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Патент USA US2114535

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April 19, 1933-
‘ '
Filed Oct. 24, 1933
2 Sheets-Sheet 1
/’_fU/?7' EJ." MR.) TEN
April 19, 1938.
Filed Oct. 24, 1933
2 Sheets-Sheet >2
Myer f: J/f/RsTEN
Patented Apr. 19,. 1938'
Kurt F. J. Kirsten, Seattle, Wash., assignor to
Kirsten Lighting Corporation, a corporation of
Application October 24, 1933, Serial No. 694,981
3 Claims.
This invention relates to the art of gaseous
conduction-lamps and has reference more par
ticularly to a novel electrical circuit for the
kindling and operation of a gas are lamp.
Heretofore, in the art of gaseous conduction
lamps or luminous tubes containing rare gases or
metallic vapors, the chief di?iculties have been
in the complexity of the electrical circuit and of
the equipment required in connection therewith.
10 Even the most recent achievements in the ?eld
of gas are tubes embrace the following auxiliary
First.--Directly or indirectly heated cathodes
coated with a metallic oxide.
Second.--A source of electrical energy for heat
_ing the cathodes; usuallyin the form of some
special low potential windings superimposed upon
(Cl. 176-124)
transformer which has a secondary potential suf
?ciently high to start the lamp.
In view of the above stated facts, it has been
the object of this invention to simplify the lumi
nous arc tube and its supplementary circuits so
that it compares favorably in cost and main
tenance with the simple glow tube and its cir
It is also an object of this invention to provide
a'novel lamp circuit whereby use of the usually 10
employed Tesla coil and associated relays are
eliminated; which also eliminates the use of
costly external thermostats and their heating coil
and ?nally, the production of a highly efficient
arc lamp at a cost comparing favorably with that v 15
of the glow tube.
‘ Other objects of the invention reside in the de
tails of construction of the circuit, the electrodes
Third.—A high frequency oscillator or Tesla. and the mode of operation of the lamp, as will
20 coil, energized from the main circuit for starting hereinafter be fully described.
The simplification of the circuit of the luminous
the arc.
Fourth.-—A ballasting impedance which stab -' arc tube is made possible chiefly through use of
the main transformer which energizes the are.
lizes the arc or’which, in series with the arc of
negative resistance characteristics, gives the cir-‘
25 cult as a whole positive resistance characteristics.
the special. cathode construction described and
illustrated in my pending application ?led on
August '7, 1933 under Serial Number 683,985. 25
Fifth-Thermostats which retard the imposi ' This cathode‘ is constructed so that it is ener
tion of are potential upon. the electrodes until gized by' the arc current itself instead of by
after the cathodes have been brought up to proper special auxiliary circuits. In connection. with
this particular cathode I associate bi-metal ther
heatand which‘ also retard and limit the func
30 tioning of the Tesla coil to the proper period of mostatic strips in the electrode construction 30
whereby the arc current is shunted through a
its operation.
Sixth-Relays ‘which, delayed by the thermo
conductor which, externally of the tube, connects
stats, close the main arc circuit and open the ' the heating elements of the cathodes in series.
Tesla coil circuit at the proper time and which
35. shunt out the thermostats so that they may as
sume their normal initial setting for again re
peating this starting cycle of operations ‘should
the line potential drop or be cut off due to cir
cuit disturbances.
__ 40
The cost of the above equipmentand the added
expense of its maintenance and skill required for
its assembly have stood in the way of introducing
the luminous arc lamp into the ?eld of general
illumination in competition with other sources of
4GI light, such as the tungsten lamp, or in the ?eld
of advertising with the high voltage glow tube
which is now used extensively in all parts of the
civilized world and which owes its success to the
.simplicity of its circuits and small amount of
50 auxiliary equipment necessary to operate it.
With respect to the high voltage glow tube, the
Thus, the electrodes‘ are heated as soon as the-
circuit is closed and when the cathode heat is 35
su?iciently high, the bi-metal strip warps from
the heat and. breaks the short-circuit of the arc.
This sudden opening of the short-circuited arc
path and of the impedance creates a rise of po
tential across the arc path which is suii‘iciently 40
high to kindle the are.
In accomplishing the various objects of the
invention, I have provided the improved details
of construction, the preferred forms of which are
illustrated in the accompanying drawings, where- 45
Fig. 1 is a view diagrammatically illustrating
the present lamp and its circuit in its simplest
t Fig. 2 similarly illustrates the lamp and an- 50
othercircuitof simple form.
