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NOV- 19, 1946, 2,411,325 H. c. GlLLESPlE CONTROL OF ELECTRICAL ARCS Filed July 9, 1943 — -o TUNING SYSTEM T0 RAD/0 . TRANSMITTER -0 i? HIGH VOLTAGE FUSE . T0 TRANSMITTER~ T0 +5 SUPPLY IN VEN TOR. HENDERSON C’. GILLES/WE ATTORNEY Patented Nov. 19, 1946 2,411,325 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE 2,411,325 CONTROL OF ELECTRICAL ARCS Henderson C. Gillespie, Moorestown, N. J., assign or to Radio Corporation of America, a corpora tion of Delaware Application July 9, 1943, Serial No. 494,049 6 Claims. (Cl. 315-111) 2 This invention relates to a new and useful sys tem of ‘control of electrical arcs and is particu breakdown to the transmitter. According to my larly adapted to rapidly extinguish arcs such I have found that by employing an external source of rapidly expanding gases (in contrast to the self-contained fuses employed in the sec ond system mentioned) more positive interrup tions can be had, with the control of direction invention this defect can be overcome. as frequently occur in the operation of radio transmitters. An object of this invention is to provide an improved system for the control of an electric power are which frequently occurs during periods of thunderstorms, such arcs being caused by at mospheric lightning discharges. Another object of this invention is to provide a system using a source of rapidly expanding gases to control the direction of an arc discharge of the blast as well. 10 This invention will best be understood by re~ ferring to the accompanying drawing in which: Fig. 1 shows the arrangement of an explosive charge placed adjacent an antenna horn gap, and Fig. 2 shows the arrangement of this inven and positive interruption thereof. tion wherein the explosive charge is located near A feature of this invention is the use of an 15 by a high voltage fuse. explosive charge located near the horn gap where Referring now in detail to Fig, 1 of the draw electrical discharge occurs. ing, a tuning system I which connects to a radio Another feature of this invention is a modi transmitter (not shown) is shown as having its ?cation whereby an explosive charge is located antenna terminal 2 connected to the usual an adjacent a high voltage fuse and directed to~ tenna 3 which is supported by base insulator 4. ward it so as to immediately rupture the arc Located nearby base insulator I3 and electrically which normally forms when the fuse melts and connected to the lead between antenna terminal automatically reloading the charge by means of 2 and antenna 3 is an antenna horn gap 5, the energy obtained from the explosive discharge. lower portion of which is electrically connected Interruption of high voltages in high power 25 to ground at B. In accordance with this inven circuits carrying either direct current or high tion, there is located adjacent the horn gap 5 voltage radio frequency current has always been an explosive magazine 7 which contains a plural a problem, particularly such voltages as'occur in ity of metal shells 8, 8', 8", and 8”’ each hav— radio transmitting stations where the arc occurs ing contained therein an explosive charge, the at the horn gap after a lightning discharge. In 30 sheets of explosive charges being assembled one the prior art such lightning discharges were fre above the other in the magazine ‘I and forced quently extinguished by momentarily shutting downward by means of a spring 9. The maga down the radio transmitter. This was accom zine i’ has two apertures located diametrically plished by either of two systems. One system was opposite one another in the lower portion there by having a photoelectric cell pointed toward the 35 of. The explosive charge 3 rests upon a support horn gap and connected through suitable relays member iii of ?reproof material and is located to the plate supply of the ?nal radio frequency in such a position relative to the apertures as to stage so as to interrupt it when a hash occurred control the direction of the electrical discharge at the gap. I have found that the response of and positive rapid interruption thereof by the certain explosives to an electric discharge, or 40 explosive charge. light, or heat, provides an automatic actuating In the operation of this system, when an elec means that replaces the photocell and associated trical arc occurs at the horn gap 5, the explosive relay equipment. By means of my present inven charge 8 is set off and by its rapidly expanding tion the complexity of this system can be re gases immediately extinguishes the arc. The eX duced. 45 panding gases of the explosive charge passing The other system, in the operation of a num through the apertures in magazine 7 at the same ber of radio transmitters form a single recti?er, time force a spring tensioned pivoted lever or provided for the fusing of high voltage direct trigger member ll having any suitable time de current connections with self-contained fuses to lay means (not shown) to move, which immedi~ each transmitter as desired. Fuses have been de 50 ately drops another shell of explosive charge 8’ veloped to accomplish this operation, but it is in position after a slight time delay on member found that they suffer from the defect that the I U to extinguish the next recurring arc discharge. vaporized fuse wire when it melts causes a me The modi?cation shown in Fig. 2 is somewhat tallic coating on nearby insulators. The