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Патент USA US2405095

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July 30, 19460
~ ‘
R. E. MUMNHA
294-05995
ELECTRONIC DEVICE AND CONTROL MEANS THEREFOR
Filecl NW. 7, 1940
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Ruben: E. Mumma
Inventor
@M
L __ __________________________________________ _?___ _~_ __ "J
His Attorney
Patented July 30, 1946
2,405,095
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE
2,405,095
ELECTRONIC ‘DEVICE AND CONTROL
MEANS THEREFOR
Robert E. Mumma, Dayton, Ohio, assignor to The
National Cash Register Company, Dayton, Ohio,
a corporation of Maryland
Application November 7, 1940, Serial No. 364,716
18 Claims. (01. 250-27)
1
2
This invention relates to means for connect
ing a plurality of gaseous electronic devices so that
they may be operated one at a time in sequence
dium of the control tube to a discharge control
element in the controlled tube.
by means of commonly received electric impulses.
The invention more particularly relates to the
for control of the conduction in a grid-controlled
Another object of the invention is to provide
electron tube relay by the change in potential
in a current tapping member, placed apart from
novel means by which one gaseous electron de
vice, when conductive, conditions the next suc
the cathode and the anode in the gaseous me
ceeding device in the operative series to become
dium of a gas discharge electron tube, on a dis
responsive to the next commonly received po
charge occuring therein.
tential impulse, and further relates to novel 10
Another object of the invention is to provide
means whereby conduction in the next preced
a means to indicate the condition of discharge
ing device is stopped.
in a gaseous electron discharge tube by utilizing
The invention is primarily intended for use
the change in potential of a member placed apart
in connecting gaseous electron discharge tubes
from the cathode and the anode in the gaseous
into a straight operative series or an endless chain “5 medium, said change in potential controlling an
indicator.
operative series or “ring,” whereby the electron
Another object of the invention is to provide
tubes are rendered conductive one at a time in
a current tapping member situated in the gas
sequence, the sequential change of the condition
of discharge from one tube to another being
caused by an electric potential impulse com
eous medium of a gas electron discharge tube
20 apart from the anode and the cathode, to which
may be applied a potential through a high re
monly received by all the tubes of the series.
Such an impulse of potential is supplied to all
the tubes, but only that tube following in the
sistance, so that, upon a discharge taking place
in the electron tube, the potential of the cur
rent tapping member will be changed toward
spond to the impulse, causing a discharge therein, 25 zero by the attraction of ions thereto.
With these and incidental objects in view, the
such act of discharge extinguishing the preced
invention includes certain novel features and
ing tube or any other conductive tube of the
combinations of parts, the essential elements of
series.
operative series to a conductive tube ‘will re
Such series-connected groups of gaseous elec- 30 which are set forth in appended claims and a
preferred form or embodiment of which is here
tron tubes may be used in counting or in ac
inafter described with reference to the drawing
cumulating numerical data received at intervals
which accompanies and forms a part of this spe
of time by means of electric potential impulses
produced in diiferentially selected numbers.
rl‘herefore, the principal object of this inven
ci?cation.
In the drawing:
Fig. 1 is a perspective view, with parts broken
away, of a gas discharge electron tube having
a current tapping member spaced in the gaseous
a plurality of gaseous electron tubes to render
medium apart from the anode and the cathode.
the electron tubes conductive one at a time in se
Fig. 2 is a section taken on line 2—2 of Fig. 1.
quence.
