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Thread: Ball tritium tube question?

  1. #1
    Master
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    Ball tritium tube question?

    How do they work? I've just received a ball from sc and the lume is non-existent???

  2. #2
    Master
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    Go into a dark room and let your eyes adjust for a few mins. Super bright but you can't see the lume unless its very dark.

  3. #3
    Master gunner's Avatar
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    Tube full of tritium gas and a coating of luminous material.

    Which model?

    Won't look as bright in daylight as recently charged superluminova but great in proper darkness and lasts all night.

  4. #4
    Master imb1's Avatar
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    I have a Tritium tube watch (not Ball) and while the glow is not great initially it glows like a beacon throughout the night.

    Gaseous Tritium Light Source (GTLS) v SuperLuminova


  5. #5
    As other replies say,no charging needed the tubes glow constantly.In a darkened room/night time the lume is very impressive and remains constant . On mine the 12,3,6,9 large numbers glow bright yellow ,the 1,2,4,5,7,8,10,11 markers glow ice blue and the hands and 12 o'clock bezel pip glow bright green. You can often see some colour glow even in daylight. Nothing wrong with Ball lume


  6. #6
    Craftsman
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    Yep, in slightly fading light, you won't really see the lume that well... unlike say, a Seiko.
    It's when you wake up at 3am the Ball will impress... (ie, when woken up by the other half telling you to stop pointing the watch in her face).

  7. #7
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJM25R View Post
    How do they work? I've just received a ball from sc and the lume is non-existent???
    If you can't see them in the dark, then there's a problem.

    They knocked my socks off on the first Ball I owned...

  8. #8
    Craftsman Rocky555's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJM25R View Post
    How do they work? I've just received a ball from sc and the lume is non-existent???
    My Ball is brilliant during the night... Normal superluminova lume fades in 10-15 minutes and then it becomes weaker than tritium tubes.
    Tritium tubes are imho much better than classic illumination.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tritium_illumination

  9. #9
    Master seffrican's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJM25R View Post
    How do they work? I've just received a ball from sc and the lume is non-existent???
    There is no lume, and no stored light as with normal luminous material. Instead, a neutron in a tritium nucleus beta decays to a proton, throwing off an electron and a photon (and a neutrino, but ignore that for now). The photon makes its way out of the tube. The electron smashes into another molecule inside the tube, and throws off a photon as it brakes. This happens many times, since there are rather a lot of tritium nuclei. Some of the photons reach your eyes.

    Well, you asked how it worked.

  10. #10
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunner View Post
    Tube full of tritium gas and a coating of luminous material.

    Which model?

    Won't look as bright in daylight as recently charged superluminova but great in proper darkness and lasts all night.

  11. #11
    Master MrLion's Avatar
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    I have a cheapie Luminox tritium quartz - in a dark room with eyes adjusted it's a very distinct and cool continuous lume.

    Half life of 12.5 years, lume guaranteed.

  12. #12
    Grand Master
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    the thing that puts me off tubes is it makes for unlovely hands!
    ktmog6uk
    jon thompson

    marchingontogether!

    Fast and bulbous.
    that's right, The Mascara Snake. Fast and bulbous.
    Also, a tinned teardrop.
    Bulbous also tapered.
    That's right.

  13. #13
    Master gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ktmog6uk;[URL="tel:2458698"
    2458698[/URL]]the thing that puts me off tubes is it makes for unlovely hands!
    Some of the hands can look a bit basic but take a look at the the main hands on something like the Deepquest, I think they're quite nice.

  14. #14
    Master
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    Well, I tried a very dark room and there is lume but not much.....

  15. #15
    Grand Master ralphy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJM25R View Post
    Well, I tried a very dark room and there is lume but not much.....
    It can take your eyes some time to adjust to the dark.

    I have a tritium key-fob that has been attached to my carry-on luggage bag for at least a decade and it's still the brightest thing* in my hotel room at night.

    As has been said, try it at 3am. ;-)

    * And that's including me!

