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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.

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! 

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.

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.

Rcurl
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Re: Rectifier?
Rcurl   10/8/2013 3:59:56 PM
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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

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

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