Neonetics How to fix dull tubes in a Neon Sign (Mercury Migration) WITH CLOSED CAPTIONING SUBTITLES

We’re going to show you how to fix dull tubes in a neon sign This can be accomplished by re-vaporizing the mercury droplets back into the argon gas inside the tube What we want to do is make the sign uniformly bright The gas goes all the way through the tubes, and we want the gas to be evenly distributed You can see up close the dull tubes and the bright tubes. We’re going to start by finding the tiny mercury droplet in the outer tubes Once we locate it, we’ll move the droplet all the way into the end of the tube, also known as the electrode By lifting up the sign, the mercury droplet falls to the bottom, where we can easily see it If you look closely, you can see a tiny black speck The black spec is a little droplet of mercury that rolls around, because it is a liquid By rotating the sign we roll the little droplet through the tube to move it to the duller end Now you can see the ball has moved to the dull end, and we will drop or shake it into the electrode Once it enters the electrode it vaporizes and the tube becomes bright Now we’ll do another one in the bowtie tube The mercury droplet is in the bright part of the tube, and we need to move it to the dull side of the tube We’ll roll it all the way through the tube by moving the sign around We can see it moving through the tube as we rotate the sign Now you can see the droplet has moved to the other side of the tube and when we tip the sign to the right and put the droplet into the electrode it will vaporize and become bright The left side is now just as bright as the right You can see that the outer circle tubes and the bowtie tube are all uniformly bright Now we’ll find the droplet in the word “service” so we can make the “se” bright again We hold the sign up so the droplets fall to the bottom, and we can see the droplet in the letter “R” We need to rotate the sign in order to move the tiny droplet from the “R” back into the electrode at the beginning of the letter “S” It’s kind of like a carnival game getting the tiny droplet to roll around through the hand blown tubes Once it rolls back and forth through the “R”, then “E” and into the “S” we can drop it into the electrode The more bends in the tubes, the more rotating it requires Just continue to rotate the sign to move the droplet Now you can see that the droplet has made it into the “S”, and we will move it into the electrode to vaporize Now you can see “SER” is uniformly bright Next let’s work on the word “SUPER” We usually find the droplet in the BRIGHT end of the tube and rotate the sign to move it to the dull end of the tube We continue to rotate the sign to move the droplet from the bright end to the dull end It’s not hard to do, it just takes several rotations to get the droplet where you want it to be Keep moving the droplet along! Now you can see the droplet has been moved into the letter “S” and we’ll make it bright just like the “U” . . . . . . by putting the droplet all the way into the electrode at the end of the letter “S”. The second it hits the electrode it becomes uniformly bright! Keep rotating the sign to re-vaporize the mercury droplets It takes a lot of rotations to move the droplets through the intricately bent neon glass tubes We just made the “LET” brighter, and now we will work on the “CHE” More rotating . . . Still more rotating . . . Keep moving the droplet from the bright end to the dull end . . . The more bends there are in the tube, the more rotating it takes to move the droplet from one end to the other Keep looking at the sign to see the movement of the droplet The tubes of lettering have lots of bends, which require lots of rotating Almost there . . . Just a few more bends to move the droplet through . . . FINALLY you can see how the entire sign is now bright! All the letters are bright, and the whole sign is glowing evenly From one side of the sign to the other the brightness has evened out and is uniform Thanks for watching!!

Bernard Jenkins


  1. VERY INFORMATIVE!!!! I have been collecting neon signs for over 30 years and NEVER knew this!!!! THANKS !!! POST BY RICHIE

  2. I had a neon sign with a dim tube and rotated/shook it like a maniac for ten minutes; now it works perfectly, thank you

  3. All of Neonetics neon signs and clocks are available at americanikons.com, along with several thousand other really cool man cave items

  4. We loved this video but thought it could use new music, so we made a remix: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iftS6VaUtFE

  5. The annotations are not showing up. It'd be cool if you re-did the audio in this video, just redub over it with the explanation.

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