Flashing Mains Neon Lamp

Here is a Neon Flasher circuit (untested) for a user request at Elex Quna. This can be built into a switchboard or a gadget for indicating Live Power.

Flashing Mains Neon Lamp

D1-C1 form a simple half-wave rectifier, The Cap charges to peak voltage and can store charge for a long time if there is no bleeder. So while building it take extra care. This forms a DC supply across C1. C1 is a Plastic High-voltage cap, IN4007 has a 1KV rating, so it is ok for 230V rectifier.

See more of my Home Made Circuits.

R1 Charges C2 and when C2 reaches 60-80V depending on Neon, the neon breaksdown. C2 Discharges, Neon Recovers, The C2 starts charging again and so on and on. It Oscillates, probably in a Ramp Waveform. But do not use your Scope on this, you will regret it a lot. This is a live circuit and needs a special probe.

“Oh, i will put the probe it in 10M mode” will not do. The ground clip of the probe goes to Electrical Earth which is ‘connected’ to Neutral in the mains wiring. So you put the earth crocodile clip on the live point. There will be flashes and fireworks. So you need to isolate both terminals of scope. Please use your costly equipment with great care.

For the 1 Meg use two 470K in Series for 230V AC, that is safer. The circuit is live, so take precautions. The 0.47 Micro Farad can be increased if you want a slow flash. If the Mains 50/60 Hz Flicker is too much, the 1 uF can be made 2 uF, or use 4 – 1N4007 as a bridge rectifier.

Flashing Neons (NE-2 / NE-51) second from top

User Feedback –

R1 of 4.7M and C2 of 0.47uF Works well at 230V AC. Try your own Combination. Less than 1M may damage Neon.

  • The Mini Metrology Lab – Conrad Hoffman
    This is a Article by Conrad Hoffman in “Electronics Now, April 1996”.He has an intriguing collection of electronics and Mechanical DIY Tips and Ideas in [...]
  • Electronics 2000 – Beginners GuideElectronics 2000 – Beginners Guide
    Hobby Electronics – Software, Calculators, Forum, Technical Data, Pin-outs, Beginners Guide, Links. Electronics 2000 – Calculators A beginners guide to project building, technical data, interactive [...]
  • Dallas Personal Robotics Group – DPRG
    Articles, Photo Gallery, Projects, RoboLinks, Tutorials, Here you can share and exchange solutions and ideas about the exquisite art of Robot Design and Building. Dallas [...]
  • Bubblegate Circuits of Domenico Di Mario
    Bubblegate Circuits of Domenico Di Mario The Electric Wave. . . .30+ electronic circuits, most of them easy to build The Physics Deep. . . [...]
  • Runoffgroove – DIY Articles and Schematics
    Here are many Audio Effects and Music DIY electronics Articles with Schematics and idea behind the concept. Electronic Music Enthusiasts will find these useful for [...]
  • NYC Resistor – Hack Build Learn DIY ElectronicsNYC Resistor – Hack Build Learn DIY Electronics
    NYC Resistor is a hacker collective with a shared space located in downtown Brooklyn. The NYC Resistor Microcontroller Mailing List is a great place to [...]
  • MarS Board – Freescale ARM Cortex-A9MarS Board – Freescale ARM Cortex-A9
    A super ARM DIY Platform. Measuring only 65.46mm by 102.04mm, the MarS Board is a low-cost highly-integrated controller board based on Freescale’s i.MX 6 Dual [...]
  • Wide Skill Spectrum by Building a Robot
    These valuable learning materials are partly derived from Robot Builder’s Guide of Fred Martin, the course notes at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Wide Skill [...]
About delabs 462 Articles
delabs is a web-service for product design and development.