Fig. 3 is a diagrammatic illustration oixth'e
operating equipment consists only of a suitable
impedance in series with the tube circuit to give present lamp and its circuit including control
the tube a positive resistance characteristic. equipment which will insure most satisfactory
55 .
56 Usually this impedance is incorporated in the operation of the lamp.
’ 2,114,535
Fig. 4 is‘ a view diagrammatically ‘illustrating
an alternative arrangement.
shown is typical oi’ the varlous' kinds of im
formers used in the luminous tube art.
Fig. 5 is another alternative construction using
, The-lamp circuit of Fig. 3 is an elaboration of ‘
r the simple forms ‘shown in Figs. 1 and 2. In this
* an external thermostat.
Fig. 6 is a diagram of another alternative con
arrangement the terminals 8 and 8' are connect- ‘
' struction employing an external thermostat ‘and ’ ed to the terminals of the secondary winding of
Referring more in detail to the drawings
In each oi‘ the several views i designates a
10 sealed transparent tubular vessel of glass or other
a current limiting transformer Ii. The primary
winding of this transformer is connected to the
power circuit through switch i2. Also in this
‘arrangement the terminals 6 and 8 at one end and 10
suitable material ?lled with-a rare gas or me _ theterminals 6' and 8' at the other end are
tallic vapor, or a combination of gas and vapor
shunted, respectively, by condensers i0 and Ill’
which is the carrier for the luminous arc. At its
opposite ends the tube 8 has enlargements 2'—2'
15 shaped to best accommodate the terminal elec- ,
trodes of the lamp; which, respectively, are des
ignated in their entirely by reference numerals
The electrodes 3—3' preferably are in accord~
207 ance with the construction illustrated and de-.
scribed in my application filed August 7, 1933
under Serial Number 683,985, and each comprises
and interposed in the conductor 9 is a shunt im
pedance 9a.
The operation of the lamp and circuit of ‘Fig. 3 15
will be ?rst described as it simpli?es the un
derstanding of circuits of Figs. 1 and 2. Upon
closing switch l2 a current from the secondary
of the transformer Ii ?ows through the heater
coil 4 of the cathode of electrode 3 and since 20
the coil 4 is electrically connected through the
cathode shell and‘connection 3c to the heat con,»
an indirectly heated cathode enclosed by a heat
serving shield 31) surrounding the cathode, the
conserving shield.
current will flow through ‘the shell and thermo
static strip 5 to terminal 6, thence through con 25
ductor 9 and impedance 8a to the terminal 8';
thermostat 5’; through electrode 3' to terminal
8' and back to the transformer secondary. The
magnitude of this current depends upon the total
impedance of the secondary circuit, that is, up 30
on the resistance of coils ii, the shunt impedance
9a and the internal reactancé of transformer ii.
The internal reactance oi’ the transformer is
so proportioned that the short-circuit current of
the secondary is only slightly larger than the 35
normal operating current of the lamp after the
More speci?cally described,
25 the cathode consists of a tubular metallic shell
81: within which is a heater coil 45. The outer end
of the coil is electrically connected with the, shell
8a and at its inner end is connected with a ter
minal wire 8 which is sealed through the end wall
30 of the lamp tube. The heat conserving shield
which encloses the cathode is designated by nu,
meral 8b and this is a cylindrical, metallic piece
larger than the cathode and supported by a sealed
.in wire ‘I used as a terminal only for processing
35 the luminous tube. The shield 3b has electrical
connection at 30 with the outer end of the oath' ode shell id for the ‘purpose fully disclosed in the
above mentioned application.
In accordance with the present invention, as
illustrated in Figs. 1, 2, and 3, in each electrode
arc is
A short time after closing the switch it, the
heater coils 4, will bring the cathodes to incan
descent glow and by radiation of heat to the 40
a bi-metal strip 5, functioning as a thermostatic
element, is welded or otherwise ?xed at one end
to the heat conserving shield 3b and the movable
end of this strip normally makes contact with a
45 sealed in terminal connection .8. The terminal
6 at one end of the tube and its corresponding
terminal 8' at the other end of the tube are elec
trically connected by a conductor 9.
shields, thegbi-metal strips 5 will warp-iso that
their contacts with terminals 8-5’ are broken.
In the construction of the lamp of Fig. l,
to maintain the heat of the cathodes since it
must also ?ow through the heater coils ii. The
thermostats 5 also remain open due to the con
tinued heat radiation of shields 3b of the ‘elec
standard line potential from a one hundred ten
or two hundred twenty yvoltlmain may be applied
by the closing of a switch i2, to the terminal con
nections 8—8' of the lamp; these terminals being
connected to the switch by the conductors 8a
55 and 8b. In this simple construction a current
. limiting reactance. designated at i 8, is included
in the conductor 8a and this is so designed that
the lamp operates at the desired current and that
the current is not too large for the cathode heat
ers when the arc is shunted by the wire 9 as will
presently be understood.
