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Side Marker Help

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Dadman, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. Dadman


    Oct 1, 2011
    Greece, New York
    Has any tried to use Tritium Vials to light the side markers?
    These are the replacement vials for low light gun sights. It seems a lot less invasive to put a insert in than route out the back of the finger board, or try to lay fiber or wire next to the truss rod. Tritium has a half life of 12.5 years. I have a custom 4 string about done I can't find a vendor to purchase the vials from yet. Any help from out there in bass land.
  2. Believe tritium is used in Nukes, among other applications. I don't think it is sold to the average joe.

    Other options (google was my friend)

    Zinc Sulfide

    Zinc sulfide is a compound made up of the elements Zinc and Sulfur. In its natural form, it appears as a white or yellow powder. When the compound is exposed to light, it stores the energy and re-emits it at a slower pace and lower frequency--becoming the glow one sees when you turn out the lights. Adding an activator--an element such as silver, copper or manganese--can create different glow coloration. Silver produces blue illumination, while copper creates green and manganese produces an orange-red coloration.

    Strontium Aluminate

    While zinc sulfide was an early phosphorescent compound, strontium aluminate was later discovered to maintain a glow almost 10 times longer and ten times brighter than its predecessor. Composed of the elements strontium and aluminum, it works in identical fashion to zinc sulfide by storing energy from light and turning it into colorful glows. It is a pale yellow powder, and, other than its phosphorescent properties, is inert.
  3. Dadman


    Oct 1, 2011
    Greece, New York
    Thank you for the post. Tritium is very low on the radioactive scale and can be shipped with as much security as hair spray. In other words it needs to be trucked, no air shipping.
    Your post shows you are very knowledgeable. I which I was so wise in the ways of science.
  4. I'm sorry if I offended you. I was only trying to help. I only know about the "nukes" from reading Tom Clancy books. I also did a search of "wholesale tritium" or "personal use tritium" and then saw that because of its radioactive properties it is actually regulated by the NRC. I ended up at a site that sold night sights to the military or wristwatches.

    On that I thought (on your behalf) "If I can't have tritium what are my alternatives" so googled that and found those other elements. Both are not radioactive and unfortunately also do not give off their own light (they are more like the elements in "glow in the dark" watch hands).

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