Патент USA US2106413код для вставки
Jan. 25, 1938. A, J_ PQTE 2,106,413 LAMP SWITCHING MECHANI SM _Filed June 11, 1928 J6 J! U 1.73 J , \ < ‘Q 3 < , \ O " "1 ' . INVENTOR. .J 07:’ BY . A TTORNEY. Patented Jan. 25, 1938 2,106,413"? UNITED sTAr-Es PATENT OFFICE‘ 2.11mi: LAMB SWITCHING MECHANISM Alfred J. Poté, Chelsea, Mass., assignor, by mcsne assignments, Baythcon Manufacturing Company, Newton. ‘Mm,’ a corporation of > Delaware Application-June 11. 1928, serial No. 284,498 13 Claims. (01. 176-124) My invention relates to lamp switching mecha tween the electrodes will not occur. If, however, nism and has particular reference to the switch has been used quite extensively forLilluminating the path of the electrons is so lengthened be tween the opposing electrodes that the electrons have several ionizing collisions with the gas par~ _ticles, conduction between the electrodes will be and advertising purposes. For the latter purpose it lends itself readily to the formation of letters There are various ways of lengthening the ing on and oil‘ of electric glow-lamps. The elec tric glow-lamp consisting of spaced electrodes in an atmosphere of a rare or other kind of gas or ?gures in. which a continuous band of illumi- - nation or glow is desired. In the case of signs having incandescent bulbs therein composing the letters, it has been cus tomary to ?ash or obtain various combinations of lights or groups of lights to either successively delineate a letter, word, or ?gure, or to illuminate continuously varying portions of a sign. In the case of glow-lamps this‘ has been practically im possible. The glow-lamps used for signs as a‘ rule, require an extremely high potential to ini tiate the discharge, the potential being as high as twenty thousand volts. Thereafter, it has been customary to have resistances or automatic switching arrangements whereby a lower running potential was impressed on the glow-lamp. Even this running potential, however, is as a rule very initiated. - - paths of the electrons without changing the phys i'cal spacing of the electrodes as disclosed in the above entitled patents. One way in particular is by impressing a magnetic ?eld.in such a way as to cause the electrons to be de?ected from directly following the potential gradient and thus take a longer path. I apply this principle to the flashing of glow-lamps or the like in a. sign. By making each glo -.lamp unit with two elec trodes at one end located within an insulatingly short distance from each other and surrounding that end with a solenoid, the other end of the lamp having the usual electrode, it is possible to high, amounting to' thousands of volts. To number of glow-lamps to be switched on and switch glow-lamps on and off for various inter The single ?gure of the drawing is a diagram matic embodiment of my invention. The drawing shows the two letters “U” and vals with voltages as high as are in use, presents very serious switching problems and may require expensive and complicated apparatus. By my invention it is possible to ?ash the luminous portions of the glow-lamp on and oil’ as often and as quickly as may be found desir able. I accomplish this with simple apparatus, and in such a way that no contacts are. made or broken in the high potential circuit. In the patents to Charles G. Smith, Nos. 1,617,172, 1,617,173 and others issued to him on February 8, 1927, a tube is disclosed wherein two spaced electrodes are surrounded by a rare?ed atmosphere, preferably of one of the rare gases. The spacing between the electrodes and the pres sure of the gas are so co-related thatthe gap between the electrodes is insulating under nor mal conditions. I This depends upon the so-called short path principle, which is fully explained in the patents referred to above, as well as other patents of Smith. Brie?y this principle is that if two sur faces are so close together that their distance is of the order of the mean free path of the sur rounding gas, any free electronscoming from the cathode will not be able to travel a great enough distance to cause any substantial amount of ionization by impact. Hence, conduction be 0 switch the current from the two opposite elec trodes to the two electrodes at one end by ar ranging a suitable commutating or switching mechanism. Thus it isv possible to cause any off in any desired sequence. “S”, as‘ an example‘of a sign which it is desired to ?ash. As is well known, the intermediate or visible portions of the glow-lamp comprising the letters “U” and “S” here do not include the elec trodes. As shown here, the electrode portions of the letter “U” have been placed in the same plane as the intermediate “U” portion of the tube, but 35 ordinarily this is not so. The ordinary practice is to have these end portions-sunk in behind the letter portion itself and usually behind the metal lic covers of the sign. Furthermore the electrode or end portions of the, glow-lamps usually be come blackened with the sputtered metal from. the electrodes and in a short time become opaque. ‘ Hence, it is immaterial where the electrode-pore tions of the glow-lamp are placed. ' - 45 The glow-lamp “U”. has electrode portions I g and 2. These portions comprise the usual glass Dress with the lead-in wires sealed therein and supporting the electrode. Portion I comprises a cylindrical electrode 3 with which and in con centric relation thereto is another open ended cylindrical electrode 4. The entire lamp is ex hausted and ?lled with some gas as usual. Elec trodes 3 and 4 are connected by means of con ductors 5 and 6 to the opposite sides of trans 55 2,100,413 2 metal, it is desirable that there be one or more holes so that free