tranny hunting (fwd)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 14 Jan 1998 02:04:20 -0500
From: Rene Caldera <Rene-at-compuserve-dot-com>
To: Tesla List <Tesla-at-pupman-dot-com>
Subject: tranny hunting

Hey All,

What a day I had today looking for neon sign transformers.
After traveling over 100 miles and hitting over a half dozen sign shops I
finally hit it big just 3 miles from home.

First I made the mistake of BUYING a 12kv 60ma transformer for $20. It did
test good but I would regret it later.

Another stop revealed 2 free 15kv 30ma units. One had a bad side, the other
turned out bad. I also got a free tube of red neon and got to see, but not
touch, a 15kv 120MA unit!  It was HUGE!!!!

A few more stops revealed more 30ma units available but ranging in price
from $20 to $80.  Passed on them.

My last stop of the day was at 4:30 pm at a repair place that had given me
the "cold shoulder-don't bother us" deal over the fone. I lucked out and
the boss was away when I showed up. 
Some polite conversation and excuse for a "science project" got me 2-
12kv60ma units and 2- 9kv60ma units FOR FREE!!!  It turnes out they dump
all their wire-core items in a barrel and ship them back to Japan, go
figure? They also recycle their light bulbs, big industrial bulbs all over
the place. 
Of the four tranformers, only one of the 9kv units was low in output.
Shucks, but I get to go back for more later.
I felt bad about leaving the 30ma units behind but I wanted to get out of
there before the transformer police showed up.  

Now I see that general sign repair shops are the best bet for freebies.
Followed by general sign building shops.  Neon specific shops are very
tight with their transformers, but it's cool to go and see their

I also have a place that's holding 3 - 7.5kv 60ma units, 2 of them new in a
box. They're the type with the sockets for terminals. The guy said $25 each
if I would take all three. I'm going to pass on them but if anyone wants
them just let me know. They're in Los Angeles near County General Hospital.

BTW, that's my job. I get to go to all the county hospitals all over LA.
Great excuse for going transformer hunting after work.

Hope this little story inspires you to keep hunting.


Rene Caldera