Dekatron


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Dekatron

 

a gas-filled tube used for digital counting in the decimal numerical system, as well as for switching of electrical circuits. The bulb of a dekatron is filled with a gas mixture (hydrogen, helium, and neon) at a pressure of 4.0-5.3 kilonewtons per sq m (30-40 mm of mercury).

During the operation of a dekatron, the directional transfer of the electric glow discharge from one electrode to another electrode occurs when a control pulse that reduces the ignition voltage of the second electrode’s discharge gap is fed to it. The state is recorded based on the location of the glow spot of the gas discharge. The main parameters of the dekatrons manufactured in the USSR (1968) are: conversion coefficient (the ratio of input pulses to the output pulses), 10; counting speed, up to 1 megahertz; operating current, up to 1.5 milliamperes. Dekatrons are used in automation, digital measurement work, and nuclear and industrial electronics.

REFERENCE

Lipkin, V. M. Dekatrony i ikh primenenie. Moscow-Leningrad, 1960.
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Pupils experimented with the 1951 Harwell Dekatron Computer - one of the world's oldest working computers which calculates squared numbers.
WHIZ KIDS: Holmfirth High School pupils Shay Fai and Josephine France operate the Harwell Dekatron Computer at the National Museum of Computing near Milton Keynes
The Harwell Dekatron was one of a dozen in the world when made in 1951.