40
Fig. 3 is a circuit showing a controlling gas
Another object of the invention is to provide
discharge electron tube, a controlled gas dis
means for causing the sequential discharge, one
charge electron tube connected for serial oper
at‘ a time, of a plurality of gaseous electron tubes
ation, and an electron tube relay controlled by
by utilizing the change of potential of a current
the controlling gas discharge tubes.
tapping member, positioned in the gaseous me 4-5
General description
dium apart from the anode and the cathode of
one tube, as said tube discharges, to change the
The gas discharge electron tube chosen for il
potential of a control element of the tube follow
lustrating the circuit and network constituting
ing next in the operative series.
this invention is like the one described in the
Another object of the invention is to provide 50 application for United States Letters Patent,
tion is to provide a novel means for causing elec
35
trical potential impulses commonly received by
means to control a discharge in one electron
gas discharge device by the state of discharge in
another electron gas discharge tube, by connect
ing a current tapping member placed apart from
the anode and the cathode in the gaseous me 55
Serial No. 360,584, which was ?led October 10,
1940, by James H. Gone and Robert E. Mumma,
and which issued on April 23, 1946, as Patent No.
2,398,772, and consists of a gas-tight envelope I0
(Figs. 1 and 2)--for example, glass-containing
2,405,095
4
The relay tube 111 is a vacuum type of tube not
a press ii, a seal #2, and a gaseous medium 53
—-—for instance. one of the rare inert gases exem
pli?ed by neon and argon, or mercury vapor. A
will be discussed hereafter to show by what meth
cylindrical anode l4 having longitudinal
i5
and i6 is supported in the envelope between two
mica insulating disks l3 and is, to which the
anode is fastened by clips, the top disk 50 he,‘ 1g
clipped to ?n 50 by clip 20 and the bottom disk
19 being clipped to ?n l5 by clip 2!. The mica
od any one of the gas discharge tubes may be
found to be conductive or non-conductive. The
tubes in such a system, as exempli?ed by tubes
I and II, are interconnected in series by the same
type of network and circuit, and each tube is sup
plied with the same operating and controlling
in the operative series, but appended thereto, and
disks themselves are supported and alined by the
potentials.
conductor wires 23 and 20 entering the tube
through the press ll. A conductor wire ll leads
from the anode to the outside of the envelope
through seal ii.
A cylindrical current tapping member 22 is
arranged coaxially within the anode Ill close to
the anode walls, being of equal length with the
anode and supported by the conductor wire 23, be
circuit connecting the two tubes I and II will
serve to disclose how any number may be inter
connected, either in straight series or in an end
less chain series. The elements of the tubes I
An explanation of the network and
and II, although conventionally shown in Fig. 3,
bear the same reference numerals as the corre
sponding elements of Figs. 1 and 2.
The anodes
M are connected to a common conductor 5 I, each
through a resistor of 5,000 ohms, like resistors 50.
fore described, entering the envelope through the
press H and piercing the mica disks l8 and I9. 20 Conductor 5i is given a positive potential of 70
volts with respect to ground and has in series
A longitudinal window 20 is cut in the current
with it and the source of potential a 100~ohm
tapping member 22 for its full length except for
resistor 52. Conductor 5! is also grounded
support bands 25 and 26, to which are attached
through a capacitor 53 of 1 microfarad. The
pins 3!} and Si, which pierce the mica disks l8
cathodes 34 are grounded. The current tapping
and I9, respectively, to support and aline the cur
member 22 of onetube and the control grid 32
rent tapping member with relation to the anode
of the next tube in the series have a common
M.
