What are these?

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6 years 7 months ago #2565 by ktipping
Greetings to all.

I'm looking to finally build myself a Nixie Clock- likely based around the B7971 with a custom PCB design and chassis (I want something I can occasionally fire information at over bluetooth).

While I was researching what I wanted to use for the indicator lamps, I came across these weird little devices (see attached photo). It looks like some sort of tube-based design (at least, there's a fill port on the bottom- so I'm assuming it's either vacuumed or filled with neon) for a neon indicator lamp. What I like about them in particular is that crazy hexagonal grid going on there. Never seen anything quite like it.

Anyways, the photo came from Flickr. There were very few details on what this little guy is (just something to the effect of "It's an energized neon tube!"...).

I would love to know a model or a part number or... Uh, well, anything. Because all I have right now is a picture. Standard google searches for "neon indicator" and "neon lamp" bring back everything except the kitchen sink, so I can't seem to find anything relevant in the wasteland of results.

Can anyone shed some light on what these are?

Cheers,
-Keven Tipping
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6 years 7 months ago #2566 by Stuckey
No eBay APP ID défined in Kunena configurationIt looks similar to this...... but I can't identify the one you posted offhand. Let me keep searching:


"If the laws of physics don't apply in the future, then god help you."
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6 years 7 months ago #2567 by ktipping
Yeah, I've seen those on some other site.

All attempts to search for neon indicators, neon lamps, nixie indicators, nixie spot indicators, etc- have mostly been yielded with no relevant information.

www.flickr.com/photos/james4765/sets/721...662/with/3171917329/

That's where the pictures came from. I'm not sure who George Weistroffer is, Google would suggest he's from the film industry (though possibly still an electrician, as per the Flickr page). So it's possible that these may have come from some sort of stage equipment. I'm not sure.

The 6-pin pluggable pin configuration on the bottom is even stranger- I've only ever seen neon indicator lamps with a screw thread or solderable leads. I have a feeling if someone knew what socket this thing plugged into, it might shed some light on what the actual tube is.

-KT

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6 years 7 months ago #2568 by Stuckey
I just signed up for a Flickr account to ask the photographer. I'll let you know what I find out!

"If the laws of physics don't apply in the future, then god help you."
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6 years 7 months ago #2569 by Stuckey
I got a response from the photographer:

"We're not entirely sure. A fair bit of this collection came from someone who worked at the Naval Research Labs in Maryland, and she'd been collecting tubes for 20 years before deciding to sell off most of it to friends.

There are no markings on the tube anywhere, and the only guess we have is that it's some kind of ionization detector."

"If the laws of physics don't apply in the future, then god help you."
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6 years 7 months ago #2570 by ktipping
That's one funny looking detector tube.

Mostly everything that I've seen that either regulates or detects is quite a bit more complex then this little guy. I mean, this is literally just two planes of metal- one meshed, the other solid. The fact that it lights up as wonderfully as it does would have made me think that was what it was designed for.

Guess I'll keep looking, though I'm running out of english words to search for in Google...

Thanks for contacting them anyways!

Cheers,
-KT

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6 years 7 months ago #2572 by Accutron
It looks like it's probably a touch sensing thyratron switch.

Micah Mabelitini
www.decadecounter.com

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