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Any Sign makers in the house?


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#1 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted September 26, 2011 - 09:15 AM

This is way off the wall and topics in general.
Our church has a sign, that need new lighting on a very tight budget.
An electrician no longer in the church used some salvaged commercial lights that are nearly obsolete and need replaced when he rebuilt th sign about 20 yrs ago. This is a Colored Graphic header and a message cabinet below.
We need new lighting and on a budget. 20 below zero is a very real possibility or I would install sockets and use CFL to replace. I have also considered LED but hve not researched the options yt?
Any ideas?

#2 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted September 26, 2011 - 06:40 PM

The very little bit I know about signs in our part of the world, can be summed up this way.

The local electrical place has been warning us the Standard T12 lamps are being phased out, but they keep telling me the "sign" lamps seem to be exempt. We can get down to 15 below here in the winter, and our lamps seem to hold up OK.

The same electrical supply house is not sure about the end of line date on the outdoor ballasts, they may be phased out in 2012. They have found some conflicting wording and have been unable to get a straight answer from the powers that be.

Is this sign currently lit with standard screw in bulbs or some kind of cfl lamp?
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#3 Lauber1 OFFLINE  

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Posted September 26, 2011 - 08:50 PM

i worked with commerical sign for several yrs. Traveled around 15 states servicing ones for John Deere, Navistar, Toyota, and other large national accounts. We need more details on the signs can and what the area to be lite is. Pictures would be helpful, but im only a couple of hours away and could drive up and take a look.
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#4 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted September 27, 2011 - 08:19 AM

The sign is a 2 section cabinet each about 4' X3', 1whithe the Church Header
(idenitiy graphics ) and 1 is a message board.
It is currently lit with two 4 ft florecent tubes in each section. There is a tube and ballast out of each section.
To be honest, the cabinet is in bad shape and should be replaced.
My dad got one of those rope(christmas lights) and put in the message section and it is yellow and very dim.
Dad's 80 and one of the depression kid's who never got over making due as cheaply as possible and can be kind of cranky at times(he's earned the right raising 7 children). I would rather give him some time to come to the conclusion himself, that this rope light is not acceptable.
Some times you have to plant the idea and let him grow into it. Often it's the stupidest idea he ever heard, until he thinks of it a few days or weeks later(never remembering that you suggested it).
My inclination, going into winter is to leave things as they are. And plan to build a new cabinet next spring.
One wild idea I have is to build a new cabinet out of the Vinyl fence posts sold at home improvement stores?
They are impervious to weather and look good, never needing paint. The question is whether I can come up with an acceptable lighting solution that does not generate too much heat and melt the vinyl. And I would like something efficent and not likely to become obsolete soon.

Edited by JD DANNELS, September 27, 2011 - 08:26 AM.


#5 Lauber1 OFFLINE  

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Posted September 27, 2011 - 06:10 PM

I understand your problem.. Truthfully the trouble may be simple. Since it is an outdoor sign, it should use HO type lamps. My first guess is that maybe you have one in each ballast that burnt out. They last about 11K hours, so you can do the math to figure out how long they been in there. If thats the trouble then relamp the whole sign, dont just replace the out ones as they work in pairs and a weaker one will pull down a newer one. If this isnt the trouble then the next place to look in a burnt in two wire in the secondary going out the to lamps. If any single wire is disconnected it will killl part or all of the curcuit. Thats another easy fix, after turning off the power, you simply resplice the wire. you wont need an electrican as you working on the secondary side of the ballast. Most code only require pro help when involving the primary side of things. If by some chance its still not working, then look carefully at the sockets the lamp ends go into and see if a contact is burnt off in one of them. If any of this dont work, then your probally looking at a bad ballast, but those things are tough and people throw them out to easliy when the trouble was something simple to fix. So try the lamps, check the wires, and let me know where this leads you too.

#6 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted September 28, 2011 - 07:58 AM

Ok Lauber!: I only got involved last week when I went up to the church to help unload a new furnace. Since I work full time I rarely get involved in these projects. 50 percent of our membership is retired and they do these things while I'm at work.
You are right in that Dad said there was a ballast out in each section and it was confirmed by a guy who had been a robotics electrician at Maytag prior to his retirement. I'll see Dad tonight and may get more info.




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