Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

donate to eham
   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: What was it?  (Read 3182 times)
KE8CEW
Member

Posts: 4




Ignore
« on: January 13, 2018, 05:01:36 PM »

Back in the 60's, the old man and woman that lived a couple doors down had this wood cabinet box about the size of a watt meter that sat on a table next to their television. It had several NEON tube lights in it. The lights randomly lit on and off. They were deaf!

One day the old man took the back off the box and showed me, it did not plug into electric, No batteries, made no difference were in the house you placed it, it would continue to light up. It did have some caps and resistors and a few other electronic parts.

I remember watching it as the neon's did their thing dancing around.  He thought it was some kind of static discharge indicator or something to that effect.

Anyone ever hear of such a thing. Would love to build one.
Logged
K8AXW
Member

Posts: 6995




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2018, 05:52:35 PM »

I'd guess your memory is something like mine.....  Roll Eyes

If it has electronic components it has to have a source of power....especially if it had neon bulbs which require around 90v to fire.

Did the old man ever say what it was used for or was it just something to watch?  (TV was better in the 60s than it is now so don't understand that either)   Grin
Logged

A Pessimist is Never Disappointed!
KE8CEW
Member

Posts: 4




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2018, 04:23:18 AM »

He said it was to let them know if something was making noise out of the ordinary. Beings they were deaf, they had to reply on sight. Like if someone knocked on the door, it would start flashing rapidly.

I know Neon's require a good voltage supply to run. That is why it has me puzzled. It had no batteries and did not plug in.  I was thinking static buildup in caps and discharged when activated. Yet I remember the light were on most of the time. 

Maybe it is a figment of my imagination. I wish I could remember what it looked like inside now. I would be able to figure it out now.
Logged
K0UA
Member

Posts: 3279




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2018, 09:04:10 PM »

Memory is a very fragile thing. I have interviewed witnesses as a LEO, and events that people don't fully understand are nearly always flawed.  If 5 people witness the exact same event at the exact same time, you will have AT LEAST 5 different accounts, and sometimes more!

  You did not understand it when you saw it, and I postulate therefore your observation was flawed.

  It would have had to have a source of power from something. It is that simple.
Logged
WI8P
Member

Posts: 657




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2018, 03:29:54 AM »

Maybe it was designed by Tesla and received its power over the air?   Grin
Logged
K0OD
Member

Posts: 3026




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2018, 06:27:45 AM »

Did the couple have children or grandchildren? Find them and ask.

Post this interesting question on a discussion board for the deaf. Easy.

Love these "What the heck is that thing" questions.

Find out, and report back.
Logged
K2OWK
Member

Posts: 1279




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2018, 04:37:21 PM »

The item you observed was called a Ring Counter It consists of a capacitor and a series of resistors. The flashing lights are the RC discharge time. When I built one back in the mid 1950s I used a 90 volt B battery for the voltage source. This battery was flat and was probably located in the bottom of the box and was hard to see. The current draw for this device was very small,. In fact the battery shelf life was about the same as to power this device. The one I built, the battery lasted more then ten years, and some of the neon's were still firing. The NE51 requires about 51 volts to fire (hence the NE51 designation). Just for information when running on DC only one side will light. When running on AC both sides will light. Hope this helps. The NE51 will fire on RF if put very close to an antenna.

73s

K2OWK 
Logged
KE8CEW
Member

Posts: 4




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2018, 06:08:24 PM »

Thanks K2OWK

I did get a reply from a site dedicated to the Deaf. This is what they described the unit as a Ring Counter. They did say it did have a battery in it of which then, I wouldn't have recognized it.  They tell me it was a device thought to aide the deaf to break up the psychological dysfunctions from hearing only dead silence.

I have always wondered what it was for. Makes sense now. 
Logged
K0UA
Member

Posts: 3279




Ignore
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2018, 06:14:31 PM »

Thanks K2OWK

I did get a reply from a site dedicated to the Deaf. This is what they described the unit as a Ring Counter. They did say it did have a battery in it of which then, I wouldn't have recognized it.  They tell me it was a device thought to aide the deaf to break up the psychological dysfunctions from hearing only dead silence.

I have always wondered what it was for. Makes sense now. 

There you go.  See? Memory is a very fragile thing.  You didn't recognize or see the battery so therefore that information did not get "written into the record".  But it was there all along.  If you feel like it ask me about the report I got one time from an eye witness about a twin engine aircraft going down with its left engine on fire.  Ask me how that one turned out.   73  James K0UA
Logged
KC8KTN
Member

Posts: 1816


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2018, 06:39:43 PM »

Good job on the Dectective work. A+++.
Everyone Have A Blessed Day.Be Safe.GOD BLESS..
END OF TRANSMISSION
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!