    R
    Ignorance breeds Fear. Fear breeds Hatred. Hatred breeds Ignorance. Break the chain.

  16. #16
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJM25R View Post
    Well, I tried a very dark room and there is lume but not much.....
    Hmmm, that seems strange.

    Holding my pam under a bright light to charge the lume, it was brighter than my Ball. However, give it 10 mins and they were fairly equal... and give it 30 mins or more and there was no comparison.

    I also didn't feel I really needed to 'adjust' as others have said above.

  17. #17
    Also seems strange to me. I have a Fireman Stormchaser and the lume is visable from dusk onwards. It doesn't require anything near total darkness.
    Last edited by marcbe; 5th October 2012 at 20:43.

  18. #18
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    Having done some research, the watch I bought could be up to 8 years old, and as such may have lost a lot of its 'brightness'

    On one hand it's a shame, as it was the tritium tubes that intrigued me and led me to put a 'wtb' up on here, and a fellow member offered this to me......





    On the other hand, it only cost me 450 so I can cope!

  19. #19
    My photo skills are poor and dont show the true brightness or colours(the indicies appear blue in total darkness);but they give a rough idea


  20. #20
    Master
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    I've always thought it'd be superbright....

  21. #21
    Master Captainhowdy's Avatar
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    I don't think it has anything to do with the watch being 8yrs old, it's probably you are expecting it to work like SL.
    A tritium watch has very little lume without the correct light conditions, try it a little later tonight, and as others have said when your eyes have adjusted to the light, the lume will be there.


  22. #22
    Master MrLion's Avatar
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    If you take the room from a well-lit room to a dark room the lume will look feeble. Possibly still feeble after a few minutes and the eyes have adjusted.

    Stick it on your bedside table at beddybyes time and after 10-15 mins have a look at it. Should be a consistent, steady lume which looks fine.

  23. #23
    Journeyman Citizen V's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJM25R View Post
    Having done some research, the watch I bought could be up to 8 years old, and as such may have lost a lot of its 'brightness'
    It is possible but from what I've heard, from the start, the tritium is already releasing more electrons than the phosphor coating needs to glow, so some decay of the tritium shouldn't cause much loss of brightness. Meaning even if it is approaching its half life, it shouldn't be glowing near half as bright but brighter.

  24. #24
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    Keep in mind that Ball has watches with two levels of tritium, T-25 and T-100 (25 milicures, 100 millicuries of tritium on the dial). Ball and Deep Blue are the only watch companies that are allowed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to sell watches with T-100 tritium in the U.S. Obviously, the larger quantity of tritium in the T-100 tubes will be brighter. Please don't ask me how these two companies and no other ones get to use T-100 tritium. I have no idea. And yes, the older tritium tubes get, the more they fade.

  25. #25
    Journeyman Citizen V's Avatar
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    Re: Ball tritium tube question?

    Yeah, T100 and T25 designations refer to the total millicuries of tritium in the watch, but the tubes will glow the same in both T25 and T100 watches, unless the shape is different like flat tubes or the color, because the amount of tritium in each tube is still the remain the same.
    EDIT: welp, sorry I'm not sure if the claim I made above is true now. I saw some posts that said Ball does change the amount of tritium gas in tubes for some models. This is confusing now to me since the tubes are supposedly already saturated with tritium gas so adding more shouldn't make them glow much brighter. I guess that just means they don't saturate their tubes to begin with.
    Last edited by Citizen V; 6th October 2012 at 05:13.

  26. #26
    Craftsman Rocky555's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJM25R View Post
    Having done some research, the watch I bought could be up to 8 years old, and as such may have lost a lot of its 'brightness'

    On one hand it's a shame, as it was the tritium tubes that intrigued me and led me to put a 'wtb' up on here, and a fellow member offered this to me......

    On the other hand, it only cost me 450 so I can cope!

    Hmm.. I have older model than yours and it is sufficiently bright for me.

    Well... if you are unsatisfied and decide to sell your piece in the future, you can contact me

  27. #27
    Master
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    I can live with it lol!

