Modifying RELCO fluorescent light starter to create neon calibration light for spectrometry part I (RECLO SC 480 S53993)

Please note this project uses potentially dangerous/life threatening 240V mains electricity supply – please ensure you are qualified to work with this or ask someone with such qualifications to do this work for you.

The following is a description of what I did rather than a recommendation for how this should be done.

My modifications required  began with my removing the neon bulb from its RELCO flourescent light starter casing and attaching 2 x 47 Kiloohm resistors in parallel to one limb of the neon bulb. The bulb is then simply connecting to 240V supply. Once I confirmed this worked, I connected a delay switch unit – this automatically switches the light off after 20 mins to preserve the life of the bulb as the neon bulbs in these starters have a life expectancy of only 90 hours each.

The delay switch unit is the box with printed circuit in the last photo – I did not make this but bought it off eBay.

All worked!

I now need to mount the bulb in a housing so it can be safely used outside for calibrating my spectrometers at the telescope.

The photos below refer to the above process.

There is a follow up post available to the above which describes the completion of this project:

Modifying RELCO fluorescent starter to male homemade neon spectrometer calibration light part II

And the following one shows the first calibration spectra taken with the new calibration light:

First calibration spectra from RELCO neon starter bulb (RECLO SC 480 S53993) taken with Science Surplus DIY Spectrometer 9/9/2018


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