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Патент USA US2121829

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Jgpé 28,1938.
R_.H;'sE'AMAN ET AL -
2.121.829 '
ADVERTISING SIIGN
Filed Oct. 5, 1955
2 ‘Sheets-Sheet l
CarZA. Sciazezrdezz
I I
BY
Ig
_ UTA 21110
RNEY .
Patented June 28, 1938
_ v 2,121,829
PATENT OFFICE
'_ UNITED ‘STATES
2,121,829
'
~
ADVERTISING SIGN
. Richard H. Seaman, Los Angeles, and Carl A.
Schwenden, Alhambra, Calif., assignors, by di
rect and mesne assignments, of forty percent
to said Seaman, forty percent to Walter T.
Wells, Glendale, Calif., and twenty percent to.
Lloyd Spencer, Los Angeles, Calif.
Application October 5, 1935, Serial No.- 43,'l42 '
15 Claims.
_Our invention relates broadly to advertising
(01. 176—124)
from the right to the left, or'from the two out-1
signs and more particularly to an electrical cir
cult arrangement and oscillating current source
and means and methods for supplying oscillatory,
currents to electrical discharge tubes for produc
ing predetermined electrical effects for use. in
advertising signs.
' '
One of the objects of our invention is to pro
vide a system of mobile'electrical discharge in a
10 sign which may be used, for instance, for adver-,
tising purposes in such a fashion that the mov
Ing glow discharge will either write words or
‘ trace drawings or both in any desired fashion.
Another object of our invention ‘is to provide
’ constructions of gas ?lled glow discharge tubes
preformed in suitable shapes and connected to
an electrical network which serves as exciter in
such a way that the glow discharge can be varied
in intensity as well' as made to move in any de
20
sired pattern.
’
‘
Still another object of our invention is to pro- '
side terminals of the. wave-like discharge tube.
towards the middle portion of the tube; Fig. 2 is
a schematic diagram of a modi?cation of our
invention showing a twisted cable‘ connecting the
source to the exciting coil of the glow discharge
device; Fig. 3 ‘is another modi?cation of our in
vention showing a Lechervwire feed; Fig. 4 illus
trates a further modi?cation of our invention em
ploying a parallel wire feed; Fig. 5 is as'chematic
10
diagram of our invention including a novel form
of oscillator in connection with a glow discharge
device whereby the desired discharge effects are
e?iciently produced; and Figs. 6 and '7 are sche
matic diagrams and illustrate schemes for operat
ing several glow discharge devices in accordance
with our
invention.
'
,
_
'
’
Referring to the drawings in more detail,
Fig. 1 shows a glow discharge device I which may
be a wave-like tube of preformedv shape, an ad; 20
vertising sign or the, like, having terminals 2 and
3 ‘connected to an‘ exciting coil 4. , ,A connector 6
glow discharge device to produce a visible ioniza _' connects a suitable adjustable tap 5 'of the ex
tion and providing means whereby the ionization citing, coil 4 to an adjustable tap ‘l in the output
vide a source of oscillating voltage for causing a
" 25 "
can be made to occur progressively and give the ' circuit of an oscillator, shown in Fig. 1 as a‘push
- appearance'of writing words or tracing pictures.
A further object of our invention is to provide
pull electron tube oscillator, which produces an
oscillatory current. It willbe observed that the
a method of connecting an [electrical discharge ‘ connection between theoscillator and the excit- _
ing coil 4 is unipolar, the circuit being completed
device to a source of oscillating current in, order
30 to produce a desired movement or progression .of
the glow discharge in the device.
_
to the oscillator through the capacity of the tube -
I with respect to ground. The electron tubes
8 and 9 may bev excited from an, alternating cur
provide a circuit arrangement for electrical de- - rent line In of the customary commercial fre
vices adapted to eii'ect movement or progressive quency. Reference character ll denotes a ?la
A still further object of our invention is to
change in the’ glow discharge in an electrical. ment heating transformer and I2, a plate supply
discharge device.
_
transformer. In some cases, the secondaries of
,
Another object of our invention 'is to'provide
‘a circuit arrangement for a plurality of glow
discharge devices connected to a source of oscil
40 lating current for producing mobile ‘discharges
in the discharge devices.
'45
‘
"
the ?lament heating transformer and the plate
‘supply transformer can be associated with a com
mon core and a common primary winding.
