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Author Topic: Neon bulb info wanted  (Read 6444 times)

Offline Alan Franzman

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Neon bulb info wanted
« on: March 11, 2001, 10:57:00 pm »
Hello all,

I've recently won an auction for a few rather large "Nixie" neon numerical indicating tubes and in case I ever get hold of some more of the same type, to make a digital clock with, I'd like to get some neon bulbs to make dots for the colon(s) between the digits.

The tubes I won are quite possibly the largest Nixies ever made, type CD47/GR-414 Rodan made by Okaya Electric Industries Co., Ltd., Japan.  The displayed digits are 130mm (approximately 5 1/8 inches) tall, so I'm thinking the colon dots should be in the range of 1/4" to 1/2" diameter.

I don't have any knowledge of what the various neon indicator/utility bulbs look like other than the few I've seen on this site and a few others on eBay.  I have seen images of type AR-1 argon bulbs and a similar style neon type whose number I'm not sure of but I think the disk formed by the electrodes in them may be larger than I want.  Here are some additional type numbers that I would like to know the diameter of the glowing area for, and of course let me know if I've made a mistake such as the electrodes not being viewable as circular from any direction:

B7A
B9A
NE45
NE47
NE48
R2A

I know that some of these are different designations for the same bulb.  I think the R2A is the one that is similar to AR1.  If you have them available, posts of or links to images would be appreciated as well.

TIA!


------------------

Alan "A.J." Franzman

AFranzman@aol.compute.com

My real e-mail address does not compute.

------------------

[This message has been edited by Alan Franzman (edited April 19, 2001).]
A.J.

Offline Chris W. Millinship

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Neon bulb info wanted
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2001, 05:56:00 pm »
I`m sorry I don`t know about the bulb types you list, but maybe a couple of GE NE-30s would make nice colons? See this link to one of the gallery pictures......
 http://www.bulbcollector.com/cgi-bin/imageFolio.cgi?action=view&link=Neon_Glow_Lamps&image=GE_NE-30.jpg&img=56&tt=

...or are they a little big for your design?
The amber neon equivalent of GE`s violet colour AR-1 argon lamp is the otherwise identical NE-34 but this has that same 1"-ish sized glow area so would be too big for a clock colon.
As for other GE styles, well I`m not sure but I think I saw something referring to the different types of vintage GE neon utility bulbs on this site (can`t remember where now though!), if I can find it I`ll post a link, or maybe Tim is watching and knows exactly what I`m on about so can do it for me?

Anyway hope this helps
(ps- can you post a picture of those giant Nixies cos I`m sure everyone would like to see them, me included!)


------------------
-chris
electriclights.tripod.com

Offline Alan Franzman

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Neon bulb info wanted
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2001, 10:38:00 pm »
Thanks Chris,

I've seen that image before but I'm not sure I like the texture.  Maybe if I knew what they look like from the end.  And how much would they cost in quantity of 6-10?

A.F.
A.J.

Offline James

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Neon bulb info wanted
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2001, 08:57:00 am »
Hi Alan,

I think that one of the European design neon indicators would suit you better.  The GE bulbs you mention use the type P-3 and P-2 electrode, which is kind of bee-hive shaped and stamped out from two halves with a gap in between.  Thus viewed end-on you see a dark band through the middle and if you look off-axis it no longer looks like a dot.  The other NE-34 type has a very large electrode measuring about 1" diameter which is probably too big for you.

Philips and Osram still manufacture neons in 16mm diameter glass tubes here, with small bayonet or screw caps and designed for end-viewing.  They have one 8mm disc electrode with an annular electrode around it and these look much more like a round dot from all angles.  Some types have lensed ends though which reduce the viewing angle and you may prefer to avoid them.  You can find specs of some of the Osram neons at http://catalog.osram.com/scripts/tabelle.asp?tblid=206.

You might have to remove the cap to extract the internal resistor but that's quite simple to do, let me know if you need a couple of tips on how to easily take caps off lamps.

James

Offline Alan Franzman

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Neon bulb info wanted
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2001, 03:02:00 pm »
Thank you, James.

I think the 8mm electrode size would suit me just fine.  Any idea where I can get small quantity of these?  Also, it would be nice if I could get a better idea of what they look like from the end.  The link you provided doesn't really make it clear whether those two types are lensed or not, though they appear not to be.

As to removing lamp bases, I know how to do that but I don't think it will be necessary since I'm stepping up the line voltage to 240V then rectifying it to get about 300VDC to drive the Nixies.  If anything, I'll want to add some resistance in series with the lamps.

A.J.F.

[This message has been edited by Alan Franzman (edited March 14, 2001).]
A.J.

Offline James

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Neon bulb info wanted
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2001, 08:03:00 am »
Hi Alan,

Your best bet is probably International Lamps in the UK, http://www.internationallamps.co.uk/

In addition to these, they carry a wide range of hundreds of other European and Japanese neons so it would probably pay you to ask for a copy of their Miniature lamp catalogue first.  The neon section is not yet published online.

James