Baird Neon Tube

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Baird Neon Tube

Postby McGee2021 » Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:51 pm

Earlier this evening, i was bored, so i went on youtube and on my recommendation list was a video produced by a man that makes nixie tubes in the Czech Republic. I started to think about the bird neon tube used in televisors, and was wondering about the fine details. What was the cathode made of? What was the anode made of? What gas mixture was used in it? And what was the striking voltage? i know that in order to keep the anode from being in front of the glow, Baird put it behind the cathode, and put a sheet of mica in between the two to keep the glow to the front. But the most important question of all- What were the dimensions of the tube, and what were the dimensions of the cathode? i had heard of the unsuccessful attempts to make a working replica in Australia that Chris Long had helped with, and i may as well contact him. Any answers to these questions would be MUCH appreciated. I also wonder how much his prices are for tubes, especially custom ones that haven't been manufactured in 80 years!

The video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxL4ElboiuA
John Logie Baird was obviously the man who sowed the seeds but did not reap the harvest.
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Re: Baird Neon Tube

Postby Steve Anderson » Thu Oct 27, 2016 2:47 am

There's no harm in getting in contact with the guy. He mentions 'low-volume production', what would he consider low-volume? Making Nixies where you have 10 cathodes and one anode must be a quite complex task. Here all we need is one cathode. But its area needs to be large and uniform in illumination if driven in a linear fashion. If even illumination can only be achieved a certain nominal current, the modulation can be arranged around that constraint.

I have to commend the guy, such a risk in such a niche market, he deserves our support if possible.

Steve A.

Afterthought...I'm quite willing to be a part of the exchange if the consensus is in agreement. I'm quite keen to see this get off the ground.

WOW! Now I've seen the video in its entirety, I realise how labour-intensive the process is! I doubt any of these amazing looking tubes will cheap by any long-shot!! Not forgetting the investment made in all the hardware required. The guy may have a passion for glowing gases but he has a family to feed as well.
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Re: Baird Neon Tube

Postby McGee2021 » Thu Oct 27, 2016 10:39 am

Steve Anderson wrote:Afterthought...I'm quite willing to be a part of the exchange if the consensus is in agreement. I'm quite keen to see this get off the ground.

WOW! Now I've seen the video in its entirety, I realise how labour-intensive the process is! I doubt any of these amazing looking tubes will cheap by any long-shot!! Not forgetting the investment made in all the hardware required. The guy may have a passion for glowing gases but he has a family to feed as well.


Thats the problem... im doing a science project on optical communication using various sources, such as a laser and incandescent lamps modulated with a jefree cell. its been draining my cash-flow as soon as it starts to flow a bit more! I might start a crowd funding page in order to get this reproduction tube off the ground... but in the mean time, ive been browsing some of Chris Longs post on this forum, and i found this:

The original cathode-glow neon lamps specifically designed for television, with a flat nickel cathode plate about 3 cm square, are now, quite without exaggeration, as rare as proverbial "hen's teeth". They were not manufactured for more than a brief period (1927 - 1937 at the outside) and very few people bought them.
John Logie Baird was obviously the man who sowed the seeds but did not reap the harvest.
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Re: Baird Neon Tube

Postby McGee2021 » Fri Oct 28, 2016 10:51 pm

Daryl H, the man that makes the aurora converter, has said that he may be able to supply me dimensions of the bulb that he owns, which is an original baird neon. Dimensions will be posted if received.
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Re: Baird Neon Tube

Postby Lawnboy » Tue Dec 13, 2016 6:52 am

Happened to come across this Nixie tube the other day. Not quite a flat plate neon, but could be useful for experiments. I don't think the seller has any idea what it is!
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Re: Baird Neon Tube

Postby Klaas Robers » Tue Dec 13, 2016 8:21 am

No, he hasn't. This is a Nixie tube ZM 1020, however the real ZM 1020 has an orange color filter coating on the top. Without that color filter it is a ZM 1022. Problem is, you need special 13 pin sockets for them, named B13B, or you have to hobby something special for it to hold it. I have Philips specifications of these indicator tubes.......
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Re: Baird Neon Tube

Postby AncientBrit » Tue Dec 13, 2016 6:31 pm

I used a number of these in a frame/footage counter I built when I was at the BBC in the late '60s
Part of automatic panning for Cinemascope films in Telecine

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Re: Baird Neon Tube

Postby Klaas Robers » Tue Dec 13, 2016 10:12 pm

Graham,

I made an electronic clock with 6 of these indicator tubes. That is to say, six of the somewhat larger tubes, ZM 1040. The clock is running in a 80C51 industrial micro controller and on the second ticks of the transmitter DCF-77 in Frankfurt DL.

Image

The small circuit in front is the long wave receiver for DCF-77 (77.5 kHz).
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Re: Baird Neon Tube

Postby AncientBrit » Tue Dec 13, 2016 11:53 pm

Klaas,

That's a very neat presentation (as always!).

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Re: Baird Neon Tube

Postby Steve Anderson » Wed Dec 14, 2016 8:44 pm

Here we have no LF radio transmission of time data, the nearest is in Japan which sometimes you can lock onto if you're in an aircraft, but not on the ground.

The only other source is GPS which for clocks, data-logging and the like requires adding 7 hours to UTC and adjusting the day/month/year roll-over. Thankfully we do not use daylight saving as we're only 13 degrees north of the equator. If you're west of UTC (the US and South America) is easier in code being behind...remember leap years can be a real pain in this regard. Leap seconds are taken care of by the GPS system by simply repeating 23:59:59 at the appropriate time...there is another leap second coming up on the 31st December 2016. The last minute of 2016 will contain 61 seconds. It happens at the same time across the world, UTC midnight. Here it will be at 7am on the 1st January 2017 for example. Your digital locked clock should display 23:59:60 at midnight if you're in the UK.

Make sure you adjust your wristwatch accordingly!

Steve A.

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