In
the arrangement shown in Fig. 1, where separate
transformers are used, the plate [voltage can be
40
varied by means of av variometer [3, ‘which may
Still another object of our invention is to pro
vide ‘a circuit arrangement of such character that be a variable choke coil or a variable resistance.
for certain frequencies of the current of the ’_This gives a means of changing the output power,
source with respect to‘ the natural frequency of ‘ for constant ?lament excitation. The terminals
an exciting coil connected across a glow tube of the oscillator coil 14 are connected to plates
l5 and I6, and} grids l1 and I8 connect through
system, a‘ dark space can be made to move
through the'glow discharge.
'
Other and further objects of our invention re
side in the circuit arrangements and apparatus
hereinafter; more fully described with reference
.to the accompanying drawings, in which:.
" condensers l9 and 20 to suitable adjustable taps
2| and 22 on the oscillator coil l4.
Reference
characters 23, 24, and 25 denote choke coils
adapted to con?ne ‘the generated oscillatory cur
rent 'to selected circuits. A grid leak resistorv is
shown at'26. 'Tuning condenser 21 is employed
a ?xed coil M to vary the output frequency.
‘of?ourinvention, whereby a glow discharge can ~with
be made to move either from the left to the‘ right, The frequency can also be varied by means of 55
Figure 1 is a schematic diagram of one form
2
2,121,829
an adjustable coil l4 as is well known in the art.
The operation of the system shown in Fig. 1
is as follows:
With the connector 6 connected to an adjust
able tap 5 of exciter coil 4, such that the voltage
between tap 5 and terminal 3 of the discharge
ing circuit. The plate 36 and the grid 31 con
nect to an oscillating circuit consisting of the coil
device is larger than the voltage between tap 5
and terminal 2, a glow discharge will start from
denser 34 and the resistor 26' are used to supply
terminal 3 and progress along the wave-shaped
tube I towards terminal 2; This operation can
be made to repeat itself over and over if an in
tensity adjuster or an appropriate interrupter is
employed. A variable ?lament resistancemay
be manually or automatically varied in order to
15 keep the glow discharge in constant motion from
either end of the discharge device. This can also
be done by moving adjustable tap 1 along coil I4.
If the adjustable tap 5 is set to a position so
that the voltage between tap 5 and terminal 2 is
20 larger than that between tap 5 and terminal 3,
the glow discharge will move from terminal 2
towards terminal 3.
Also, in the system shown in Fig. 1, if the fre
quency of the oscillator is changed from the value
25 for resonance with the natural frequency of the
exciting coil 4 and discharge tube I, a dark spot
is produced in the glow discharge occurring in the
tube I.
This dark spot can be made to move
from left to right, or right to left, by selectively
30 changing the position of either tap 5 or tap ‘l.
The dark spot can also be produced by connection
of a ground g at a suitable point of the exciter
coil 4 as shown'in Fig. 1A.
It is also possible to produce a number of dark
35 spots which can be made to move. If a number
of points along the exciting coil 4 are grounded,
substantially duplicating the
connection to
ground g shown in Fig. 1A,v a dark spot will appear
in the tube l in the relative position of each
40
though in most cases, it is more practical to oper
ate the tube system from either a D. C. or an A. C.
' power supply system such as the standard light
ground connection.
'
i4 and the variable condenser 21.
The con
grid bias. The plate potential is applied through
tap 39 on the oscillator coil l4.
A step-over resonator consisting of a coil 3|, 10
another coil 32, and a variable condenser 33,
serves the purpose of transferring an adjustable
high frequency power from the tube oscillator to
the glow discharge device. The magnitude of the
power transferred can be adjusted by means of 15
the coupling between coils 32 and I4, or between
coils 3| and 30, or by means of both. -It can also
very conveniently be done by placing a variable
resistor in the link circuit 30--28—29. For in
stance, in many of our experimental set-ups we 20
use a motor driven variable resistance in this
link circuit for causing the glow to trace over and
over a particular pattern of an advertising sign.
The wave shape of the current transferred along
the link 28, can be controlled by means of the 25
variable condenser 33. If the inductive coupling }
between the oscillator and the .link system 28 is ,
sumciently loose, a pure sinusoidal current will
?ow along the link branch, if condenser 33 is set
for resonance. Variation of the condenser from 30
this position alters the Wave shape of the oscilla
tions transferred and may be employed to produce
dark sections in the glow discharge as hereinbe
fore described.
