Category Archives: Technology

Trouble shooting that problematic window neon sign

neon-blog-post

So, your neon sign doesn’t appear to be broken, but has started flickering or just won’t come on at all. Don’t panic… try these steps first.

If the sign illuminates but a tube FLICKERs:

Pull the “on/off” pull-chain (on the power supply) …pull quickly on and off two or three times ending with it off …then wait for 1 minute. Turn it on again and the problem should go away within a few minutes (if this fix is going to work at all). Repeat this ON/OFF procedure a couple of times if needed. If it is a new sign and it still flickers after trying this “fix”, then leave the sign ON for approximately one week (24 hours a day). Sometimes it takes time for the internal gases to settle.  Also, it may require up to 48 hours to achieve full brightness from the first time a new sign turned on.

If the sign turns on for only a few seconds then turns off:

The neon glass probably has a small hairline crack somewhere which has lets the neon gas out. The sign will need to be repaired by a neon tube bender.

If the sign has DIM letters within a few days of getting the new sign:

The sign needs a little bit more time to light up. Turn the sign on for 24 hours/day and keep it lit at least a week. This should fix the problem.

If the sign will not come on at all, not even for a split second:

Try to plug it into at a different wall outlet that you know is working. If it still doesn’t light up at all, it may be the power adaptor/transformer.
The adaptor/transformer from most manufacturers is warrantied for 1 year, so contact them for a replacement or to purchase a new transformer is it is out of warranty.

If a one year old sign has DIM areas:

Take the sign down, plug it in and turn it on. Hold the sign up over your head facing you. Be very carful not to touch the neon glass as it breaks very easily. Locate the very tiny mercury balls inside of the glass tubing. After you see them, tilt your sign so the tiny balls move to the area of the tubing that is not lighting up. After redistributing the mercury balls, leave the sign on for 20 minutes. If this was the issue, then it will regain its full brightness in the dim areas. If it is older than a few years, it may also need to be re-pumped with neon gas.

Tom Dalton

I first started making signs back in the early 90's. On January first 2000 I started Signs Direct as an online company specializing in making sign purchases easy and economical. Signs Direct, Inc. specializes in traffic and parking signs, customized neon signs, sign holders and sign stands, as well as banners and sign making materials.

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Substrate Cutters Save Time & Money for Sign Shops

Substrate Cutter

Paintings have a canvas. Signs have a substrate. Top-notch sign shops need to be able to safely and efficiently cut through the substrate to cut their signs down to size. To make professional-looking signs, the substrate needs to be cut straight with perfect 90-degree angles. A substrate cutter is the right tool for this job. Substrate cutters also improve efficiency for sign shops by cutting time and saving material lost to bad cuts. Before examining the substrate cutter, take a look at this brief definition of substrates.

What is substrate

A substrate, in terms of printing and sign making, is the base on which graphics are printed. For signs, substrate materials might consist of corrugated plastic, foam board, aluminum sheets and aluminum composites. In general, the thickness of these substrates is limited by the ability of available tools to cut through them.

When it comes to thicknesses, the Fletcher Substrate Cutter can handle aluminum sheeting up to .063″ in thickness with the correct cutting head attached. For this particular substrate cutter, there are heads with blades that can also cut aluminum composites up to 4 mm thick. When it comes to foam board and corrugated plastic, 13 mm is the practical limit for the thickness of those materials, and the Fletcher Substrate Cutter has a specific head for those jobs.

What is a substrate cutter

When creating a sign, the straightness of the edges is important. Quality substrate cutters like the Fletcher will include features like laser sites for setting up the edge along the cutting arm. A substrate cutter resembles an easel, with a beam running vertically along which the blade runs and a beam running horizontal where the substrate sits. Substrates get clamped into the cutter, which prevents movements during cutting. Vertical sliding bladehead make cutting at perfect angles easy. Unlike a panel saw, a good substrate cutters, such as the Fletcher Substrate Cutter, can also cut through a substrate without leaving any debris behind.

For the different substrate materials, there are different interchangeable heads that go on the vertical beam. Cutting metal substrates requires a specific metal-cutting head, while a job cutting foam board and corrugated plastic would require a Fletcher head with a utility knife blade.

How do substrate cutters save time and money

With a substrate cutter, sign shops can be prepared for most any job. Rather than hunting for tools, and figuring out how to cut a substrate, a substrate cutter makes every job easy to set up and complete. This sort of efficiency saves time and money and therefore the equipment quickly pays for itself.

No sense in making measurements and drawing lines, only to hope everything goes OK. After discovering the efficiency a Fletcher brings to your shop, it will quickly become an indispensable tool in your shop. The Fletcher Substrate Cutter can be mounted to the wall, or left free standing. They not only cut down on waste by all but eliminating mistakes, they also provide a much safer method of cutting sign materials.  As a tool specifically designed for the job of cutting substrates, it does so in a way that pretty much makes it impossible for you to cut yourself while cutting substrate. Substrate cutters are simply the fastest, easiest and safest way to cut

How will a substrate cutter enhance your reputation for quality signs?

