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Plasma ball lights near electronic games.


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8 replies to this topic

#1 of 9 Jay Taylor

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Posted December 20 2002 - 11:01 AM

I'm considering adding two 12-15" plasma ball lights to our game room. The room is very dark with about 10 video game systems & computers on connected workstations around three sides of the room.

When in 'arcade mode' the game room's only lighting is from lit Harry Potter posters on three walls and the monitors themselves. The room is painted a very dark arcade blue (so dark that the painters had to paint the room black before applying the blue paint). I think lightning effects in the corners would fit right in with the Harry Potter atmosphere of the room.

The two corner workstations have hutches with a top at 6' where I would like to put the plasma balls. The ceiling is at 8' so the top of the plasma balls would be about 6" from the ceiling. One corner workstation has an Atari 800 at about 3' above the floor and the other corner workstation has a floor standing tower PC running classic DOS games.

I don't want to buy the plasma lights if it's likely to fry the nearby electronics.

Do any of you know how far away electronic devices like computers & video games need to be from a 12-15" plasma ball without causing damage?

Are the plasma balls so dangerous that they can't even be in the same room with the games?

If someone touched the plasma ball with one hand & the computer with the other, will the computer be fried?

Jay Taylor
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Arthur C. Clarke

#2 of 9 John Miles

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Posted December 20 2002 - 12:03 PM

There is no danger to nearby electronics. The plasma lights use less RF energy than your own monitor.

#3 of 9 Jay Taylor

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Posted December 20 2002 - 03:32 PM

Thanks John.

I’m glad the RF energy won’t seriously effect the electronics. That was my initial concern. I was afraid that when they were turned on, the displays would go crazy and the audio would buzz.

Does anyone know if it produces an electrical danger to electronics?

An experiment on the web shows someone holding a fluorescent lamp by one end and the other end is placed on the plasma ball. The lamp lights up. I don’t know if it’s due to high voltage static electricity, high frequency electricity or RF radiation.

These plasma balls are irresistible to touch in places where they sell them, like Spencer’s Gifts. I’m concerned that touching the ball with a joystick in your hand may fry the computer. Although they will be placed in the upper corners of the room on top of a 6’ hutch, I’m wondering how off limits to touching I’d have to make them?

Jay Taylor
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Arthur C. Clarke

#4 of 9 Jay Taylor

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Posted December 26 2002 - 04:48 AM

The two 12" plasma balls are now up & running. They have no effect on the games or computers.

I'm telling guests not to touch the "lightning balls" while touching the computers or holding a joystick.

Anyone know how likely plasma ball are to cause damage to computers & video games due to static electricity?

Jay Taylor
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Arthur C. Clarke

#5 of 9 StephenK

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Posted December 26 2002 - 06:14 AM

Jay,

Don't know about console games but my Plasma Ball..(heh heh, he said ball) wreaks havoc with my remotes. If I set any of my remotes near it, it starts randomly sending signals to all my equipment. I imagine if it can do this to a remote, it can do all sorts of things to other solid state devices.

But it does look cool though doesn't it Posted Image

you have a whole Game Room huh, sheesh, and here I am in my NY Studio with my glorious 450 sq ft. Don't even wanna mention what it costs me...

p.s. have you built a MAME console yet? and what console games do you have? My envy requires me to ask

#6 of 9 Jay Taylor

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Posted December 26 2002 - 07:19 AM

Stephen,

No MAME console at this time. I considered adding several things when designing the game room but unfortunately the room is a converted bedroom instead of a larger den so space is limited. I went with seven matching cherry workstations with corner hutches that wrap around the entire room. It’s been described by friends as ‘classy’.

There is not any wall space left but there is room for adding an HD monitor on one of the workstations when the price is better.

There are 4 new matching 20”flat screen Toshiba TV’s, a 19” ViewSonic Monitor and a Vectrex for display for the different game consoles and computers. I chose the Toshibas because they have component, SVHS, A/V & RF inputs.

All 10 game systems may be played without throwing any switches or swapping cables. For example one of the Toshibas has a PlayStation 2, Sega Master System, Sega Genesis & Intellivision connected. To change game systems you merely change the input to the TV with the remote. The PlayStation 2 is connected to the component inputs, the Sega Master & Sega Genesis to A/V inputs & the Intellivision to the RF input.

Up to 6 game systems may be played simultaneously but it would be pretty crowded in the room. There are 4 matching black reclinable office chairs & 2 black stools for sitting while playing.

The systems currently installed are:

Atari 800 (has a dedicated corner hutch due to the peripherals)
PC Computer running DOS & Windows 95 for the classic DOS games (also has a dedicated corner hutch).
X-Box
Nintendo GameCube
Super Nintendo
Vectrex System complete with 3-D ‘spinning disc’ goggles.
Sony PlayStation 2
Sega Genesis
Sega Master System with 3-D LCD glasses.
Intellivision

Not installed & stashed elsewhere: Pong, Super Pong, Heathkit H-8 computer & H-9 monitor from 1978!

The game room has zero clutter. All of the game cartridges and add-ons like racing wheels are organized in a closet.

The room beside it is painted the same dark blue & will eventually have a Lord of the Rings theme instead of the current Star Trek theme. It is where the up-to-date computer, short wave radios, radio scanners & other electronic gadgets are located.

Too many toys... not enough time...

Jay Taylor
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Arthur C. Clarke

#7 of 9 StephenK

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Posted December 26 2002 - 08:24 AM

sigh...envy your space, time, toys, etc etc...

sounds cool..when you said console games, I thought you meant the original cabinet games, ala Tempest, millipede, etc. Always wanted my own Robotron or Stargate cabinet...

Intellivision...was that the "next" thing after Atari 2600 that had the small "disc-pad" 8-way joystick?

And a Heathkit?!?!? ok, that beats my TRS-80 for antiquity.

#8 of 9 StephenK

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Posted December 26 2002 - 08:30 AM

sigh...envy your space, time, toys, etc etc...

sounds cool..when you said console games, I thought you meant the original cabinet games, ala Tempest, millipede, etc. Always wanted my own Robotron or Stargate cabinet...

Intellivision...was that the "next" thing after Atari 2600 that had the small "disc-pad" 8-way joystick?

And a Heathkit?!?!? ok, that beats my TRS-80 for antiquity.

#9 of 9 Jay Taylor

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Posted December 26 2002 - 09:10 AM

Yes, I believe the Atari 2600 was released in 1976. The 2600’s games were inferior to the Atari 800 computer system games. The Atari 800 games were almost as good as the arcade cabinet versions that were the rave at the time. Especially games like Pac-Man.

I believe the Intellivision was released in 1978/9 at about the same time the Atari 800 computer system was released. Yes they had disc-pad controllers.

Sometimes it's fun to show people the antique systems to see how far we've progressed in computer games. Or as some people believe, regressed in game play.

Keeping 20+ year old game systems operational is the reason for the concern over the plasma balls. I don’t want to barbecue the antiques!

So although the RF from the plasma balls is apparently not doing any damage. For now I’m going to assume that the static electricity from them could wipe out the game systems.

Jay Taylor
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Arthur C. Clarke