On 30 Mar 2007 at 13:58, Ethan Dicks wrote:
It would be sensitive to the light in the room,
wouldn't it? ISTR
there was some note somewhere about the avalanche voltage on a neon
bulb being affected by swings in ambient light, but as this stuff is s
bit before my era, I could easily be wrong.
Some neons had a bit of something included in the glass to provide a
bit of ionizing radiation to render the bulb less sensitive to
ambient light. I don't think that NE2's are the best gas diodes for
digital uses--there are (or used to be) higher-quality neons that
have more uniform characteristics.
I remember that the pedalboard on old (tube-type) Lowery organs used
neons in some capacity--I think it was to quash the "sustain" when a
note was played that overlapped the sustain of the previous note.
I've got an old neon "nightlight" in my shop that's aged sufficiently
that it comes on whenever I turn on the overhead illumination but
otherwise doesn't glow when the light level is low.
I wonder if the neon ring counter circuit might be replicated using
something like diacs or tunnel diodes for the active device. Of
course, you'd need an LED or something to actually show the logic