conduct similar to that shown in Fig. 1 except that the ing film on the insulator thus formed causes 55 horn gap 5 is dispensed with, and substituted 2,411,325 3 therefor is a high voltage open fuse [2 which is electrically connected between the anode posi tive direct current or B supply of the radio trans mitter. Located directly below the high voltage fuse there is a magazine l3 having a plurality of metal shells I4, M’ and I4" containing ex plosive charges. A spring l5 keeps the shells of explosive charges in the proper position and moves , 4 series between a voltage source and ground, a magazine having two apertures therein and con taining a plurality of shells each containing an explosive charge, means to retain one of said shells containing an explosive charge in a posi tion near said gap to be set off by the passage of an electrical discharge are through said aper tures, and means to replace another one of said shells containing an explosive charge in a posi them upward in magazine [3. A spring tensioned trigger member [6 is arranged to have its upper 10 tion within said magazine to extinguish a future occurring discharge arc. arm bear against fuse If! to release a successive 4. A system for extinguishing an electrical dis explosive charge in position for extinguishing the charge arc comprising a high voltage horn gap next recurring are. In the operation of this de connected in series between a voltage source and vice the metal shell Ill containing the explosive ground, a magazine having two apertures there charge is arranged to have its explosive discharge in and containing a plurality of shells each con directed toward the open wire fuse so as to rup taining an explosive charge, means to retain one ture the are which will normally form after the of said shells containing an explosive chargein fuse l2 melts. The explosives employed in the a position near said gap to be set oil by the pas system of this invention are those which are nor~ sage of an electrical discharge are through said mally more sensitive to spark discharges, also to apertures, and means including a pivoted trigger light and heat. For example gunpowder may be to replace another one of said shells containing used for spark discharges, and lead azide for an explosive charge in a position within said heat. magazine to extinguish a future occurring dis While I have indicated and described a system for carrying my invention into effect, it will be 25 charge arc. 5. A system for extinguishing an electrical dis apparent to one skilled in the art that my in charge are comprising a high voltage horn gap vention is by no means limited to the particular connected in series between a voltage source and devices shown and described, but many modi? ground, a magazine having two apertures there cations may be made without departing from the 30 in and containing a plurality of shells each con scope of my invention. taining an explosive charge, means including a What I claim is: support member of ?reproof material to retain 1. A system for rapidly extinguishing an elec one of said shells containing explosive charges in trical discharge arc comprising an Open gap at position near said gap to be set oil by the pas which point said discharge arc will occur, a maga zine containing a plurality of shells each hav 35 sage of an electrical discharge arc through said apertures, and means to replace another one of ing a rapidly expanding gas charge contained said shells containing explosive charges in a po therein and located adjacent said open gap, said sition within said magazine to extinguish a fu magazine having a plurality of apertures in line ture occurring discharge are having a slight time with said gap, means to retain one of said shells delay from a preceding discharge. containing said charge in a position near said 6. A system for rapidly extinguishing an elec gap whereby an electrical discharge are will pass trical discharge are comprising an open gap lo through the apertures in said magazine and cause cated at a point where said discharge are will the charge to be set off and rapidly extinguish the electrical arc. , occur, a magazine containing a plurality of shells 2. A system for rapidly extinguishing an elec each containing explosive charges, said maga trical discharge are comprising an open gap at which point said discharge are will occur, a maga zine containing a plurality of shells each having an explosive charge contained therein and lo zine being located adjacent said open gap and having a plurality of apertures in line with said cated adjacent said open gap, said magazine hav ing a plurality of apertures in line with said gap, means to retain one of said shells in a position near said gap whereby an electrical discharge are will pass through the apertures in said maga zine and cause the charge to be set off and rap idly extinguish the electrical arc. 3. A system for extinguishing an electrical dis charge are comprising a horn gap connected in gap, means to retain one of said shells in a po sition near said gap whereby an electrical dis charge arc will pass through the apertures in said gap and cause the explosive charge to be set off and rapidly extinguish the electrical arc, and means to replace another one of said shells con taining an explosive charge in a position to ex 55 tinguish a future arc after a slight time delay of a preceding discharge. HENDERSON C. GILLESPIE.