source of negative potential of '75 volts like sources
A trough-shaped control grid 32 is disposed
54. Each current tapping member has in series
within the current tapping member, its long axis
with it and its source of potential 54 a resistor
parallel and substantially coaxial with the axis
like resistors 56 of 500,000 ohms. The control
of the anode and the current tapping member
grid of the following tube of the sequence has in
its ends being bounded by the mica disks l8 and
series with it and its source of potential 54 the
10. The long opening of the trough faces the
same resistor 50 of 500,000 ohms, as described, a
window 24 of the current tapping member 22,
the edges of said opening being approximately 35 resistor like resistors 58 of 100,000 ohms, and a
resistor like resistors 61 of 50,000 ohms. Thus
positioned in the same radial lines of the com
each current tapping member 22 is connected to
mon axis as are the sides of the window 24. The
the control grid of the following tube through
control grid is supported by ‘the conductor wire
resistors like resistors 53 and 6 l. The dotted line
23, before mentioned, and by a pin 33 secured
beginning at point 80 connected to the cur
thereto, the ends of which pierce the mica disks. 40
rent tapping member 22 of tube II and shown
which
A ?lament
is in turn
cathode
fastened
34, supported
to a support
by a36hook
held in
to connect to point 8| connecting to the control
grid of tube I, illustrates what connection may
press H, is disposed along and close to the com
mon axis of the electrodes. The ends of the
?lament are connected to heater current con
ductors
and 39 entering through press H. A
shield cap All is supported by a band 4! fastened
to support
There is an electrical connection
between the cap £0 and the cathode ?lament 34
through hook
A getter 69 is provided.
Electrons issuing from the ?lament cathode
34 through the trough opening of the grid 32 are
free to travel directly to the anode. However, the
be made to form an endless operating chain, the
tubes otherwise being connected in a straight
series.
The characteristics of the gas discharge elec
tron tube taken as an example, as determined by
the selection and spacing of the elements in the
tube, are such that, with a positive anode poten
tial of 70 volts and with a current tapping mem
ber at '75 volts negative, the critical potential of
the control grid 32 is 5 volts negative. If tube
I is “?red” and rendered conductive in any man
ner, as by rendering the control grid 32 and cur
edges or” the window 24 of the surrounding cur 05 rent tapping member 22 temporarily positive be
rent tapping member 22 are positioned within the
yond the critical points, its anode M will im
boundaries of the densest region of the positive
mediately drop in potential to about 15 volts
charges in the ionized gas. Thus, although the
positive, due to the low resistance of the ionized
current tapping member be negatively charged,
gaseous medium as compared with the high re~
it has no absolute controlling in?uence on the
sistance of its anode resistor 50 and resistor 52.
trigger action of the tube, it being possible to
The current tapping member 22 is positioned by
cause the grid to lose control while it is still
the disclosed method so as to collect enough posi
tive charges from the ionized gas when conduct
While the particular structure of the tube as
ing to have its normal potential of '75 volts nega
shown in the drawing is the most desirable em (Ii tive reduced to about 25 volts negative, causing a
positive potential change to be impressed on con
bodiment for the purpose of this invention, other
suitable arrangements of elements relative to one
trol grid 32 of tube II, bringing it well within 50
another as regards spacing and con?guration,
volts of the critical point. Now, if a positive
which perform the functions explained, are with
50-volt potential impulse is impressed on con
ductor 65 through capacitors 66 and points 64,
in the scope of the invention.
the control grid 32 of tube II will be given a posi
~ Fig. 3 represents a typical portion of a system
tive potential pulse, which takes it past the
of electron tubes wherein gas discharge tubes I
critical 5-v0lt negative point, and tube II ?res.
and II are arranged to be ?red sequentially by
As tube II ?res, the potential of its anode is
positive electrical impulses impressed on all the
tubes simultaneously by a common conductor 65. 75 reduced to approximately 15 volts positive, due
negatively charged.
2,405,095
' It is to be noted that, the greater the potential
of point 54 and the greater the resistance of re
sistor 56, the greater the voltage change will be
at point 83 when the associated tube becomes
conductive.
to its anode resistor 50 and resistor 52 in the
anode supply conductor. This drop in anode
potential causes a negative impulse of about 55
volts to be impressed on conductor '10 through
capacitor 63, of .02 microfarad, which pulse in
While the network and circuits herein shown
turn is impressed on the anode of every other
tube in the series through their respective capaci
tors 63 of the same value. As tube I is discharg
ing, its anode is at a potential of 15 volts posi
and described are admirably adapted to ful?ll the
objects primarily stated, it is to be understood
that it is not intended to con?ne the invention
to the speci?c form or embodiment herein dis
tive with respect to ground, and the negative im
closed, for it is susceptible of embodiment in
pulse of 55 volts will carry it more negative than
various forms, all coming within the scope of the
the grounded cathode, extinguishing the dis
claims which follow.
