Comments for "Neon Bulbs in a Microwave"

16th May 2010 15:45

Adrian Flynn KF7DYU wrote ...

I would not recommended mounting or laying the neon bulbs on styrofoam to do the test as I did it about 35 years ago and within about 35 seconds the neon's melted into the Styrofoam packing I was using.

I did it to see the cook pattern on an old microwave that did not have a turntable in it.

Also another favorite of mine is to put a 8" circline fluorescent bulb in and see how bright it will get.

BUT do not touch it bare handed for about 2 min after power is removed!



BTW: My cure for cockroaches is "RAID" fumigators. They come in a pack of 3 in a Blue box, about 4X4X8 you add water then drop in the canister and leave for 3 hours. When you return you air out the place and no cockroaches for 6 months to 4 years depending on how severe the infection.

I hate them things and when I lived in apt buildings in Phoenix AZ they were everywhere, I did not have them after I fount the "Raid" answer my neighbors would but I didn't.

The cost here in the states is about $12 us currently.

PS: Disconnect the smoke detector as it will set it off.

PPS: ALWAYS use a dish or brick under the canister as the chemical reaction gets VERY hot and I melted a spot on some carpet one time so I am very careful now.


3rd June 2008 09:48

Stephen Young wrote ...


Thanks for getting us in the office a good laugh, watching them bulbs just GLOW! And yes, we also noticed the fire extinguisher on the wall...

So, what did you eventually do with the bulbs? A 20X20 space particle "smoke" detector?

Thanks again, it was a dreary day!


25th May 2008 21:01

Alan Yates wrote...


Ah, you noticed... The microwave I was using is the "old" unit. It died a few weeks back quite violently, a cockroach ended its life across the HT at the magnetron plug and took out the HV fuse - an uncommon but fairly cheap part which I didn't happen to have in the junkbox. Unlike a normal fuse the HV one has to open a fairly small current, but at a pretty high voltage so physically they are longer and designed to quench any arcing. You can't safely just whack in an old 800 mA 3AG fuse and expect it to open without causing an arcing fault across the transformer which would happily sustain a multi-ampere multi-kilowatt arc until something else blew up. I ordered a new one from Wes Components, but the thoughtless cockroach decided to commit suicide on a Friday afternoon, so the new HV fuse wasn't available until Tuesday.

The Family just couldn't live without a microwave over the weekend, so Tanya went out and bought another one. When the HV fuse arrived it restored the other unit to perfect working order, so now we have two microwaves. I like the old one better anyway, it has a better UI and about 30% more RF output power. She wouldn't let me try my ill advised NE-2 microwaving in the new unit, so I guess you could say the old one is "for experiments". :)



PS: I'd say 90% of the microwaves you see dumped on the side of the road have just blown-fuse problems. Cockroach-across-the-HT is a very common failure mode for such appliances, so either the HT fuse has been vaporised or the main input fuse has. The fuses are cheap enough < $18 in single quantities retail, much cheaper with an Wagner account. The good thing I guess is that so many hardly dead microwaves gives us access to cheap AC synchromotors from the turntable, and a chunky transformer you can rewind for lots of things (although they are quite lethal if you make a mistake with them). The VFD from a microwave is also pretty easy to drive with a microcontroller, and they have lots of microswitches and generally a small mains transformer for the microcontroller circuitry. The magnets from the magnetron make nice fridge magnets, or toys. Unfortunately they are horrible to dismantle, ick-factor wise, generally hosting the cockroach nest that killed them in the first place and all kinds of greasy nastiness from the food they once cooked.

25th May 2008 07:05

marxy wrote...

Good to see you have fire extinguisher standing by.

I see two microwave ovens there, is one for cooking and the other for experimenting?

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