.
>
It will be noted that the link section 28 which
is coupled to the step-over resonator through
coil 30, consists of a twisted wire cable which will
transfer maximum power from the step-over
resonator 3|, 32, 33, to the exciter coil 4. The
link system can also consist of a concentric tube
By the system of our invention, we are, there
fore, able to make a glow discharge progressively
feed for which the outside cylinder can be ground
form from one terminal to the other, or move a
which is shielded by the outside cylinder forms
the other conductor. The coupling to the exciter
glow discharge, along tubes of any shape in any
Hence, if tube I is, for instance,
ed and acts as one conductor while the axial wire
45 desired way.
coil 4 is effected by means of coupling coil 29
which can be moved along the exciter coil 4, in
order to make the glow discharge move either
out a certain desired figure from one end of the ’ from the left to theright or from the right to
tube to‘the other end.
the left, as desired. Certain positions along the
Moreover, when tap 5 is near the center por
60
exciter coil 4 may be grounded as shown in Fig.
tion of the exciting coil 4, two glow discharges 1A, which gives another means for modifying the
move from the respective terminals 2 and 3 to
glow‘ discharge occurring in the tube l in the
wards the middle portion of the tube i.
system of Fig. 2.
We have also discovered that in the system of
Fig. 3 illustrates a modification of the system of
our invention, by a proper adjustment of the our invention shown in Fig. 2; For clearness,‘ the '
frequency of the source with respect to the nat
tubes or other forms of generating devices, are
neon ?lled and bent into a form adapted for ad
vertising, we can make the sign write or trace
ural frequency of the exciter coil, a dark region is ‘
produced somewhere in the glow of the tube l.
The position of this dark region in the glow dis
60 charge is dependent upon the relative frequency
between the frequency of the source and the nat
ural frequency of the exciter coil, and is varied
in the system of Fig. 1 by adjustment of the con
denser 21 which a?ects the frequency of the
65 oscillator. We have, therefore, another means
for producing motions in a glow discharge of a
sign, which is useful in the art.
Fig. 2 shows another embodiment of the system
of our invention. For clearness, the glow dis
70 charge tube I has a preformed wave-like shape,
and the terminals 2 and 3 of the discharge tube
omitted and are considered as contained in the
rectangle 45. Condenser 21 and coil l4 comprise
the oscillating circuit, and the power is trans
ferred inductively from coil l4 to coupling coil 44. 60
Tuning is effected by means of condenser 43 con
nected in shunt to coupling coil 44 and controls
the amount of power transferred to the discharge
device. The link 42 represents a Lecher wire feed
connecting to the coil 29 which is coupled at a
selected position on the exciter coil 4, in order to ‘
produce a desired motion of the glow discharge
pattern occurring in tube I. ' The operations are
iubstagtially as set forth in connection with Figs.
.and
.
Fig. 4 shows another modi?cation of our in
vention. Source 45 and coil l4 represent an
' are connected to the exciter coil 4, as in Fig. 1.
A single tube 35 is connected into an oscillator ‘ oscillation generator connected through linev 48
circuit, and for clearness, is shown powered by a
75 ?lament battery 40 and a plate battery 4|, a1
to the exciter coil 4 of the glow discharge de
vice l. The coupling to the generator is made
3 .
2,121,829
through condensers 50 and 49 at suitable taps
5| and 52, and the connection to the exciter coil
4 is made through taps 41 and 46 at selected
positions on the coil 4. The operations of the
system are substantially as set forth in connec
tion with the preceding ?gures, but in this case
the adjustments are made by means of tap con
nections. Provisions are made for tuning the
exciter system connected to the glow discharge
Ii) device I to the generated frequency, as well as
for changing the magnitude of the power trans
'
ferred to the exciter coil 4.
Fig. 5 illustrates a preferred form of our in
vention comprising a ‘novel oscillator circuit in
15 combination with coupling means to the dis
charge device of the type shown in Fig. l, which,
however, can be replaced by either of the ar
rangements shown in Figs. 1-4. For clarity,
the oscillator circuit is shown employing a single
20 three-element tube 63, having a ?lament cathode
64, a grid 65, and a plate 66. The grid is con
nected through a grid leak 62, shunted by a
grid condenser 6| to a coil 54 which connects to
one terminal of the ?lament cathode 64. The
25 plate 66' is connected through a source of po
tential 58, shunted by condenser 84, to a coil
' 55 which connects to the same terminal of the
?lament cathode 64. The other terminal of the
?lament cathode 64 connects through a coil 56 to
30 a variable resistor 60.