charge and allowing the control grid to resume
What is claimed is:
control. Thus, as tube II is ?red after tube I by
1. In combination, a ?rst electron gas discharge
a 50-volt positive impulse impressed on conductor 15
tube having an anode, a cathode, a discharge
65, and tube I or any other conductive tube of
control member, and a current tapping member;
such a series is extinguished by a 55-volt nega
a second electron gas discharge tube having an
tive potential impressed on conductor 10 by the
anode, a cathode, a discharge control member,
?ring of tube II, so may any number of tubes so
interconnected be rendered conductive in se
quence, each by a single positive potential im
pulse on conductor 65. The two tubes I and II
20
can thus be connected in straight series as de
scribed or in a ring circuit as indicated by the
conductor 82, shown in dotted lines. When the
tubes I and II are connected by conductor 82, the
tube I will discharge in sequence after tube II
upon an impulse being given on conductor 65.
The same principle will apply to any number of
tubes connected in a straight series or in a ring ._
series. The value of the capacitors ‘63 may be
made greater, but more time will be required for
the plate of the following tube to again reach an
equilibrium following an extinguishing pulse and
be ready to receive the next pulse.
In all such interconnected tubes, the negatively
biased current tapping member 22 is caused to
change in potential in a positive sense by the
ionized gas, and such positive change in potential
is utilized to condition the succeeding tube to be
responsive to a positive potential signal impulse.
Points 83, connected directly to the current tap
ping members of tubes I and II, assume the po
tential of the collecting members, and thus the
change in potential from 75 volts negative to 25
volts negative as a tube discharges may be utilized
to control the conduction in a vacuum electron
tube relay such as tube III, wherein, for example,
the control grid 84 of tube III is shown connected
through a 1,000,000-ohm resistor 85 to point 83
associated with tube I. The cathode 86 is main
tained at 25 volts negative. The electron tube
III is of a type that conducts when the grid is at
cathode potential. Anode plate 81 is connected
through the windings of solenoid 88 to a source
of positive potential 89 of 200 volts. As current
flows through tube III, the solenoid 83 will close
normally open contacts 90, which may complete
any kind of circuit for operating mechanism
which it is desired to control from tube I to indi
cate that tube I is discharging.
When electron tubes I and II are not conduct
ing, grid 84 will be at 75 volts negative, prevent
and a current tapping member; means compris
ing a conductor, coupling the current tapping
member of the ?rst tube with the discharge con
trol member of the second tube; and means, com
prising a conductor, coupling the current tapping
member of the second tube with the discharge
control member of the ?rst tube.
2. In combination, a ?rst electron gas discharge
tube having an anode, a cathode, a discharge
control member, and a current tapping member;
a second electron gas discharge tube having an
anode, a cathode, a discharge control member,
and. a current tapping member; and means cou
pling the two tubes, comprising a conductor join
ing the current tapping member of the ?rst tube.
with the discharge control member of the second
tube, and a conductor coupling the current tap
ping member of the second tube with the dis—
charge control member of the ?rst tube, each of
said conductors including resistances through
which each of the current tapping members and
its coupled control member may be negatively
biased.
3. In combination, a plurality of electron gas
discharge devices each having an anode, a cath
, ode, and a discharge control member; means for
supplying anode-cathode potential to the devices;
current tapping means in each device for col
lecting positive charges from the ionized gas of
the tube when in discharging condition; a con
, ductor connecting the current tapping member
of each device to the control member of another
of the electron devices; means to supply all the
control members with a positive electric potential
impulse; and means to supply each of the control
r members so with a controlling potential of suchv
value that a discharge will occur in the asso
ciated device upon receipt of the potential im
pulse if a discharge is occurring in the device to
whose current tapping member it is connected
by a conductor.
