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Miscenallenous glowing things
This is Page 1 of the Miscellaneous Glowing Things section; go
here for Page 2.

FOX TRAX HOCKEY PUCK "GUTS"
Received on 06-06-04, posted to this page on 06-08-04.
In early June 2004, I was offered the internal circuitry to the Fox Trax hockey puck by a Candlepower Forums member. This consists of a double-sided printed circuit board with 20 infrared or near-infrared LEDs on it. It is turned on by a motion-sensitive switch that is activated when the Fox Trax-equipped puck is struck by a hockey stick.


The side of the Fox Trax circuit where the battery/batteries would go.


The opposite side of the Fox Trax circuit.
That long brass rod near the center of the circuit is the motion-sensitive switch.

I am not able to activate this circuit, so I have no pictures showing it in action.



GLOW-IN-THE-DARK (GITD) FABRIC
Received & tested on 05-06-04.
This is a sample of Swedish glow fabric, originally found in the Sportsman's Guide catalogue. The sample was sent to me by a Candlepower Forums member for the purpose of evaluation and inclusion on this website. Since it's 2:03pm PDT now, I'll have to wait until it gets dark (around 9:00pm PDT) before I can *really* try it.


Here's a picture of the sample in the daylight.
It's rectangular, 9" long by 4" wide.

I don't know the chemistry of the GITD material; it's priced like zinc sulfide, but it has glowing properties like the more expensive strontium aluminate.

According to a user of this material, his sheet of glow fabric was charged under a bedside lamp for 15 minutes, and it still had a noticeable glow 7 hours 30 minutes later when the glow material was checked on.


And here's a picture of the sample doing what it does best: glowing in the dark.
This photograph was taken shortly after exposing the sample to 395nm NUV radiation.



Tritium glow sticks, availability in the United States is limited.
SELF-LUMINOUS GLOW LIGHTS
Received 01-21-04, tested on 05-02-04.
I purchased this glow stick from a member of Candlepower Forums back in January 2004; I don't know what took me so long to get it on this website. But it's up here now, so here ya go.

It is a 3" long glow vial, sealed inside a clear acrylic tube.

What they are is a vial filled with tritium gas and coated on the inside with a phosphor, not unlike the kind used for fluorescent light bulbs. When the radioactive tritium decays into a more stable element, it releases a beta particle (an electron). This electron smacks into the phosphor, and causes it to emit a tiny flash of light. Put enough of this stuff in one tube, and the glow will look continuous. This device does not need to be "charged" with light first; it provides its own glow.

Tritium is an isotope of hydrogen, in that instead of one proton and one electron (a normal hydrogen atom), tritium is hydrogen with two extra neutrons. When this nucleus decays, it emits an electron, and the atom changes into helium 3. This isotope of helium is naturally occuring and stable, but there is very little of this isotope actually found in nature. The kind of helium in balloons is helium 4 - the other stable isotope. That's what most helium is.

Tritium is what's known as a "soft beta emitter", and the electron (beta particle) it emits is the lowest energy of any radioactive material. Even if the vial becomes broken, the gas cannot penetrate the skin, and what small amount you might inhale is not absorbed in bone marrow, and is instead pissed out relatively quickly. So these devices are safe.


Picture of the glow stick in my computer monitor's light, with a predominantly white CPF screen illuminating it.


Picture of the glow stick glowing.
It isn't super bright, but it is visible.



Electroluminescent (EL) Wire "Diameter Sampler"
In early March 2004, a fan of the website sent me this as a "thank you" for all the information he's obtained here, so it's only fair that I have this device on my website now.


It consists of a small plastic box that holds two AA cells and an inverter circuit, and three different sizes of EL wire. The battery/control box has a switch to select "on", "off", and "bl." ("blink"). When the switch is set to "on", all three strands of EL wire come on, and emit a greenish-blue (aqua) light. When the switch is set to "bl.", all three strands of EL wire blink simultaneously at about 8-10Hz, and everyone knows what "off" does. :-)

The control box has a built-in clip, so you can attach it to belts, pants wastebands, pockets, or whatever. When clipped to a belt or something, the power wire comes out the top of the control box, and the switch is on the side facing the rear, if clipped to your right side.