A source of ?lament cur
rent 59 connects with the ?lament through plate
coil 55 on the one hand and through the re
sistor 60 and ?lament coil 56 on the other hand.
By-pass condenser 51 is connected in shunt with
the source 59 and the resistor 60. The plate
coil 55 and the ?lament coil 56 are wound bi?lary
and made exactly alike. Coils 54, 55 and 56 are
arranged in inductive relation. The variable re
sistor 66 is adjusted either manually or automati-i
40
cally for varying the intensity of the oscillating
power. The negative terminals of the plate and
?lament power supplies are preferably grounded‘.
Theoscillator circuit thus de?ned differs great
ly from customary oscillators, since as far as
45 dynamic potentials are concerned, the cathode
is at a. comparatively high potential, and im
proved response in the output circuit to a varia
ble cathode' current results. Connection from
the oscillator is made by means of a tap 68 on
60 the coil 55, or coil 54, as may be the case. Tun
ing condenser 21, connected in shunt with coils
54 and 55, affords a means for varying the fre
quency of the-oscillator. Tap 29 on the exciter
coil 4 has the same function as explained in con
nection with Fig. 1, and the single wire feed 53
connects taps 68 and 29. In our research and
development, we have found the system shown
ently excited from the exciter coil 4 by means of ,
suitable potentials produced at one end 4a, of .
the exciter coil 4 with respect to taps 80, 19,
18, and the other end 4b of the coil. The ter
minals of the tubes 69, 10, ‘ll, 12 are designated
13-14, 8l-15, 82—16, 83-", respectively. Tap
29 indicates the connection from an oscillator.
Fig. '7 shows a simpli?ed arrangement of the
network shown in Fig. 6. It will be noted that
the exciter, coil 4 is directly connected across 10
tubes 69, 10, ‘II, and 12, so that-all'the tubes
have the same potentials impressed on the ter
minals thereof.
,
While we have described our invention in cer
tain preferred embodiments, we desirev it to be 15
understood that various modi?cations may be
made therein by those skilled in the art, and no
limitations upon our invention are intended other
than may be imposed by the scope of the ap
pended claims.
'
.
20’
'
What we claim as new and desire to secure by
Letters Patent of the United States is as follows:
1. A glow discharge advertising sign connected
across a ‘coil which is energized by a unipolar
connection at a suitable position on the coil from
an oscillating source in such a way as to suc
cessively draw a predetermined pattern by means
of a movable ionization glow, the circuit through
said coil being completed through the capacity
effect of the glow discharge sign with respect to 30
ground.
2. A gaseous discharge device connected across
a coil which is energized by means of a parallel
wire link terminating at two suitable taps on
said coil at one end and terminating at the
I
other end at two suitable taps on a. coil carrying
.an oscillating current for producing a mobile
glow discharge pattern.
3. In an oscillating current generator,‘ an ex- .
citer coil, a glow discharge device connected 40
across said coil, and a link circuit coupled to said
generator and said coil for transferring oscillat
ing power to said coil for producing a movable
glow discharge pattern.
4. An oscillating current source in combination 43
with a plurality of cascade circuits, one of which
constitutes a link for transferring oscillating
power from said source to another of said cir
cuits which applies the power to a discharge de
vice producing a movable glow discharge pat- ,
tern.
.
5. In a system for producing mobile glow dis
charges, an oscillator comprising an electron tube
having a cathode, a grid, and a plate, circuits in
terconnecting said grid and said plate with one
terminal of said cathode and inductively coupled,‘ '
means connected with the other terminal of said
in Fig. -5 especially well adapted for producing
mobile glow discharge patterns. We have shown
the glow discharge tube 1 formed in a predeter
cathode for maintaining said cathode at an ele
vated potential, variable means associated with
said cathode for modifying the intensity of the IV)
mined pattern such as the sign “Flowlite”. Any
desired shape may be given to the sign.
charge device, an exciter coil connected to the
terminals of said discharge device, a connection
Acombined system of feedingthe exciter coil
may be employed using the connection 6 of
Fig. 1, and arranging the exciter coil 4 in ?xed
inductive relation with coil I4 in the oscillator
circuit, after the teaching in Figs. 2-4 of an
inductively coupled link circuit.. In such a sys
tem, the inductive coupling provides for the
transfer of ‘energy to the exciter coil 4, and the
position of connection 6 at tap 5 on the coil 4
determines the position of the standing waves in
the coil 4 and the tube I.