access. to electrode 4 may be former ‘I, which supplies the necessary potential and current to operate, each letter of the sign. At the other end of the letter is electrode 8 simi lar to electrode 4 and connected to electrode 4 had by the gas particles in the tube. While I have shown my invention applied to two by means of a conductor 8, Between the second ary of transformer 1 and electrodes 4 and 3 is a resistance It which is used to dissipate a por tion of the voltage after the discharge through the tube has been initiated. Around portion | 10' is placed solenoid or coil II which is connected by conductors l2 and I3 to a battery l4 and switch 18. > letters, it is obvious that it can be applied to any number of letters or in fact to any number of glow-lamps arranged in any con?guration what ever. Instead of letters, the tubing may be bent into shapes delineating ?gures or designs and any desired portion or portions thereof may be 10 switched on and off in any and every possible ‘ The letter “8" is similar in all respects to the letter “U” with regard to the structure and com 15 prises the' two electrode portion 2| and the one electrode portion 22. Portion 2| has concentric electrodes similar to the electrodes of the letter “U". Conductor 28 connects the inner electrode way. I claim: 1. A glow-lamp comprising a transparent en velope, an electrode at each end, a gas ?lling therein, said electrodes adapted to permit a dis charge through the gas and render the inter mediate portions of the tube luminescent, an additional electrode spaced a normally insulating ly short distance away from one of the electrodes 20 through a resistance 3|! to transformer ‘I. Elec 20 trode portion 22 is connected to conductor 28 by _ and means for connecting said additional elec conductor 28. Conductor 25 connects the outer electrode of portion 2| of the letter "S” to" the other end of the secondary of transformer 'l as shown. Portion 2| of the letter "S” has amagnet 25 coil 3| around it and connected to conductor l2 and switch l5 by means of conductors 35 and 38 respectively. . 30 tance between the surfaces is normally insulating under the conditions of gas pressure and kind ' When transformer ‘I is energized, the open cir cuit potential of the secondary will be impressed 35 across electrodes 3 and 4 and electrodes 3 and 8. Due to the insulating nature of the gap between electrodes 3 and 4, a discharge will be initiated between electrodes 3 and 8 only. As soon as the discharge is initiated and current ?ows, the drop 40 across resistance Ill will reduce the potential across electrodes 3 and 8 to the desired running potential. By switching battery |4 into the coil circuit of this tube, the gap between electrodes 3 and 4 will be rendered conducting by the mag 45 netic ?eld because of the longer electronic paths. The result will be that the entire discharge will be transferred from between electrodes 3 and 8 to electrodes 3 and 4, and the intermediate or “U” portion of the tube will therefore no longer be luminescent. The same applies to the letter “S”. 50 ‘By suitably actuating switch l5, it is possible to thus ?ash the letter “U” and “S” successively. It is of course, very easy to arrange the ‘coil cir cuits so that the letters are ?ashed on“ and of! 55 simultaneously. velope, an electrode at each end thereof, a gas 25 ?lling therein, said electrodes adapted to permit a. discharge through said gas ?lling and render the intermediate portions of the tube luminescent, Electrodes 3 and 4 in portion | areboth cylin drical and so related to each other that the dis of gas used in the letter "13”. trode directly through a low impedance path to the other electrode. 2. A glow-lamp comprising a transparent en - an additional electrode disposed a normally in sulatingly short distance from one electrode, 30 means for connecting said additional electrode to the other electrode, and means for destroying the ' normally insulating properties of the gap between said closely spaced electrodes, whereby an addi tional path is provided for the original current 35 between the two end electrodes. ' 3. A glow-lamp comprising a transparent en velope, an electrode at each end thereof, a gas ?lling therein, said electrodes being adapted to permit a discharge through the gas and render 40 the intermediate portions of the envelope lu minescent, at least one of said electrodes being a_ hollow cylinder, an additional electrode in co axial relationship with said cylindrical electrode and spaced a normally‘ insulatingly short distance 45 from said cylindrical electrode, and meansfor connecting said additional electrode directly through a low impedance path to the other elec trode so as tobe at substantially the same poten tial as the other electrode. 4. A glow-lamp comprising a transparent en velope, a hollow cylindrical electrode at each end thereof, a gas filling therein, said electrodes be 50 ing adapted to support a discharge through the gas and render the intermediate portions of the 55 Although each glow-lamp as shownhere is envelope luminescent, and an additional hollow rendered alternately or successively dark and lu . cylindrical electrode having a common axis with minescent, the discharge itself never dies out._ one of said first mentioned electrodes and spaced However, for practical purposes and as far as the a normally insulatingly short distance therefrom parts of the lamp which are exposed to the public and means for connecting said additional elec '60 are concerned, the tube may be said to be switched trode directly through a low impedance path to on and off. When the letter or intermediate ;.the other of said ‘first mentioned