The glowing portion of the wire is 6 1/2" (14cm) long in this sampler, and the wire diameters are approximately 3/16" (5mm), 1/8" (3 1/2mm), and just over 1/16" (2 1/2mm). I used a plastic ruler for these measurements; I don't own or have access to a set of calipers - that's why I said these measurements were approximate.

The ends of the wires are capped off with what I believe is a silicone RTV compound, and the portion of the power wire connecting to the EL wires is filled with the same sealant, so moisture problems common to all EL products (they can delaminate and quit working properly) should not be a problem with this device.

Current consumption is 133mA on two AA cells (3 volts DC).
This measurement was taken in steady-on mode.
The cost is $15 from elwire.com if you want one.
You can also go to http://www.elwirecheap.com/inligupprod.html to get one.



Electroluminescent (EL) Wire "Color Sampler"
In late March 2004, the same fan of the website sent me this as another "thank you" for all the information he's obtained here, so it's only fair that I have this device on my website now, along with the aqua "size sampler" you see directly above.

This is the 9-color EL wire sampler, from the same supplier as the size sampler above.
The box, switch arrangement, and battery type is the same.


This photograph shows all nine wires glowing.


And this photograph depicts a close-up of the EL wires, showing the different colors.

The wires in this EL sampler are 2.3mm in diameter (according to the website), and 10" (approx. 25cm) long.
I measured 150mA current usage in the steady-on mode.

The ends of the wires in this sampler are not capped off, so I'd better not try to drown them in the toilet because I might be successful. There is an epoxy-like material where the EL wires connect with the HV cord on the power pack. And I did not get zapped on the exposed ends of the wires, like I expected to. So either the electricity is blocked with an adhesive I cannot see, or the voltage is too low to feel. But I won't immerse the wire ends in water, if that's what you wanted me to do. :-P

My thanks go to S.C. of Reno NV. USA for these devices.



The Luminator
A fan of the website sent me this unusual glow-in-the-dark (GITD) device in early December 2003.


It is a soft plastic device with a glow-in-the-dark material (probably strontium aluminate) impregnated in it. And it's exactly 7" long.

The plastic bag it came in reads:

Cold Light By Bruce
10 "The Luminator"
Lime Light afterglow



This picture shows the device glowing. The glow is bright, but not quite as bright as this picture makes it appear.

These GITD devices along with at least several others are available from Cold Light By Bruce. They're said to glow for 30 hours; we'll see about that. :-)



Fluorescent Glow Starter from Scotland
A Candlepower Forums member who goes by Zelandeth sent me two of these unusual little glow lamps with an argon gas fill over the summer (2003). They are probably argon fluorescent glow starters, designed to go in a small metal can, and placed in the circuit where the ballast and fluorescent tube filaments go in series with it.


When a fluorescent light with this type of starter is turned on, the argon gas glows a purplish color, and the two bimetal electrodes get hot and contact one another. This works like a switch, connecting the fluorescent tube's filaments and the ballast to line voltage. The filaments heat up. Since the starter contacts are together like switch contacts, they cool off and soon seperate. Hopefully, the inductive kick from the ballast kicks the fluorescent tube into coming on when the glow starter breaks its circuit. If so, the voltage drop across the fluorescent tube is more than what the starter needs to fire up, so it no longer glows once the fluorescent light is on. Otherwise, it might flicker a few times (the starter engaging and disengaging) before staying on.



Traser "Glow Rings", availability in the United States is limited.
SELF-LUMINOUS GLOW LIGHTS
tritium
A couple of years ago, I saw these self-luminous "glow rings" selling on ebay. I bid on the only blue one I saw listed, and won it for just under $40.00 including postage. Turns out, these things *should* sell for anywhere from $8 to $12 each, NOT $40.

What they are is a tiny tube or vial filled with tritium gas and coated on the inside with a phosphor, not unlike the kind used for fluorescent light bulbs. When the radioactive tritium decays into a more stable element, it releases a beta particle (an electron). This electron smacks into the phosphor, and causes it to emit a tiny flash of light. Put enough of this stuff in one tube, and the glow will look continuous.