Fig. 6 illustrates one method whereby several
75 glow discharge tubes 59, 10, 1|, ‘I2 are differ
output current of said oscillator; 'a glow, dis- -
from said oscillator circuit to a selected point on
said exciter coil, the adjustment of said variable
means controlling the speed of progression of the
glow discharge in said device and the position of
said selected point on the exciter coil determin—
ing the direction of the movement of the ?ow dis
charge.
'
v
6. In a glow discharge system, means for pro
ducing a mobile glow discharge which comprise
an oscillator arranged to produce a high fre
quency current varying in intensity in succes
sive cycles, a discharge device, an exciter coil con
70
4
2,121,829
nected with said discharge device, and a con
necting link circuit from said oscillator to said
exciter coil adapted to determine the character
of the movement of the mobile glow discharge
produced by said varying high frequency cur
rent.
7. In a glow discharge system, means for pro
ducing a mobile glow discharge which comprise
an oscillator arranged to produce a high fre
quency current varying in intensity in succes
sive cycles, a discharge device, an exciter coil con_
nected with said discharge device, and a connect
ing link comprising a path through ground and a
unipolar connection from said oscillator to a
15 selected position on said exciter coil, the position
of said connection determining the' character of
the movement of .the mobile glow discharge pro
duced by said varying high frequency current.
8. In a glow discharge system, means forpro
20 ducing a mobile glow discharge which comprise
an oscillator arranged to produce a high fre
quency current varying in intensity in successive
cycles, a discharge device, an exciter coil con
nected with said discharge device, and a connect
25 ing link comprising a pair of connectors coupled
with said oscillator and connected to selected po
sitions on said exciter coil, the positions of said
connections determining the character of the
movement of ‘the mobile glow discharge produced
30 by said varying high frequency current.
9. In a glow discharge system, means for pro‘
ducing a mobile glow discharge which comprise
a high frequency oscillator, a discharge device,
an exciter coil connected with said discharge de
vice, and a connecting link comprising a tunable
circuit coupled with said oscillator, and a feed
line terminating in a coupling coil arranged in in
ductive relation at a selected position on said
exciter coil, the characteristics of said tunable
44) circuit determining the character of the move
ment of the mobile glow discharge and the se
lected position of said coupling‘ coil on said ex~
citer coil determining the direction of movement
of the glow discharge.
10. In a glow discharge system, means for pro
ducing a mobile glow discharge as set forth in
claim 9, and wherein said feed line comprises a
twisted wire cable adapted to transfer maximum
power from said oscillator to said discharge de
vice.
ll. In a glow discharge system including a plu
rality of glow discharge tubes, and a single source
of high frequency current, means for producing
a different glow discharge in each of said tubes,
which comprise an exciter coil connected with’
said source of current, and connections from said
plurality of glow discharge tubes across different,v
portions of said exciter coil,
12. In a glow discharge system, means for pro
ducing a mobile glow discharge as set forth in
claim 9, and wherein said feed line comprises a
Lecher wire feed. .
13. In a glow discharge system, means for
producing a progressive glow discharge in a
predetermined direction which comprise a high
frequency oscillator, a discharge device, an ex
citer coil connected with said discharge device,
means for feeding energy from said oscillator'in
a selected portion of said exciter coil, and means
for varying the intensity of the energy from said
oscillator, the glow discharge progressing with
increase in said current in a direction determined
by the position of said selected portion of the
exciter coil.
.
14. In a glow discharge system, means for pro
ducing a glow discharge characterized by a mo
bile dark section, which comprise a high fre
30
quency oscillator, ‘a discharge device, an exciter
coil connected with said discharge device, a con
nection between said oscillator and said exciter
coil, and a connection from ground to a selected
point on said exciter coil intermediate the ter
minals of said coil.
15. In a glow discharge system, means -for pro
ducing a glow discharge characterized by a mo
bile dark section, which include an oscillating
current source, a coil,’ a glow discharge device 40
connected with said coil, and a link circuit inter
connecting said coil and'said source.
RICHARD H. SEAMAN.
CARL A. SCHWENDEN.
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