Breaking News
Blog

What on Earth?

NO RATINGS
View Comments: Oldest First | Newest First | Threaded View
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
digital_dreamer
User Rank
Rookie
Rectifier?
digital_dreamer   10/8/2013 12:13:00 PM
NO RATINGS
Given the specs and the use case, I'd say a rectifier. The tube looks very simple, but I can't see the cathode or anode. What's with all the "empty" space?

MAJ

bobdvb
User Rank
Manager
Re: Rectifier?
bobdvb   10/8/2013 12:33:25 PM
NO RATINGS
It is a Mercury Arc Valve rectifier:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury-arc_valve

http://www.electricstuff.co.uk/mercarc.html

I've seen pictures of them in abandoned buildings:

http://underground-history.co.uk/belsize.php

Rcurl
User Rank
Rookie
Re: Rectifier?
Rcurl   10/8/2013 3:59:56 PM
NO RATINGS
Caleb Kraft
User Rank
Blogger
Arc Rectifier
Caleb Kraft   10/8/2013 4:20:11 PM
NO RATINGS
That's an Arc Rectifier! I doscovered them in 2010 and was instantly in love. They glow a wonderful blue green!

Here's my article from back then.

Caleb Kraft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Arc Rectifier
Caleb Kraft   10/8/2013 4:21:23 PM
NO RATINGS
Here's a direct link to a video of one lit up. Man, so amazingly pretty.

Rcurl
User Rank
Rookie
Re: Arc Rectifier
Rcurl   10/8/2013 5:11:25 PM
NO RATINGS
These guys are a lot more complicated than I realized. I found this quirky video with an in-depth explanation of how they work: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Oq9VC94vbw

After looking at videos of these tubes in operation, I am amazed at the erratic flickering of the arc.  I would guess that the output is pretty noisy! 

David Ashton
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Rectifier?
David Ashton   10/8/2013 5:14:29 PM
NO RATINGS
@bobdvd - the link to the underground history pics had a remark that confirms what I seemed to remember - that they emit heaps of UV and it's not good to look at them for long.

bobdvb
User Rank
Manager
Re: Rectifier?
bobdvb   10/9/2013 6:20:09 AM
NO RATINGS
I was wondering if they also emmit significant x-rays as well? Given the quantity of electrons involved I can't imagine their not being emission!

Edit: I read somewhere that the voltage is too low for x-ray emission.

Yog-Sothoth
User Rank
Freelancer
Re: Rectifier?
Yog-Sothoth   10/9/2013 6:54:48 AM
NO RATINGS
Yes, it's a mercury arc rectifier. When I was a kid I recall seeing one in the Scince Museum in London, and it was working at the time. Emitted a blue-green glow when it was working. The cathode was a pool of mercury at the bottom, the anodes were (I think) carbon rods in the tubes around the sides.

Max The Magnificent
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Rectifier?
Max The Magnificent   10/9/2013 11:04:49 AM
NO RATINGS
@digital_dreamer: Given the specs and the use case, I'd say a rectifier.

That's my guess -- a mercury arc valve rectifier -- I would LOVE to have this in my office!!!

Page 1 / 2   >   >>
August Cartoon Caption Winner!
August Cartoon Caption Winner!
"All the King's horses and all the KIng's men gave up on Humpty, so they handed the problem off to Engineering."
5 comments
Top Comments of the Week
Like Us on Facebook

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
EE Times on Twitter
EE Times Twitter Feed
Flash Poll
Radio
LATEST ARCHIVED BROADCAST
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for todayís commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.