What better way for a sign shop to build a stronger reputation than by creating signs with perfect edges? There’s something to be said for using the right tool for the job, and when it comes to making signs, a substrate cutter is an essential tool. With a substrate cutter, the margin of error is greatly reduced. A professional sign shop needs professional tools, and a substrate cutter ensures that a professional job gets done every time.

Tom Dalton

I first started making signs back in the early 90's. On January first 2000 I started Signs Direct as an online company specializing in making sign purchases easy and economical. Signs Direct, Inc. specializes in traffic and parking signs, customized neon signs, sign holders and sign stands, as well as banners and sign making materials.

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Roland Compatible 440ml Ink Cartridges Are Now Available!

Roland 440ml Ink Cartridges

Introducing TruColor brand “Environmental Inks”.

truecolor-splash

Trucolor uses, what is termed, “virgin” OE tanks (OE product that has never been refilled). All tanks are inspected, cleaned, checked for electronic/chip reporting integrity and tested before they go out the door. Ink colors are typed and matched precisely to OE profiles so they perform as expected. Trucolor inks are made in the USA.

TruColor Wide Format Series inks for Roland printers are 100% chemically compatible with OEM inks and require no flushing or reprofiling. Their proprietary formulas deliver exceptionally bright and vivid colors because of a wider color gamut and higher ink density. Their inks have excellent adhesion, superior scratch resistance and quick drying times …and all at a significant cost savings compared to OEM.

Tom Dalton

I first started making signs back in the early 90's. On January first 2000 I started Signs Direct as an online company specializing in making sign purchases easy and economical. Signs Direct, Inc. specializes in traffic and parking signs, customized neon signs, sign holders and sign stands, as well as banners and sign making materials.

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$88 for a Bench-Top Press Grommet Machine!

Press Grommet Machine

We’ve added a new item and we feel like it is quite a bargain. This is a manual grommet press. The operation is entirely by hand, the quality of work is equal to that done by large automatic machines. When setting our #2 brass grommets with this grommet press; it pierces the material and sets the grommet in a single action without the need for a pre-punched hole.  You can see this item on our website by going to: http://www.signsdirect.com/Home/Grommet-Machines/

grommet-machine

Tom Dalton

I first started making signs back in the early 90's. On January first 2000 I started Signs Direct as an online company specializing in making sign purchases easy and economical. Signs Direct, Inc. specializes in traffic and parking signs, customized neon signs, sign holders and sign stands, as well as banners and sign making materials.

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The Signicade Deluxe is Now Available

portable sign stand

signicade-deluxeThe “Signicade Deluxe” is finally here. It is destine to be around for a long time. It has the same great features of “The Original Signicade” (like the ability to add sand or water internally for added stability in heavy winds), but it adds a new feature that many will find attractive.

You can now drop your sing panel into it’s “slots” and have your sign panel displayed securely without the use of any screws or Velcro or any other type of fasteners (*sign panel not included).

Your sign needs to be constructed on a ridged panel like 4mm corrugated plastic or any other ridged sign material that is 4mm thick (or thinner). You could use something like .060 aluminum with your Signicade Deluxe, but why? ….corraplast is so much cheaper.

We now have the Signicade Deluxe in stock in both black and white. Enjoy!

Oh, we have the Signicade Deluxe available online at THIS WEB PAGE

Tom Dalton

I first started making signs back in the early 90's. On January first 2000 I started Signs Direct as an online company specializing in making sign purchases easy and economical. Signs Direct, Inc. specializes in traffic and parking signs, customized neon signs, sign holders and sign stands, as well as banners and sign making materials.

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Signs Direct, Inc.

traffic signs/ buying signs online

Signs Direct, Inc. specializes in signs such as traffic and parking, customized neon signs, sign holders and stands, as well as banners and sign substrates.

Links of interest may include…

DOT & Sign Regulations
The Department of Transportation DOTThe Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD)
DOT – Standard Highway Signs
Richard C, Moeur’s Web Page Pertaining to Traffic Sign Regulations

Miscellaneous
3M Reflective Sheeting Specifications

We also sell Traffic Road Signs, Political Posters, neon, Window signs, plasticade, posts, sidewalk sign stands, Private Property Signs, Handicapped parking, Reserved signs, Parking, Metal signs, LED, ADA, Exit, Plastic Signs, stop, yield, sidewalk swinger and sidewalk springer stands.

Tom Dalton

I first started making signs back in the early 90's. On January first 2000 I started Signs Direct as an online company specializing in making sign purchases easy and economical. Signs Direct, Inc. specializes in traffic and parking signs, customized neon signs, sign holders and sign stands, as well as banners and sign making materials.

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