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I'm trying to animate a neon sign that blinks, but I'm having trouble with my materials. Here's the .blend file

I am using the Blender Internal renderer. In order to have a neon sign that blinks I created a material that uses nodes to alternate between two simple materials.

material nodes

The "Fac" property on the mixes is animated using constant interpolation so it toggles between 0 and 1.

One of the materials (neon phase 2) works just fine. Unfortunately, neon phase 1 (which is the "opposite") does not. When it is off it is not translucent like glass. It is a shiny opaque grey.

What is the critical difference between the two node-based materials that makes one work correctly, and the other be opaque all the time? How do I fix it or work around it?

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Thanks to Vailreth from IRC. He noticed that the Transparency under Render Pipeline Options (which started out minimized) was not checked on the problem material:

enter image description here

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