Frequently Asked Questions

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

Yes, our outdoor channel letter units can run at 100% full load while in an ambient temperature of 122ºF (50ºC). With de-rating, they can safely run in even warmer environments.

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

We offer our units in 120VAC and 240VAC. The VT 4030CL, VT 9030CL and the VT 9060CL units are also available in 277VAC. Whether neon is used overseas (240VAC), in strip malls (277VAC) or on standard jobs (120VAC), Ventex has what you need.

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.

Unlike our competitors, Ventex has incorporated a technology to hold the output of the unit to a constant 30mA. This means that if you try to dim the primary, the unit will try to hold the output at 30mA. The VT 9030D unit has a dimmer switch, which has 3 positions and dims the secondary.

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

Sometimes you must hardwire a unit for indoor applications. We suggest that you use channel letter units, because the design for the primary input uses 36″ pigtails and ½” conduit fitting. Using indoor units and cutting the power cord will void the warranty. More importantly, it will also void UL certification.

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

We incorporate a metal foot on all units to ensure a proper ground. Ventex attaches the grounding foot to the ground on the primary to create a “double ground”; one to the primary and one to the mounting surface.

The GTO clamping system is exclusive to the VT 12030D-120 and VT 12030-120 units. This system allows you to run the exact length of GTO to your sign with no splices while the most common GTO 15 will work in the system. The length of the GTO should not exceed the length of 4 feet per homerun lead; therefore, take care as to how you route the GTO homerun leads.

Yes, you can mount the channel letters unit to a metallic raceway or wire way. You must run the GTO wire through a minimum .75-inch hole and place it in a bushing. In addition, take care to maintain separation between the GTO leads and the metal of the raceway.

No, the metallic conduit causes severe capacitive coupling. Therefore, it reduces the power to the sign or causes the unit to trip.

Ventex power supplies put out a constant 30mA for consistent brightness. If you are experiencing dimming, that means that you are losing power due to excess capacitance coupling. Check your GTO wires and neon tube configuration to make sure they are not touching or running close to a metal surface. Also make sure the GTO leads are not running through metallic conduit.

This means that you have met one of the criteria for the protection circuit to operate. Meeting one of four fault conditions activates the circuit: overload, open, short or ground fault. If the unit flashes, check for these conditions, because it does not reflect a defective power supply.

Capacitive coupling is a result of the magnetic field around the glass and GTO leads. The field robs power from the power supply and neon, and this leaves a dim sign or a tripping problem. Sleeving or other insulation will not reduce this magnetic field, but distance will help.

If it’s a magnetic transformer, it can be midpoint grounded. If it’s an electronic power supply, there is no need for an isolated return like there is on a magnetic transformer.

We work hard to ensure product safety, so our power supplies are compliant with UL 2161, CUL and CE standards.

All units, regardless of voltage, should be UL2161 Listed as of September 2000. Units over 6,000 volts need ground fault protection to be UL2161 Listed.

Variable frequency is another exclusive Ventex feature. We design our units to adjust themselves to hold a constant 30mA current regardless of length of glass or input voltage. This makes all glass powered by Ventex products the same brightness. This is very important for self-contained channel letters.

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 while eliminating most false tripping.

Yes, you can flash Ventex units with an external controller. We prefer that if you do flash the units, it is with a electronic flasher and not a mechanical one.

Suggested Source:
Starlight Controls, Inc.
131 Sandstone Rdg.
Marble Falls, TX 78654
(719) 488-3036


Overloading 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 incorporates overload protection to prevent all our power supplies from being damaged in this fashion, therefore increasing the life of the unit.

First off, all Ventex Power supplies are high power factor. The power factor is how much input current the unit needs to operate 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. This is 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. Therefore, we pull the same amount of power but get to 50% more intensity.