Uses for neon bubs

Discussion in 'Radio Circuits, Repair & Performance' started by KL7AJ, Jul 26, 2017.

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  1. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Also, the electrodes can eventually outgas and contaminate the "innards."
  2. KD2ACO

    KD2ACO Platinum Subscriber Life Member Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I was having trouble with a servo and unobtainium ICs for a while. The turntable speed would hunt around intermittently. Great Fun!

    I preverse engineered the servo pre-amp and driver cards with parts that can be bought. That was a huge PITA. The neon lamp tells you that it's locked from across the room. It's been running fine for a couple years now.

    P1000668.JPG P1000669.JPG
    You don't have to remove your necktie to operate this lathe! :p

    Some pieces of 50's-60's processing gear used NE-2 lamps as regulators.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2017
    KA9JLM and WA7PRC like this.
  3. ZS6GST

    ZS6GST QRZ Member

    Many years ago, I used neons as low cost replacements for diac diodes to trigger SCRs in light dimmers that I manufactured for student pocket money. A fellow verbose student was duly appointed as a salesman to sell my dimmers to night clubs and romantic dinner places and this led to a very amusing BS 'client relations' story.

    At low levels, dimmed lights would sometimes flicker due to spikes on the mains. When visiting an existing
    client, the student salesman was confronted by an irate owner who complained bitterly about the flickering lights whereupon the student salesman inquired as to what the owner had paid for the dimmers. The student salesman then informed the surprised owner that he had charged too little for the dimmers and would have to replace them with ordinary types as the ones he had delivered were the much more expensive special romantic "flickering candle effect" types. Upon hearing this, the owner vehemently refused to have the flickering dimmers replaced. Years later when visiting the same club, I jokingly complianed about the flickering lights where upon the owner went into great detail to explain the unique romantic benefits of his special "flickering candle effect" lights.
    AH7I, KB4QAA, KD2ACO and 2 others like this.
  4. KE0ZU

    KE0ZU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Google GE glowlamps PDF, and be ready to spend a few hours reading. The lowly glow lamp was pretty versatile.

    They were used quite extensively in electronic organs.

    KD2ACO likes this.
  5. WA7PRC

    WA7PRC Ham Member QRZ Page

    That's excellent salesmanship. The flickering isn't a defect... it's a FEATURE. ;):D
  6. K8ERV

    K8ERV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Speak for yourself!

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
  7. K0OKS

    K0OKS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Triplett has neon bulbs in some of their meters to indicate the presence of high voltage, sort of like the little lightning bolt Fluke uses these days when things exceed 30V, except neons are more like 80-90V ish.
    KD2ACO likes this.
  8. SM0NTK

    SM0NTK XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I used it betweenmy antenna earth and incoming voltage earth in the 80-s -when lines where bad here - also connected it to an w3zz wire and to earth - when it glows - all is static - time to go away..
    KD2ACO likes this.
  9. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    As stated above, neon bulbs DO have a finite lifespan, and while they slowly dim, they do eventually go out completely. Usually, before giving up the ghost, they will flicker, which is an indication they are close to "end of life." In some cases, they can be replaced with new bulbs (as I did with a push button on my home-brew light dimmer) but the time and labor is usually not worth it; a replacement switch is usually cheaper (and a lot easier) in the long run..

    Before the age of DIACs and Zener diodes, neon bulbs were often used in the trigger mechanism for lamp dinners used with incandescent bulbs. They also gave pretty long life in "Nixie" tubes.
  10. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Candle lit dinners ?

    I have seen them in the twist in florescent starters.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2017

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