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digital_dreamer
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Rectifier?
digital_dreamer   10/8/2013 12:13:00 PM
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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
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Re: Rectifier?
bobdvb   10/8/2013 12:33:25 PM
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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
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Re: Rectifier?
Rcurl   10/8/2013 3:59:56 PM
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Caleb Kraft
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Arc Rectifier
Caleb Kraft   10/8/2013 4:20:11 PM
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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
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Re: Arc Rectifier
Caleb Kraft   10/8/2013 4:21:23 PM
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Here's a direct link to a video of one lit up. Man, so amazingly pretty.

Rcurl
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Re: Arc Rectifier
Rcurl   10/8/2013 5:11:25 PM
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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
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Re: Rectifier?
David Ashton   10/8/2013 5:14:29 PM
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@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
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Re: Rectifier?
bobdvb   10/9/2013 6:20:09 AM
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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
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Re: Rectifier?
Yog-Sothoth   10/9/2013 6:54:48 AM
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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
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Re: Rectifier?
Max The Magnificent   10/9/2013 11:04:49 AM
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@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!!!

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