  28. #28
    Master
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    .....I'll see how it looks later on when its dark.

  29. #29
    Well.... ?? We're all waiting for your 3am report!!

  30. #30
    Master
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    Forgot......

  31. #31
    I was expecting Ball to be super bright too. They are bright, but maybe not entirely what you expect.

    One test I have found though that is a bit odd but works everytime. If it's light enough that you can still see the hands then you won't really see the lume. As soon as you can no longer see the hands.......bang, there's the lume.

  32. #32
    Master unclealec's Avatar
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    I enquired last year at a Ball dealer in the Trafford Centre, Manchester, and was told there is a service available for 125 which services and relubes the watch and replaces all the tubes. My Engineer Master Diver II still dazzles at night but when the time comes if that price still holds, I'll look on it as quite a bargain.

  33. #33
    Master trisdg's Avatar
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    Re: Ball tritium tube question?

    Anyone know if you send a watch to the Ball UK service centre for a service, will they upgrade your t25 to t100 tubes if you ask them to?

  34. #34
    Master
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    Relume/retube and refurb sounds a bargain !!!

  35. #35
    Master geordie's Avatar
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    I love Trit tube watches, I've got a traser that's very bright indeed. I need to try a Ball at some point soon I think...

  36. #36
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  37. #37
    Master geordie's Avatar
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    Oh that doesn't look so good tbh

    Can you do a longer exposure in pitch darkness?

  38. #38
    Master trisdg's Avatar
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    Re: Ball tritium tube question?

    That's weaker than weak

  39. #39
    Journeyman Citizen V's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trisdg View Post
    Anyone know if you send a watch to the Ball UK service centre for a service, will they upgrade your t25 to t100 tubes if you ask them to?
    T25 and T100 refer to the amount of tritium on the dial/whole watch not the amount in each tube. The former meaning less than 25 millicuries of tritium, and the latter greater than 25 but less than 100 millicuries. So many T100 watches just have more tubes or larger tubes (like flat tubes).

    They can have a higher concentration of tritium in the tubes though. There was a Ball model I read about that had two versions, same amount of tubes in each, but one was T25 and the other T100. Can't find which model that was though.
    EDIT: Found it. The Ball Trieste came in T25 and T100 variants. T25 was supposedly for markets that don't allow T100 watches.

    I'm not sure if it can be done since they probably replace the entire dial instead of removing and replacing the tubes individually. But worth asking them.
    Last edited by Citizen V; 7th October 2012 at 20:01.

  40. #40
    Master trisdg's Avatar
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    Re: Ball tritium tube question?

    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen V View Post
    T25 and T100 refer to the amount of tritium on the dial/whole watch not the amount in each tube. The former meaning less than 25 millicuries of tritium, and the latter greater than 25 but less than 100 millicuries. So many T100 watches just have more tubes or larger tubes (like flat tubes).

    They can have a higher concentration of tritium in the tubes though. There was a Ball model I read about that had two versions, same amount of tubes in each, but one was T25 and the other T100. Can't find which model that was though. Probably best to ask them directly.
    Aaaaah. Cheers for that

    :-)

  41. #41
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by geordie View Post
    Oh that doesn't look so good tbh

    Can you do a longer exposure in pitch darkness?
    What, with an iphone4 s?

  42. #42
    Master geordie's Avatar
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    Glol maybe not then!

  43. #43
    Master trisdg's Avatar
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    Re: Ball tritium tube question?

    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen V View Post
    T25 and T100 refer to the amount of tritium on the dial/whole watch not the amount in each tube. The former meaning less than 25 millicuries of tritium, and the latter greater than 25 but less than 100 millicuries. So many T100 watches just have more tubes or larger tubes (like flat tubes).

    They can have a higher concentration of tritium in the tubes though. There was a Ball model I read about that had two versions, same amount of tubes in each, but one was T25 and the other T100. Can't find which model that was though. Probably best to ask them directly.
    Aaaaah. Cheers for that

    :-)

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