approx) 800V - 1200V and real fast spikey rise times... The 
>electrical noise
>is really severe (not like you'd notice on a laptop...)

I wasn't planning on going this route myself--I don't think it's 
necessary to edge-light the entire panel. Obviously there's an RFI 
problem, not to mention the added thrill of voltages even higher than 
what you might bump into inside a vacuum tube VCO. I don't have a 
catalog handy but I remember the starting voltages being pretty high.

For those who may be curious: "cold cathode" means any luminous gas 
lamp (like a neon sign) that has...cold cathodes! "Warm cathode" 
lamps are the fluorescent lights buzzing over your head. 120-240V AC 
isn't enough to ionize argon & mercury vapor at room temperature; you 
have to warm the cathodes up to varporize more mercury.

>I'd go with LED meant for the automotive taillight market. Or (gasp) little
>incandescent bulbs...

I think strategically placing the light sources would do the trick. 
Probably require some experimentation to get it right.

>Electroluminescent panel lamps are better than CCFL, but still need a high
>frequency inverter to drive efficiently

And they have a half-life. Probably not a good choice for 5U panels.

Terry Bowman, KA4HJH
"The Mac Doctor"

ICQ: 45652354

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