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Plasma tube voltage

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Gluktar

New Member
Hey there

I took apart an old plasma tv with my son and was pleasantly surprised to learn how a plasma tv works. Glass tubes about 5mm in diameter, as long as the TV and spaced every 3cm. The question is, what voltage will light them up? Has anyone done anything interesting with them? Can the TV’s electronics be used to easily light them up?
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
Hey there

I took apart an old plasma tv with my son and was pleasantly surprised to learn how a plasma tv works. Glass tubes about 5mm in diameter, as long as the TV and spaced every 3cm. The question is, what voltage will light them up? Has anyone done anything interesting with them? Can the TV’s electronics be used to easily light them up?
That's not a Plasma screen, it's an LCD, and the tubes are CCFL - they need a specific high voltage that drops in a specified manner once the tube fires. Due to the safety circuits involved in the TV it's difficult to use the screens own inverter to power them, as the inverter is usually part of the screen, and no circuit is normally available.

So in general, not very useful items, and quite fragile once removed from the screen - also fairly dangerous, as you're talking kilo-volts to get them to strike.
 

Gluktar

New Member
So they are basically fancy skinny fluorescent light bulbs. I thought I was about to harness the power of “plasma”:).
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
So they are basically fancy skinny fluorescent light bulbs. I thought I was about to harness the power of “plasma”:).
Yes, skinny fluoresecent tubes, and as I said NOT a Plasma TV either - there's no tubes in a Plasma screen, they generate Plasma 'pulses' (small explosions), the energy from which is converted to light by phosphurs in the screen. The way Plasma works means that it's VERY limited, which was why you couldn't get Plasma TV's more than 100Hz or a high number of colours.
 
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