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CrazyPC Green Cold Cathode Kit

This cold cathode kit from CrazyPC happens to be a Sun Beam product, which is a well known name to light aficionados. The kit is pretty high quality and includes everything you need for installation.

[review_ad]Introduction


Even though they’ve been popular for awhile now, cold cathode lights are still one of the most popular ways to light up a case with windows. It’s hard to beat their bright and cool (in terms of heat and looks) glow. Today you can get tons of different brands and types of cathode kits, from multi-color tubes to sound activated kits. In this review, I’ll cover a simple offering from CrazyPC.com — a single green cold cathode light kit.

Features and Kit Contents


Features and Kit Contents

  • Includes 1 Cold Cathode tube (Length: 12.25 inches of pure light)
  • Encased in a 100% acrylic shell, enabling 360 degrees of light
  • On/off “rocker” switch
  • 4pin power pass-through connector
  • Square feet on each end of the acrylic tube with velcro strips for easy installation
  • Enclosed inverter casing
  • Dual 12VDC Inverter – Plug in 2 Cold Cathode Lights
  • Long Lifespan
  • Instruction / information sheet
  • Adhesive backed washer – You can use the inner circumference as a guide for drilling a hole to mount the switch
  • Adhesive backed velcro for the tube end cubes and the inverter

    Kit Packaging       Green Cold Cathode Tube
    Kit Contents       Rocker switch and dual inverter

    As can be expected, this kit comes with everything you need to install and power up the cold cathode light. Since the inverter is dual cold cathode ready, you can just buy another tube and add it to your case later if you need more light. You save a little money this way! If you look close at the instructions, you see the words “Sun Beam” across the top. Yup, this kit was actually made by Sun Beam, which is a plus since they are known for making some high quality, bright cold cathodes.

    Installing and Using the Kit


    Installation is pretty simple, but if you get confused, you can refer to the instructions, which include a couple color pictures to help you out. I just started plugging things in until I was out of things to plug in — a connector from the tube to the inverter, a couple of connectors into the switch and finally a molex power connector into one of my power supply’s connectors. It’s simple. Who needs instructions!?

    Anywho, I was pretty anxious to see what it looked like with the lights out. By the way, I installed the cold cathode in my home theater PC, which was not going to let the tube lie down flat because of the way the case is designed (drive cage got in the way). So, that is why you see it tilting at an angle in these pics. Check it out!

    Cathode on in dark, case's side cover off       Cathode on in dark, through case's side window

    The first pic is with the side panel off the case, just to give you an idea of the overall glow. In the second picture, the windowed side panel is on. That’s pretty good glow! Now, I need to clean that window and figure out where to mount the tube so you can’t see it!

    Conclusion


    CrazyPC’s green cold cathode kit is bright and looks great. It’s also very easy to setup, but I think it could use an easy switch installation method of some sort. If you look at some of the cold cathode fans on the market now, they come with switches that you can mount in place of a PCI slot cover. For the Dremel-challenged like me, that’s a very welcome switch installation method. I haven’t seen any cold cathode kit yet that doesn’t expect you to do some case modding in order to locate the switch in a convenient place, and it’s really too bad. I had to snake the switch connectors out the back of my case through an PCI slot hole, which puts the switch in a very inconvenient place. I don’t have a spare 3.5″ bay cover unfortunately, so I’m reluctant to risk one in a mod attempt. Yeah, yeah…”cry me a river, right?” I know that’s what you modders are thinking. ;-)

    Anyway, another cool thing about this kit is that the included inverter is a dual inverter, which means you can simply add another tube later, and all you need is the new tube, nothing else (except the wire attached to the tube of course). The inclusion of a dual inverter seems to be standard now, but you really should look for that in case you ever need more light.

    Overall, CrazyPC’s green cold cathode light kit is a great product, and it met my expectations. I’m giving it an 8.5 out of 10!

    If you are interested in purchasing this kit from CrazyPC, you can get it for $14.95 (as of 5/7/03) by clicking here.

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