Frequently Asked Questions

If you have more questions, send us a message and we will answer you as soon as possible.
Please review this quick tip guide to answer common installation issues.

What is power factor and how am I affected?

First off, all Ventex Power supplies are high power factor. The power factor is basically how much input current is needed to power the unit and provide the necessary output current. Ventex’s high power factor means that they will draw at peak on a 9000-volt unit no more then 0.9 amps, compared to an outdated core and coil design which could pull up to 3 amps. This means long-term savings in energy consumption and more units on one circuit. Relative to the new LED fad we pull the same amount of power but give up to 50% more intensity.

What is meant by the term Over Loading?

Over loading is a condition where more neon tubing is placed on a power supply than is suggested. This overloading causes overheating and increased stress on the power supply, and therefore reduced life of the power supply. Ventex has incorporated overload protection to prevent all our power supplies from being damaged in this fashion and therefore increasing the life of the unit.

Can Ventex units be flashed?

Yes, our units can be flashed with an external controller. Ventex prefers that if you are going to flash the units that it be an electronic flasher instead of mechanical. Suggested Source: Design Specialties, 14524 Latrobe Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80921. Telephone (719) 488-3036 www.chaselights.com.

What is Phase Detection?

Phase detection is a technological breakthrough by Ventex that compares load current to capacitive current and differentiates between the two. This provides full GFI protection yet eliminating most false tripping.

What is Soft Start?

Soft Start is a Ventex developed and patented technology to slow the “rate of rise” during the startup strike voltage. Soft Start eliminates most of the trip-off on startup problems.

What is Variable Frequency?

Variable frequency is another exclusive Ventex feature. Our units are designed to adjust themselves to hold a constant 30mA current regardless of length of glass or input voltage, thus making all glass powered by Ventex power supplies the same brightness. This is very important for self-contained channel letters.

Is GFI required under UL 2161?

All units, regardless of voltage must be UL2161 Listed after Sept 2000 and so marked on the nameplate. Units over 6000 volts must have ground fault protection in order to be UL2161 Listed.

What is capacitance coupling and how do I avoid it?

Capacitance coupling is a “power thief” to your sign; it robs power from the power supply and the neon itself thus leaving a dim sign or a tripping problem. There are easy to steps eliminating capacitance. (**)Please note: Capacitance coupling is a result of the ” Magnetic Field” around the glass and GTO leads. Sleeving or other insulation will not reduce this magnetic field, only distance.(**) See Application Guide

What if I hook power up to the power supply and all I get is 1-3 flashes?

This means that you have met one of the criteria for the protection circuit to operate. Meeting one of four-fault conditions activates the protection circuit: over load, open, short, or ground fault. If the unit flashes, check for fault conditions; it is not a defective power supply.(**) See Application Guide

Why is my sign dimming in the middle?

Ventex power supplies put out a constant 30mA for consistent brightness. If you are experiencing dimming, that means that power is being lost due to excess capacitance coupling. Capacitance coupling causes dimming. Check your GTO wires and neon tube configuration to make sure that they are not touching or running close to a metal surface or the GTO leads are not run through metallic conduit. Refer to # 11 and (**). (**) See Application Guide

Can I run my GTO wires through metal conduit?

No, the metallic conduit causes severe capacitance coupling, therefore reducing the power to the sign or causing the unit to trip.

Can I mount CL units in wire ways or raceways?

Yes, you can mount the power supply to a metallic raceway or wire way. But the GTO wire must be run through a minimum .75-inch hole and be placed in a bushing to center it in the hole. In addition care must be taken to maintain separation between the GTO leads and the metal of the raceway.

Explain to me the GTO clamping system on the VT 12030-120.

The GTO clamping system is exclusive to the VT12030 units. It allows you to run the exact length of GTO to your sign with no splices. Most common GTO 15 will work in the system. The length of the GTO should not exceed the length 4ft per, homerun lead, and care should be taken as to how the GTO homerun leads are routed.

What is a grounding foot and why do you have it?

We incorporate a metal foot on all of our units to ensure a proper ground between the power supply and the sign mounting material. The grounding foot is attached to the ground on the primary so there is in effect a “double ground”; one to the primary and one to the mounting surface.

Why are the CL (channel letter) units white?

The CL units are white so that they do not cast a shadow on a channel letter face.

What should I do if I have to hardwire a power supply?

In certain applications you must hardwire a unit for indoor applications. We suggest that you use the CL units in these applications because of the design for the primary input uses 36″ pigtails and _” conduit fitting. Using indoor units and cutting the power cord will void the warranty, but more importantly it will void UL certification.

If the signs does trip off because of GFI how do I reset the unit?

The unit will attempt to restart 1-3 times in case there is a ground fault situation. If this does not relight the lamp then the primary must be turned off and then back on to reset the protection features.

If I hook up a dimmer to the primary on your units why does it not work?

Unlike our competitors, Ventex has incorporated a technology to hold the output of the unit to a constant 30mA regardless of input voltage or load. This means that if you try to dim the primary, the unit will try to hold the output at 30mA. Ventex has incorporated a dimmer switch in the VT9030D unit, which has 3 positions and dims the secondary so that there are NO dark spots in the tubes even at the lowest setting.

Can I check the load with a mA meter?

Because of the technology incorporated into our units, a mA meter will not work properly. With constant 30mA, loading will not affect the mA output.

Are your power supplies available in 60mA?

The new 60mA series includes the VT6060CL-120, VT9060CL-120 and the 9060CL-277.

What input Voltages are your units available in?

We offer our units in 120VAC and 240VAC. The VT4030CL, VT9030CL and the VT9060CL units are also available in 277VAC. Whether neon is used overseas (240VAC), in strip malls (277VAC) or your standard jobs (120VAC), Ventex has the units you require.

Why do your indoor units have such long power cords?

How many times have you hung a sign and the power cord was to short? We realized this is a common problem and unlike our competitors we give you a full 10ft to make installation simpler.

Are your outdoor CL units rated for higher ambient operating conditions?

Yes, due to high efficiency design and epoxy encapsulation, they can be run at 100% full load in an ambient temperature of 122ºF (50ºC). With de-rating, they can be safely run in even warmer environments.