Hard drive activity with 12V neon

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by Chris Fonville, Jun 1, 2004.

  1. I have a neon light (12V) that I would like to blink with hard drive
    activity. I know I can't power it from the the HDD activity connectors on
    the motherboard, so how can I accomplish what I am wanting to do? Would I
    need to use a relay or transistor or something else? Should I be able to
    pick it up at my local Radioshack? Thanks in advance,
    Chris
    Chris Fonville, Jun 1, 2004
    #1
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  2. Chris Fonville

    Robert Baer Guest

    Chris Fonville wrote:
    >
    > I have a neon light (12V) that I would like to blink with hard drive
    > activity. I know I can't power it from the the HDD activity connectors on
    > the motherboard, so how can I accomplish what I am wanting to do? Would I
    > need to use a relay or transistor or something else? Should I be able to
    > pick it up at my local Radioshack? Thanks in advance,
    > Chris


    Neon light bulbs *cannot* work at 12V; the first useable ionization
    potential of neon is about 65V (this is from memory; you are welcome to
    look the value up in a Chem Rubber Handbook).
    One could use the signal that normally drives the HD activity light,
    which is normally a 5V logic level driving an LED.
    Use a 10K resistor to drive the base of a high voltage (say 200V or
    better rating) NPN; emitter to ground.
    Use a 100K to 200K resistor in series with the neon bulb, to a 150V
    supply.
    This way, the 90V initial berakdown voltage is available, and the
    current thru the neon is limited to prevent overheating and/or burnout.
    How you get that 150V is another story.
    Robert Baer, Jun 2, 2004
    #2
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  3. Chris Fonville

    Wizard Guest

    I'm sure he meant LED ....

    Robert Baer wrote:
    >
    > Chris Fonville wrote:
    > >
    > > I have a neon light (12V) that I would like to blink with hard drive
    > > activity. I know I can't power it from the the HDD activity connectors on
    > > the motherboard, so how can I accomplish what I am wanting to do? Would I
    > > need to use a relay or transistor or something else? Should I be able to
    > > pick it up at my local Radioshack? Thanks in advance,
    > > Chris

    >
    > Neon light bulbs *cannot* work at 12V; the first useable ionization
    > potential of neon is about 65V (this is from memory; you are welcome to
    > look the value up in a Chem Rubber Handbook).
    > One could use the signal that normally drives the HD activity light,
    > which is normally a 5V logic level driving an LED.
    > Use a 10K resistor to drive the base of a high voltage (say 200V or
    > better rating) NPN; emitter to ground.
    > Use a 100K to 200K resistor in series with the neon bulb, to a 150V
    > supply.
    > This way, the 90V initial berakdown voltage is available, and the
    > current thru the neon is limited to prevent overheating and/or burnout.
    > How you get that 150V is another story.
    Wizard, Jun 2, 2004
    #3
  4. I should have been more specific, this is a neon speaker ring used to go
    around subwoofers in a car. It is powered from the 12V cigarette lighter.
    Unless it draws too many amps along side my other components, I should be
    able to use the yellow/black 12V lines on peripheral molex connectors (CD,
    hard drive, etc.) to wire the switch to the computer. The switch has Off,
    On, and Beat modes (Beat meaning it turns off and on with the music). So it
    seems like if it can turn off and on very fast I should be able to create an
    interesting effect cutting them off/on with hard drive activity. I am
    getting the feedback that I shouldn't use a mechanical relay, but either a
    solid-state relay, a transistor, or an optoisolator. I just need to find
    the voltage the motherboard puts out on the HDD activity headers and then
    where to buy the switch that I need. Thanks,
    Chris

    "Robert Baer" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Chris Fonville wrote:
    > >
    > > I have a neon light (12V) that I would like to blink with hard drive
    > > activity. I know I can't power it from the the HDD activity connectors

    on
    > > the motherboard, so how can I accomplish what I am wanting to do? Would

    I
    > > need to use a relay or transistor or something else? Should I be able

    to
    > > pick it up at my local Radioshack? Thanks in advance,
    > > Chris

    >
    > Neon light bulbs *cannot* work at 12V; the first useable ionization
    > potential of neon is about 65V (this is from memory; you are welcome to
    > look the value up in a Chem Rubber Handbook).
    > One could use the signal that normally drives the HD activity light,
    > which is normally a 5V logic level driving an LED.
    > Use a 10K resistor to drive the base of a high voltage (say 200V or
    > better rating) NPN; emitter to ground.
    > Use a 100K to 200K resistor in series with the neon bulb, to a 150V
    > supply.
    > This way, the 90V initial berakdown voltage is available, and the
    > current thru the neon is limited to prevent overheating and/or burnout.
    > How you get that 150V is another story.
    Chris Fonville, Jun 2, 2004
    #4
  5. Chris Fonville