Tritium is an isotope of hydrogen, in that instead of one proton and one electron (a normal hydrogen atom), tritium is hydrogen with two extra neutrons. When this nucleus decays, it emits an electron, and the atom changes into helium 3. This isotope of helium is naturally occuring and stable, but there is very little of this isotope actually found in nature. The kind of helium in balloons is helium 4 - the other stable isotope. That's what most helium is.

Tritium is what's known as a "soft beta emitter", and the electron (beta particle) it emits is the lowest energy of any radioactive material. Even if the vial becomes broken, the gas cannot penetrate the skin, and what small amount you might inhale is not absorbed in bone marrow, and is instead pissed out relatively quickly. So these devices are safe.

tritium

The devices pictured here are in the form of small keyrings. The glow is not bright, but once you've become dark adapted even for a brief time, they can be seen from across a room with no difficulty.

In mid-June 2003, I was sent a "pink" Glowring by a website fan. The device actually glows a pale, slightly pinkish purple color, not the hot pink or magenta color shown on the pink Glowring web page.

pink tritium glowring

Here's a picture I tried to take.
The new "pink" Glowring is at the bottom - there's actually less red in it than there appears to be. Same with the yellow one in the middle - too much red in the picture. And all three are a little paler in real life than this picture shows.

The "pink" one is actually a very pretty color though; you should not be ashamed to hang it from your keychain or from a flashlight and let the world know you've got one.

And if you're afraid of the dark and don't have an outlet near your bed for a nightlight, hang a few of these babies on the wall, put them on your night table, or put them on your headboard. They don't need any electricity or batteries, don't need to be "charged" with a bright light, and should last for many years before you need to throw them in the garbage.



These are the newest creations from Traser UK (early September 2003). I received them from a website fan today (09-08-03) so here they are for your perusal. The small disc-shaped things on the left are Glow Discs, and the pink and green devices on the right are Glow Ring X2s.


This picture shows the devices glowing. The glow from the Glow Rings isn't BRIGHT, but you can see it in a dark room approximately 20 feet away. I haven't tested the Glow Discs yet, but they do use a significantly smaller glowing capsule or vial than the Glow Rings use, so they may not be as effective at 20 feet as the Glow Rings are.

There appears to be an adhesive disk on the back of the Glow Discs, covered with a thin plastic material. If you peel this layer off, you can stick the Glow Disk whever you wish - within reason of course. You probably don't want to stick one on a popcorn ceiling or on the inside of a toilet bowl. :-/

The new Glow Ring X2 encloses its glass tritium vial within a colored plastic tube (the color matches the glow), and there are aluminum caps at each end. One of the caps is longer and has a hole in its end along with a steel split ring so you can hook it up to your keys or hang it from something with minimal effort.

(EDIT 10-29-03) I just discovered that my pink Glow Ring X2 has a busted tube, so it doesn't glow very brightly anymore. I don't know when it broke, so who knows when the tritium gas got out and floated away (or got breathed in and then pissed out). It's attached to a pink Mini-Mag, and it's fallen two or three times from approximately knee-height right near my computer station. So one of those falls must have done it in. :-(

IMPORTANT!!! Glow Rings are considered illegal in North America because they contain too much tritium. I don't think the NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) will bust down your door if you have them, but they could be difficult to obtain.

I received an email today (12-16-03) about this, and here's an excerpt from it:

I love your web site, but I do have one comment. It has to do with the page about "Traser Glow Rings". One thing to be aware of is the raw sources are not easy to obtain here. There are sources, but many are imported ILLEGALLY into the United States. If you get caught selling them, it is big trouble and jail. NOT that I am saying you did anything wrong, so do not misunderstand. However, illegally importing radioactive materials into the United States will get you a long time in jail.

Please email (who provided this info) if you need more information.






WHITE 5500-6500K InGaN+phosphor 
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TURQUOISE 495-505nm InGaN
GREEN 525nm InGaN 
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