PC Toys Dual UV Cathodes

Aron Schatz
January 28, 2003
What is UV? UV is after the violet end of the visible spectrum. UV cathodes are different from normal, and you need to see why. They're just awesome!
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It is now pretty common to be able to walk into a computer store and walk about with a bunch of modding stuff. With that principle in mind, I head back to CompUSA to see what I wanted to review this time. Well, the lights caught my attention, but not for their intensity. UV, or ultra violet, are special types of lights. You need to see it to believe it.

<B>UV? What?</B>:

<center>UV Spectrum</center>

There must be one of you that doesn't know what UV is. All light is made of waves, and UV is no different. Everything from Radio to Gamma Rays are made of light rays. It is a wave pattern and the wavelength that determines the kind of light the wave is. UV falls just after the visible light spectrum (Right after violet actually, hence the name). There are three types of UV rays. Near, far, and Extreme. We are dealing with Near UV type rays here. Extreme UV will give you a sunburn pretty quickly and can kill living tissue. <a href="http://imagers.gsfc.nasa.gov/ems/uv.html">Check this page for more info on light waves</a>. I'll get to more of the weird properties when I do the light testing.


<center>UV Box</center>

You love this section don't you? That's why you read this. All for the packaging. It's clear, and it is pretty tight. No different from the other <a href="articles.php?id=50">PC Toys dually</a> I reviewed.


<center>UV Parts</center>

Just like the <a href="articles.php?id=50">other kit</a>, all the parts are the same. For the record you get the two cathodes, a pass through molex with a switch, a manual, the inverter and some zippie ties. I'll go into each more in depth that I did before. Gotta add something to the article right?


<center>UV Open Inverter UV Inverter Clips</center>

The inverter is the same as the <a href="articles.php?id=50">other kit</a>, though, this time I opened it. Here is where the fun began in my head. I had all sorts of ideas for this. Both cathodes are removable as is the molex switch. This lends to a multitude of combinations, well 4+3+2+1 combos, and for those that can't add, it is 10 possible. You'll see what I mean later. I do like the sticker inside, Danger High Voltage. Makes you want to stick your finger there and see what happens. I did, nothing happened... But the power wasn't on Smile.

<B>Molex Switch</B>:

<center>UV Switch Molex</center>

The molex pass through is in series with a switch (or the other way around...). The switch itself is nice and round in a circle. You may not think of it off the top of your head, but you can just drill a hole and stick it in the case pretty easy with the right bit. And yes, use a drill, it is a simple cut. It is a normal rocker switch, you shouldn't mistake it for the momentary switch of the computer power on.


<center>UV Cube UV Clip UV Cathodes</center>

The Cathodes are pretty well made. You have a double wire going into one end as shown in the first pic. This wire goes to the end of the clip shown in the second pic. The clip then goes into the inverter. The tube of this cathode is clear, with no coloring and the cathode is purplish. Don't get mistaken if you by a black colored cathode and think it is a UV cathode! The things in the center of the last pic are the zip ties and pads, you'll need to secure it like that. Pretty strange that they didn't just put sticky feet on the cubes. Whatever I guess.
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<B>The Lights</B>:

<center>UV Cathodes On UV True color</center>

I wanted to make sure these were really UV, and there are a number of ways to easily tell. If you have a white shirt on, your shirt will glow with a violetish tint. First I made sure they worked, as you can see in the first picture. Let me explain why they look bluish. Since blue is very close to the UV area of the spectrum, we can conclude that since my camera really sucks, it mistakes UV for blue. Good Job HP! The second picture is with the flash on, showing the real purple color.

<B>The Test</B>:

<center>UV Highlighters Off UV Highlighters On UV Highlighters High</center>

Now for the real UV test. I didn't have any glow in the dark things (yeah, glow in the dark, don't get any ideas...), but I did have something that would tell me pretty easily if these are really UV. Highlighters have the same kind of phosphorescent quality as the glow in the dark thingies. The first pic is the cathodes off, the second is with them on, the light isn't being directed to the paper than well, but you can see the places near the edges of the cathode glowing. The third pic is the cathodes held behind the camera, look how the paper and the highlighting glows, it seems that it is giving off its own light. That's awesome.

<B>The Possibilities</B>:

<center>UV and Blue</center>

If you took my advice and bought yourself the blue cathode kit, you can buy this one and mix them together. Now I have two sets of Blue/UV cathodes, and it works awesome. The blue is on the left of the pic and the UV is on the right. You can tell by seeing the highlighting glow or not.


UV cathodes and lights in general are awesome. It is cool when you walk into a place and your white shirt and sneakers glow, yeah it is just like that. I've got quite a few case mods that I'm thinking about with some UV reactive spray paint and fans and such. There is also fluid that you can get for your water cooling setup that'll glow just like the highlighters (Or you can make your own). With all the possibilities, how can you go wrong with these UV cathodes? You can't!


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