The circuit of Fig. 2 differs slightly from that.
of Fig. 1 in that the application of electrical
potential on the terminals 8-8’ from the main.
This sudden opening of the circuit through im-_ '
pedance 9a immediately raises the potential of
the secondary of transformer ii to its open cir 45
cuit potential which is high enough to ionize the
gas between electrodes 3 and 3' to establish the
This are current is of sufficient magnitude '
Should the energy supply he accidentally out
off from‘ the primary of transformer I l and be 55
reestablished with switch I! in closed position,
the arc in the tube will re-kindle automatically.
since, upon the circuit failure, the cathodes im
mediately lose their heat and the thermostats 5
close against terminals 8-6’, thus re-establish
line is through a transformer consisting of an iron
core ll with a magnetic shunt l5 which gives the
transformer a high internal reactance. It in-.
_ ciudes' also the primary winding l6 and auto
ing the normal starting conditions of the tube.
It the voltage ?uctuation in the supply circuit
is- so rapid that full potential again exists on
terminals 8 of the tube ~before thermostats 5
have time to‘ close upon terminals 6-6’, the ‘gas
in the gap between the thermostats and their.
respective contacts becomesv ionized allowing ap
proximately normal current to pass through the
transformer winding ll. Current from the main
impedance shunt 9—9a and heater coils l with
70 is applied through a switch I! to winding l6 the result that the cathodes are brought again 70
which has a conductor iia leading from one to normal emission and the arc is re-estabiished.
The operation of the lamp of Fig. 2' is sub
side to the lamp terminal 8' and a conductor l6b
leading to one end of winding I‘I which, in» turn, -'stantially like that of Fig. 3. It will be observed
is connected at its other end by conductor Ila that in the arrangement of Fig. 2 there is no
with lamp terminal. 8. The transformer here impedance interposed in the conductor -8 and 76
that there are no condensers shunting the ter-' a wire 36 to a circuit wire 31 that leads from the
minals 6-—8 and 6'-6'. It has been established lamp terminal 8 to a contact 38 adapted to be
that the impedance may be omitted and the ter
engaged by the thermostatic strip 35. A wire
minals 6-6’ connected with a wire of suitable Ill from one side of the secondary of a trans
size except in cases where the reactance of the
transformer is such that the secondary short
circuit current is so large that the cathode heat
er wires become overheated.
' secondary with terminal 8'.
The condensers Iii-Ill’ of Fig. 3 are not neces
10 sary in normal circuits but are’ very effective in
kindling the arc at considerably lower voltages
than is possible without them. Also, they elimi
nate the current drop in a mercury vapor tube
which always occurs during .the ?rst minute
' after the arc is struck.
Incidental to this cur
rent drop, the arc voltage also rises and it is
this maximum are potential for which the trans
former Ii has to be designed. Hence if this po
tential rise is prevented by use of a condenser
16, the same transformer canamaintain an arcv
during its initial burning stages in a considerably
longer tube.
former ll forms aheating coil 42 about the
thermostatic strip and fastens to the base of the
strip. A wire 45 connects the other side of the
Therefore, the use of condensers l0—-lll' as in
Fig. 3 has the advantage of greater tube footage
25 for a given transformer, an increased power fac
In using this type of lamp, at the start, the
shunt connection is closed through armature ‘3|, 10
thus connecting the heating elements in series in
the lamp circuit. Current also flows through
coil 42 to wire 31 by reason of lesser resistance
than is placed in the relay circuit. The coil 42
becomes heated‘and ultimately causes the ther
mostatic strip 25 to disengage terminal 38 there
by causing current to?ow through relay coil and
energizing the relay to open the circuit through
the conductor 9a thereby causing the arc to be
established in the lamp.
It will be quite apparent that in the present
arrangement, especially» of Figs. 1. 2, and 3, an
arc lamp of simpli?ed construction is provided.
It is a lamp that can be made and maintained
in operation at a relatively small cost especially
in comparison with present day gas are lamps.
tor for the tube circuit, and assures a more posi
tive kindling of the are.
