Foxfury Breakthrough
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Odd tritium question

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* beach honda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Concrete Jungle Surrounds Me
    Posts
    901

    Default Odd tritium question

    A general tritium question maybe someone could answer for me....

    A few years back (before i was involved with flashlights and lighting in general), my friend had a capsule about the size and shape of something you would put into the vacuum tubes at the bank drive in. You could not open it, however as it was sealed on both ends. Its color in the daytime is opaque\grey\greenish. It look to be at least 10 years old at the time based on the amount of light it gave off. Definately had the radioactive symbol on it and the comapny logo had been etched off over the years but read something to the effect of "safety products". He had no idea where it came from or how old it was (he was known for getting his hands on curious artifacts) but it definately glowed from its own energy. i am thinking it was a tritium product, because of the glow and the radiation symbols, but i have yet to find another tritium capsule anywhere near its size. Can anyone shed some light on this....lol

    -chris
    -Chr1s-
    Got Lights? USE EM!!

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* 65535's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    *Out There* (Irvine, CA)
    Posts
    3,320

    Default Re: Odd tritium question

    It was most likely tritium but it could have have been any alpha particle releasing gas or solid encased in clear plastic or glass and with a coating of phosphors on it. I doubt they would make anything of that size these days because if it was a gas that much gas could pose a health risk if it leaked.
    Hobbyist LED information Website
    U2 work light
    Shaky Emergency Light
    The Mags
    engineer in the making

  3. #3
    Enlightened mikel81's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    HO, dnalevelC
    Posts
    79

    Default Re: Odd tritium question

    These guys found one too.


  4. #4
    Flashaholic
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    386

    Default Re: Odd tritium question

    Wow... Something that size would not be legal to transport, or even own... You should probably check with the NRC about that. They probably have a record of it going missing, assuming it is a tritium vial of such a huge size as the one you described.

  5. #5
    *Flashaholic* StarHalo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    California Republic
    Posts
    6,982

    Default Re: Odd tritium question

    I'd wager it was really good glow-in-the-dark material, if not, then the tritium was just in an exterior shell, with the center of the tube being hollow. This still isn't likely due to the price of tritium - a volume that size would hold many Curies, would require some sort of custom production method, etc, resulting in a prohibitively astronomical price, even for a showpiece.

    I'm also not aware of the radioactive symbol being associated with tritium products. I'd check with B@rt and Merkava, but as far as I know, tritium containers/products aren't usually labeled at all.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* Daniel_sk's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Slovakia
    Posts
    1,032

    Default Re: Odd tritium question

    Maybe a big vial from a warning sign or something similar like this:
    http://www.orau.org/PTP/collection/r...3exitsignl.htm
    Surefire A2 Aviator . If you like this place, you can donate to CPF here

  7. #7
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    GTA, ON, Canada
    Posts
    497

    Default Re: Odd tritium question

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    I'm also not aware of the radioactive symbol being associated with tritium products. I'd check with B@rt and Merkava, but as far as I know, tritium containers/products aren't usually labeled at all.
    I have a 2Ci source from a group buy a while back which is encased in plastic and has the radiation symbol on the back. It was manufactured by "safety light corp."- maybe that's the company the original poster was referring to?

    Edited to add: Here's the back of my tritium vial. Does this look similar to the label you saw beach_honda? If so, maybe Safety Light Corp. was the manufacturer.

    Last edited by Bradlee; 11-03-2008 at 05:16 AM.
    -Brad

  8. #8

    Default Re: Odd tritium question

    How certain are you of that tube size? Memories of stuff you saw once "a few years back" are often distorted.

    I suspect it wouldn't even make sense to be that large. I'm not sure the surface phosphor glow gets that much brighter from greater depths of tritium and tritium costs far more than gold. If that's the case then they'd limit the diameter and simply use more tubes to make more light.

    I saw an eBay auction before the crackdowns for a "tritium marker" much larger than your standard keychain, but not nearly as big as you describe IIRC. Even then, it was quite a few years old and thus had lost a substantial amount of intensity.

    Hey, holy crap I didn't know about these:
    http://www.goodmart.com/products/1000620.htm

    3.75" long tritium tubes? Kick ass!

  9. #9
    Flashaholic
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Northern New Jersey
    Posts
    282

    Default Re: Odd tritium question

    Given the size you're suggesting, I would guess that it was intended as some sort of emergency marker (along the lines of what oznog just posted - tubes of this size are not uncommon in safety products like exit signs and emergency markers). Not sure of the regulations, but AFAIK a rad symbol is also not unusual for products containing significant amounts of tritium.

    Also, I'm not sure that the size of the device would necessarily correlate so obviously with the amount of tritium it contained. Tritium vials of similar size can contain substantially different amounts of tritium. Depending on the application, the manufacturer will pressurize the vial with tritium gas to give the desired light output. I think B@rt's recent TiGlow offering used "high pressure" vials, they are relatively small but give off a lot of light since they contain tritium under pressure which adds up to at least one curie of tritium in each vial. They are also quite expensive compared with other glowrings which use similar size vials (like Merkava's) - for B@rt's TiGlow, I believe the cost of the vial alone was well over half the total cost (I know because I broke one and he was kind enough to sell me a replacement vial).

  10. #10
    Enlightened mikel81's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    HO, dnalevelC
    Posts
    79

    Default Re: Odd tritium question

    What about tritium runway lights? I remember reading about it somewhere.

    Did a search and found this link. Looks like they did testing in using tritium for runway markers. Maybe it was left over from the testing?

    http://oai.dtic.mil/oai/oai?&verb=ge...fier=ADA114558

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •