In this tutorial you will learn how to assemble and operate a battery operated cathode. Created and presented by light painting artist Dana Maltby, a.k.a. TCB, a.k.a. Twin Cities Brightest…enjoy
To make this work you will need a
soldering iron approx $4 or so
some electrical tape or duct tape
8 AA batteries (dollar store? =)
switch (radioshack or electronics store) $2
battery holder for 8 AA’s $4
I got my Cold Cathodes from this website, cheapest around, but shipping was as much as the lights =(
But some cathode KITS are as low as $1.99!
OK, make sure you buy a “KIT”. The kit comes with an “inverter” which is the blue box. It converts the power from what your wall socket has, to another kind that can run off batteries. Shouldn’t really cost much more, but you need the KIT.
I like the brand LOGISYS, it’s cheap (or should be, otherwise look for a better store), they have lots of different kinds, and it’s easy manipulate. Plus the inverter allows two cathode lights to be installed into one inverter box. (see the bottom of the box in the photo, that’s two holders, but you can still just plug one in as well.)
Save the foam crap they give you, or don’t. I havn’t used it yet. This is what it looks like unwrapped. (some kits include only one light, the dual sets aren’t much more though). I guess i get the dual sets in case i break a light swinging it around or something.
Get a feel for what you got, (it can seem overwhelming, but take it one step at a time.)
Once you see that the light plugs into one side of the inverter (the box), you see that the wire part plugs into the other side. You only need the RED and BLACK that come directly out of the box. I cut them with as much wire as i can get, about 12 inches. (It’s just better and easier to work with extra till you know what your doing)
Don’t be scared! Cut the wires and save the rest. Or don’t but they gave you all this shit you don’t need so start a wire/soldering equipment box at your house.
The battery holder with a connector thing. I think some holders have wires already attached to them. The point is you need wires coming off of the holder for 8 AA’s.
I just went RED to RED, with the switch on the RED side. Just twist and solder the blacks together, no switch needed on that side. There should be two prongs on the switch or remember when you are buying the switch that it should look like you can stick wires into TWO different prongs, whatever they look like.
Disconnected it to solder the wires together. It’s only 3 points to solder, two on the switch, and one to attach the two blacks to one another directly.
Put the batteries into the holder and hold your breath!
Booooooya, it works. Attach it to your favorite stick or whatever and you are ready to rip up the night sky.
You are so hyped that you made this thing work, i know you have to peep it immediately!
With the LOGISYS brand, you can plug in two different lights into one inverter box. I think using this brand exclusively for now is a good idea for me. That way everything is interchangable, and theoretically, if anything breaks i can just plug a new one in and be good to go.
the blue is this, 4$ (came with two lights)
the yellow was more, but i just had to have a yellow $8
Now Were Cookin’
1/4 inch tubing inside the tube, outside the cathode, so it doesn’t rattle around and break.
Cold Cathode Circuit