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3 lead neon lamp?

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by JohnR66, Apr 14, 2006.

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  1. JohnR66

    JohnR66 Guest

    Picture the typical neon indicator lamp, such as the NE-2. Now picture it
    with three electrodes in a row and three wire leads. I saw a picture of one,
    but no idea of what it is for. Best I can come up with is a situation where
    two separate sources drive the lamp or perhaps a dual brightness lamp? Any
    ideas on this thing?
    John
     
  2. I've no idea, but I would guess the device is designed to exploit
    the electrical characteristics of a neon discharge lamp, rather
    than the lighting effect. For example, exceeding the striking
    voltage (~90V) across any two of the electrodes would probably
    result in the lamp switching into voltage stabalising (~60V)
    across all 3 electrodes. An application might use this where
    one of the electrodes is used as a trigger.

    One other thought would be as a power indicator lamp in a 3-phase
    3-wire (delta) system.
     
  3. Could it be a sort of flip-flop component in a high voltage oscillator
    circuit?
     
  4. I think it's most likely a gas discharge spike (surge) surpressor.

    There are a number of types of these devices made. The reason
    for the three leads is that (usually) the two outer leads are
    connected to the two power lines, the center one is connected
    to ground. I believe the theory is that if a spike causes
    a discharge on one half of the circuit, the other half of the
    circuit is more likely to conduct as well. They are also used
    on things like telephone lines, where if one side of the line
    has a spike you want the other side to conduct to ground as well
    at the same time.

    Bart.
     
  5. JohnR66

    JohnR66 Guest

    Could be part of an oscillator or 3 phase indicator. I doubt it is a surge
    device, the thin wire leads don't seem up to that.
    John
     
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