4. In combination, a plurality of electron dis
charge devices each having an anode, a cathode,
a discharge control member, a gaseous envelop
ing medium, and a current tapping member for
ductive, it will not change the bias on grid 84 65 collecting positive charges from the gaseous me
dium; means to supply anode potential to each
enough to cause conduction in tube III. Under
device through a resistor; means connecting the
either of these conditions, tube III will not con
devices in an operative series, said means being
duct. When the tube I is conducting, point 83
a coupling conductor including two resistors
and grid 84 are at 25 volts negative, and tube III
becomes conductive to operate solenoid 88. Any 70 arranged in series, the current tapping member
of a preceding tube in the series being connected
points 83 singly or in combination may be so uti
to one end of the conductor and the discharge
lized to operate a vacuum tube relay. By this
control member of the succeeding tube in the
method of sensing the condition of the gas dis
series being connectedto the other end of the
charge tubes I and II, the conditions of their
75 conductor; means to supply a negative potential
sequentialoperation is not disturbed.
ing conduction in tube III.
If tube II be con
2,405,095‘
to each of the conductors to bias the associated
control grid to prevent a discharge and to bias
the connected current tapping member to attract
positive charges; means to connect each con
ductor at a point between the resistors to a ca
pacitor; a common signal conductor connecting
all the capacitors; a capacitor connected to each
anode; and a conductor connecting all the anode
capacitors, whereby a positive potential impulse
anode, a cathode, and an ionizable medium en
veloping the anode and the cathode; and means
additional to and separate from the anodes or
the cathodes for coupling the devices in a chain,
said means including members for conductively
connecting the ionizable media of adjacent elec
tron devices.
9. In combination, a plurality of two or more
parallel circuits, a part of each of said circuits
on the signal conductor reduces the negative con 10 comprising an ionizable gaseous medium; and
trolling bias of each of the control members so
means conductively ' connecting the ionizable
that a control member connected to the current
gaseous media in a chain, said chain connections
tapping member of a preceding tube which is
being additional to and separate from the par
discharging will be carried positively past the
allel circuits.
critical potential and allow a discharge to occur,
10. In combination, a plurality of two or more
said discharge extinguishing the said preceding
tube.
5. In combination, a plurality of grid-con
trolled electron gas discharge tubes; means to
supply anode-cathode potential and a controlling -
negative grid potential to each tube, each of said
anodes being connected to the source of potential
through a resistance; means to bring the poten
tial of the control grid of a ?rst tube to critical
but controlling potential by the condition of dis
charge in another of the tubes, said means con
sisting of a positive charge collecting current
tapping member positioned in the ionized gas of
the discharging tube connected by a conductor
to the control grid of the said ?rst tube; means
to impress a positive potential impulse on the
control grids of all the tubes, said impulse being
insu?icient to cause a discharge in any tube ex
cept the ?rst tube whose control grid has been
brought to the critical point by reason of the
discharge in the tube to whose current tapping
member the said control grid is connected; and
a common conductor to which all the anodes are
connected each through a capacitor, whereby
gas electron discharge tubes each having an
anode and a cathode to which electric potential
may be supplied to cause a discharge in the tube;
and a conductive connection between the gaseous
parts of the circuits of the tubes to form them
into an operative chain, one end of said connec
tion in a preceding tube of the chain being posi
tioned in the gaseous medium as a current tap
ping member and the other end of said connec
tion positioned in a succeeding tube as a dis
charge control member.
11. In combination, two gas discharge electron
devices each having two auxiliary electrodes in
the gaseous medium spaced at intervals between
an anode and a cathode; and means connecting
the auxiliary electrode adjacent the anode of
one device with the auxiliary electrode adjacent
the cathode of the other device.