It is a lamp that compares favorably with the
When omitting the impedance 9a and con
common glow lamp in cost of construction and
densers l0—lli’ of the circuit of Fig. 3, ‘the only maintenance but which is materially‘better from
30 equipment necessary for the operation of the
the standpoint of illumination. The cathodes 30
tube is the provision. of a transformer with suf
are energized‘ not by special auxiliary circuits,
?cient internal reactan'ce to limit the short-cir I but by the arc circuit itself, and by use of the
cuit current of the secondary to approximately internally located thermostats in the cathode
the same magnitude as the normal operating heating circuit, costly external thermostats and
35 current of the arc. Hence, the circuit is pre
auxiliary circuits are eliminated. Thus, prac
cisely as simple as that of the high voltage glow tically all external equipment now employed in
tube. In this connection, it will now be appar
known devices of the prior art are eliminated.
ent that by the simple addition to the electrode
, Having thus described my invention, what I _
of my above mentioned co-pending application, claim as new therein and desire to secure by
40 of a thermostatic element for delaying striking Letters Patent is—
of the arc until the cathodes have become heat
1. A lamp of the character described compris
ed, and'by the addition of a conductor joining ing a sealed, transparent tubular vessel contain
the two electrodes of the tube, the ‘glow tube is ing an ionizable gas and provided within its op
changed to arc. performance.
posite ends with electrodes, each with a terminal
In an alternative construction, as disclosed in extending to the exterior‘ of the tube, a source
Fig. 4. the conductor 9 is located internally of
of the lamp tube and connects at its ends with
metal hooks 20 supported by insulation 2| from
the shields 3b and adapted to be connected elec
of alternating current. potential with connections
from opposite sides thereof, respectively, to said
electrode terminals, each of said electrodes in
cluding a heating element in series with the
trically with theshield by a bi-metal thermostatic > lamp circuit, a conductor extending between the 50
band 23 attached to the shield.- In this type,’
the conductor serves by corona discharge to ion
lze the gas along the arc path to stimulate the
formation of the are when the shunt connection
along conductor 9 is opened.
In another modi?cation, as shown in Fig. 5,
I locate a thermostatic switch 25 in the conduc
electrodes exteriorly of the tube and having ter
minals entering the tube, an impedance element
in said conductor, condensers shunted across'the
terminals of said electrodes and of said conductor
and thermostatic strips associated with each elec
trode and operable at'a predetermined degree of
heat therefrom to open the circuit connection
provided between the electrode and said can
2. A lamp of the character described compris 60
ing a sealed, transparent, tubular .vessel, con
taining an ionizable gas and provided within its
tor 8 externally of the tube‘; the conductor in
this instance has direct connection through the
terminals 6-6 with the shields 3b. Conductors
26-21 lead from the secondary of transformer
Ila to terminals 8-6', and a coil in conductor
26 applies heat to the thermostat to open the. ends with electrodes; each with a terminal con
circuit through conductor 9 after_ the cathodes 'nection extending to the exterior of the tube; a
05 have become heated. Also, a condenser, as at source of alternating current having connections 65
2|, may be provided to shunt across the switch leading ‘to said terminals and through which. elec
to aid in starting the are, especially in long ‘trical potential may be impressed on the elec
trodes to maintain an arc in the lamp; each of
Fig. 6 discloses still another alternative con
‘said electrodesincluding a cathode containing a
heating element and a heat conserving shield 70
struction in which the shunt connection 9a. be
tween the electrodes is exterlorly of the tube and surrounding the cathode and electrically con
is completed through the. armature. ill of a relay nected thereto, a'conductor exteriorly of the tube
3|. The core 32 of the relay is surrounded by a - and having its terminals extending into the oppo
coil 33 connected at one end by wire. 34 to a ' site ends of 'the tube, thermostatic strips elec
75 thermostatic strip 36 and at its opposite end by trically connecting said terminals and the shields 75 I
'0! the electrodes, thereby to join the heating ele v1;! 0! the tube shunting the arc path between the
electrodes and ‘including a solenoid activated
ments and shields in series with the lamp cir
cuit; said thermostatic elements being adapted switch, a thermostatic element for closing the
at a predetermined degree of heat to open the supply circuit, a heating coil in series with the
circuit connections provided thereby.
3. A lamp of the character described, compris
ing a. sealed, transparent vessel containing an
ionizable gas and provided within its ends with
electrodes, each with a terminal connection ex
tending to the exterior of the tube,'a source of
alternating current potential with connections
from opposite sides leading, respectively, to oppo,
site terminals of the lamp, a conductor exterior
‘ thermostatic element and supply circuit for heat
ing the element to open the circuit and an ener
gizing coil for the switch through which ‘the
supply current is shunted by the opening of the
circuit through the thermostatic‘element, there
by to open the switch in the electrode connecting m
~ 7
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