electrodes so as portion of the tube is dark, the discharge between - to .be at substantially the same potential as the the two electrodes at one end is occurring. Since other electrode. ‘ 65 5. A gaseous discharge device comprising an 65 this end, as well as the other end containing the single electrode, as stated above, is usually hidden, ' envelope, a pair 'of'electrodes within said en the short path discharge is invisible. In order to velope, an ionizable atmosphere within said en 70 render the'discharge at portion I thoroughly in visible, electrode 3 may have its end closed by .a solid metal disc. The cylindrical portion 3 may be solid metal or may be of gauze. Since the glass end of portion I usually becomes blackened from the sputtered metal, the discharge will not be visible if gauze is used. However,,if the cylin 75 drical portion of electrode 3 is made of .solid velope, said electrodes adapted to permit an ioniz ing discharge between them through said ioniz 70 able atmosphere, an additional electrode» dis posed a normally insulatingly short distance from one of said electrodes, means for connecting said additional electrode to the other of said electrodes, and means for destroying the normally insulat 's 2,106,418 ing properties of the gap between said closely spaced electrodes. 6. A gaseous discharge device comprising an envelope, a pair of electrodes within said envelope, GI an ionizable atmosphere within said envelope, said electrodes adapted to permit an ionizing discharge between them through said ionizable atmosphere, an additional electrode disposed a normally insulatingly short distance ‘from one of 10 said electrodes, and means for creating a mag netic ?eld in the space between said closely spaced electrodes to increase the length of the electron paths in said space and break down the normally insulating properties of said space. 7. A gaseous discharge device comprising an envelope, a pair of electrodes within said envelope, an ionizable atmosphere within said envelope, said electrodes adapted to permit an ionizing discharge between them through said ionizable atmosphere, an additional electrode disposed from one of said main electrodes a distance of the order of the molecular mean free path of said atmosphere, and means for connecting said addi tional electrode directly through a low impedance path to the other of said electrodes. 8. A gaseous discharge device comprising an envelope, a pair of electrodes within said enve lope, an ionizable atmosphere within said enve 30 lope, said electrodes adapted to permit an ionizing discharge between them through said ionizable atmosphere, an additional electrode disposed closer to one of said main electrodes than the distance between said main electrodes, a circuit connecting a source of potential between said OD Cl main electrodes, an auxiliary circuit connecting a source of potential between the additional elec trode and the main electrode adjacent to it, an impedance common to both of said circuits, and means for controlling the current ?owing be 40 tween said closely spaced electrodes to control the current ?owing between said main electrodes. 9. A gaseous discharge device comprising an envelope, a pair of electrodes within said enve lope, an ionizable atmosphere within said enve lope, said electrodes adapted to permit an ioniz ing discharge between them through said ioniz able atmosphere, an additional electrode disposed closer to one of said main electrodes than the 3 distance between said main electrodes, a circuit connecting a source of potential between said main electrodes, an auxiliary circuit connecting a, source of potential between the additional elec trode and the main electrode adjacent to it, means for controlling the current ?owing be tween said closely-spaced electrodes, and means responsive to the said current for controlling the potential applied between said'main electrodes. 10. A gaseous discharge device comprising an 10 envelope, a pair of electrodes within said enve lope, an ionizable atmosphere within said en~ 'velope, said device being adapted to permit an ionizing discharge between said electrodes through said ionizable atmosphere, an additional electrode disposed closer to one of said main 1,5 electrodes than the other of said main, electrodes, means for connecting said additional electrode to the other of said main electrodes, and means for controlling the current ?owing between said 20 closely-spaced electrodes to control the current ?owing between said main electrodes. 11. A tube comprising a ?rst main electrode, a second main electrode spaced from said ?rst main electrode, a control electrode an the side 25 of said second main electrode opposite said ?rst main electrode, said second main electrode and said control electrode being spaced close together, whereby no discharge takes place between them and a direct connection between said ?rst main 30 electrode and said control electrode. 12. A tube comprising a ?rst electrode, a sec ond electrode which is perforated and which is spaced from said ?rst electrode, a third electrode on the side of said second electrode opposite said ?rst electrode, said second electrode and said third electrode being spaced close together, whereby no discharge takes place between them and a direct connection between said ?rst elec trode and said third electrode. 13. A method of operating a ?ashing luminous gas discharge tube which consists in starting the tube and intermittently short-circuiting the posi tive column of the discharge while maintaining current flow through the dark spaces adjacent to at least one of the main electrodes of the tube. ALFRED J. POTE.