12. In combination, two gas discharge electron
F devices each having two auxiliary electrodes in the
gaseous medium spaced at intervals between an
anode and a cathode; and means conductively
connecting the auxiliary electrode adjacent the
anode of one device with the auxiliary electrode
the act of discharge in a tube which causes a 4 v
adjacent the cathode of the other device.
drop in anode potential toward the negative, due
to the anode resistor, will be impressed on the
said common conductor, said anode resistors
being of such a value that the potential drop of
an anode upon a discharge and the consequent
negative impulse on the common conductor is
greater than the‘ potential drop within a dis
charging tube, thus extinguishing all previously
discharging tubes by making their anodes more
negative than their cathodes.
6. In combination, an electron gas discharge
13. In combination, a plurality of gas dis
charge devices each having two auxiliary elec
trodes in the gaseous medium spaced at inter
vals between an anode and a cathode; and means
connecting the auxiliary electrode of each device
adjacent the anode with that auxiliary electrode
of another device adjacent the cathode.
14. In combination, a plurality of gas dis
charge devices each having two auxiliary elec
trodes in the gaseous medium spaced at inter
vals between an anode and a cathode; and means
tube having an anode, a cathode, a control grid,
conductively connecting the auxiliary electrode
and a current tapping member for collecting
of each device adjacent the anode with that aux
positive charges from the ionized gas when the
iliary electrode of another device adjacent the
tube is conductive; an electron tube relay having 55 cathode.
a control grid normally biased to prevent con
15. In combination, a plurality of gas dis
duction in the tube; means connecting the cur
charge tubes each having two auxiliary elec
rent tapping member of the gas discharge tube
trodes in the gaseous medium spaced at intervals
to the. control grid of the electron relay tube;
between an anode and a cathode; and means for
and an indicator positioned and operated by the
coupling the tubes in series for operation one at a
anode-cathode circuit of the relay tube whereby
time in sequence, said means including connect
the state of conductivity or state of non-conduc
ing the auxiliary electrode adjacent the anode
tivity of the gas discharge tube may be indicated.
of one tube with the auxiliary electrode adja
'7. In combination, av plurality of gaseous elec
cent the cathode of another tube.
tron tubes each having an anode and a cathode;
16.- In combination, a plurality of gas dis
means to operate the tubes; means positioned
charge tubes each having two auxiliary'electrodes
in the gas of each tube and normally preventing
in the gaseous medium spaced at intervals be
the tubes from operating; and means including
tween an anode and a cathode; and means for
a tapping member positioned in the gas apart
coupling the tubes for operation one at a time
from the anode and the cathode for causing posi
in endless chain sequence, said means including
tive charges in the ionized gas of a discharging
connecting the auxiliary electrode adjacent the
tube to be transferred to and to render the pre
anode of one tube with the auxiliary electrode
venting means ineffective in another of the tubes.
adjacent the cathode of the next tube of the
8. In combination, a plurality of two or more
series.
gas discharge electron devices each including an
17. A plurality of more than two gas electron
2,405,095
10
discharge devices each including at least an
anode and a cathode; a common conductor sup
plying anode potential to each of said tubes
through a resistor, said potential being suf?cient
discharge tubes each having at least an anode
and a cathode; means to supply cathode poten
tial to the tubes; means to supply anode potential
to the tubes including a resistor in each anode’s
to sustain a discharge in any of the tubes but Cl connection to said supply means; and an ex
tinguishing conductor coupled electrostatically to
insu?‘lcien't to initiate a discharge in any of the
each anode so that upon a discharge occurring
tubes; a second conductor to which the anodes of
in a tube a negative potential impulse is im
the tubes are electrostatically connected; and
pressed on said extinguishing conductor to cause
means cooperating with the electrostatic means
to initiate conduction in the tubes one at a time 10 a. lessening of cathode-anode potential in any
conducting tube 50 as to extinguish it.
in sequence.
ROBERT E. MUMMA.
18. A plurality of more than two electron gas
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