    Thor Guest

    "Robert Baer" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Chris Fonville wrote:
    > >
    > > I have a neon light (12V) that I would like to blink with hard drive
    > > activity. I know I can't power it from the the HDD activity connectors

    on
    > > the motherboard, so how can I accomplish what I am wanting to do? Would

    I
    > > need to use a relay or transistor or something else? Should I be able

    to
    > > pick it up at my local Radioshack? Thanks in advance,
    > > Chris

    >
    > Neon light bulbs *cannot* work at 12V; the first useable ionization
    > potential of neon is about 65V (this is from memory; you are welcome to
    > look the value up in a Chem Rubber Handbook).
    > One could use the signal that normally drives the HD activity light,
    > which is normally a 5V logic level driving an LED.
    > Use a 10K resistor to drive the base of a high voltage (say 200V or
    > better rating) NPN; emitter to ground.
    > Use a 100K to 200K resistor in series with the neon bulb, to a 150V
    > supply.
    > This way, the 90V initial berakdown voltage is available, and the
    > current thru the neon is limited to prevent overheating and/or burnout.
    > How you get that 150V is another story.


    The cold cathode tube kits that they sell for PC cases run from the 12V
    power supply source. They can also be sound activated. If one knew the
    triggering circuitry and how to make the necessary modifications, it isn't
    too much of a stretch to use the HDD LED source as a trigger.
    Thor, Jun 2, 2004
    #5
  6. Chris Fonville

    Robert Baer Guest

    Chris Fonville wrote:
    >
    > I should have been more specific, this is a neon speaker ring used to go
    > around subwoofers in a car. It is powered from the 12V cigarette lighter.
    > Unless it draws too many amps along side my other components, I should be
    > able to use the yellow/black 12V lines on peripheral molex connectors (CD,
    > hard drive, etc.) to wire the switch to the computer. The switch has Off,
    > On, and Beat modes (Beat meaning it turns off and on with the music). So it
    > seems like if it can turn off and on very fast I should be able to create an
    > interesting effect cutting them off/on with hard drive activity. I am
    > getting the feedback that I shouldn't use a mechanical relay, but either a
    > solid-state relay, a transistor, or an optoisolator. I just need to find
    > the voltage the motherboard puts out on the HDD activity headers and then
    > where to buy the switch that I need. Thanks,
    > Chris
    >
    > "Robert Baer" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    > > Chris Fonville wrote:
    > > >
    > > > I have a neon light (12V) that I would like to blink with hard drive
    > > > activity. I know I can't power it from the the HDD activity connectors

    > on
    > > > the motherboard, so how can I accomplish what I am wanting to do? Would

    > I
    > > > need to use a relay or transistor or something else? Should I be able

    > to
    > > > pick it up at my local Radioshack? Thanks in advance,
    > > > Chris

    > >
    > > Neon light bulbs *cannot* work at 12V; the first useable ionization
    > > potential of neon is about 65V (this is from memory; you are welcome to
    > > look the value up in a Chem Rubber Handbook).
    > > One could use the signal that normally drives the HD activity light,
    > > which is normally a 5V logic level driving an LED.
    > > Use a 10K resistor to drive the base of a high voltage (say 200V or
    > > better rating) NPN; emitter to ground.
    > > Use a 100K to 200K resistor in series with the neon bulb, to a 150V
    > > supply.
    > > This way, the 90V initial berakdown voltage is available, and the
    > > current thru the neon is limited to prevent overheating and/or burnout.
    > > How you get that 150V is another story.


    Ahhh....
    The mud settles in the pond.
    The high voltage *is* available, and furthermore is independently
    powered (in this case the car battery).
    Unfortunately, you did not make it clear as to why a mechanical relay
    could not be used.
    I would guess that the supply for that light draws about one amp, and
    maybe less.
    If you desire a solid state solution, i would suggest the use of a
    DMOS FET, because it is on and can easily be turned off. Choose one with
    a low R(on) at one amp at a Vgs of zero volts.
    The source is connected to the load and the drain to the battery.
    Make sure that a resistor is permanently connected between the gate
    and the source for static protection.
    While even 10 megs would do the job, there is nothing wrong to use a
    value as low as 10K.
    The gate then could connect with HDD light logic level; every time the
    HDD light goes on, then the license plate neon would go on.
    Robert Baer, Jun 3, 2004
    #6
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