CompUSA Red Cold Cathode

Aron Schatz
December 8, 2002
CompUSA has got into the modding scene in full force. Check out this great red cold cathode for $20.
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About a month or so ago, I was checking out an add for CompUSA when I spotted that they had cold cathodes there! When I went to pick one up, some guy bought all thirty of them from the store at once. They said he built computers... I don't about that. Now that I actually have one, let's see what it is worth.

The Box:

<center>Cathode Box</center>

It is a box! Something of interest here. This is actual CompUSA branding, though I didn't see any 'made by' stuff. The <a href="/articles.php?id=40">lighted fans</a> I reviewed awhile back were from Antec. While I was there, they had other cathodes from PC Toys. It is nice to see a retail company get into the modding scene.

<B>The Parts</B>:

<center>Parts 1 Parts 2</center>

Like I say, it is what's in the box that counts. It is fully assembled and comes with the actual cathode (in red, green, blue, or even UV), an inverter for the power, a rocker switch, and the pass through molex connector. Don't forget the ever non important manual. It basically says that modding can damage your computer... bla bla stuff. Plug in and go should be the instructions. I'm glad that it does have a pass through connector. I have a case with no spare power connectors.

<B>More on the parts</B>:


I am very impressed with the amount of quality of this cathode. The entire thing is well put together and gives considerate attention to detail. I know the above is a pretty crappy picture, but it shows the connector from the cathode to the inverter. They have other kits that have dual cathodes in them, so I guess they can get away making one inverter for both. The inverter to the rocker switch also has the same type of plug thing, but of a different size. All the connections are well rubberized and there is no bear anything showing. All in all, very well built.

The cathode itself is most likely white, the exterior plastic is red, which gives it its color. The diameter of the cathode is very small compared to the Xoxide one I have as well.

<center>Pad For Inverter Foot pad</center>

The two above pictures show the sticky pads on the feet of the ends of the cathode and the inverter. There is way more than enough pad to hold it to anything. Just peal and stick.
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<B>The Lights</B>:

<center>Lighted Cathode Lights with flash Comparison Cathode</center>

The first pic from left to right is the cathode with minimal lighting in the room. As you can see, even for red, it is very bright. The second picture will show you the true color of the cathode when lit. I turned the flash on on my camera. The light is a nice bright red. Light shines in all 360 degrees around the cathode. The last picture is a comparison to the green Xoxide one. The red holds its own, even though green is usually brighter than red. If there is a CompUSA by you, they'll have them on display usually to check out.


I am impressed with the construction and quality of this product. It is the best $20 I spent at CompUSA in awhile. CompUSA is getting highly into the modding thing. I've got some more CompUSA products to review in the coming weeks as well. If you need a cathode, and just don't like to order it online, please don't hesitate to pick up one of these excellent products.


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