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Jan. 4, 1949.
H. J. MOCREARY
2,458,283
IMPULSE GENERATOR
Filed Qct. 25, 1944
INVENTOR.
'
HAROLD
‘
J. M6 CREARY
8%ZM
ATTORNEY
Patented Jan. 4, 1949
2,458,283
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE
2,458,283
IMPULSE GENERATOR
Harold J. McCreary, Lombard, Ill., assignor to
Automatic Electric Laboratories, Inc, Chicago,
111., a corporation of Delaware
Application October 2-3, 1944, Serial No. 560,076
8 Claims.
(Cl. 315-245)
1
2
The present invention relates in general to
impulse generators and particularly to impulse
generators adapted for the control or testing of
trol gas discharge tube 3. After a predetermined
number of impulses have been produced tube 3
?res and stops further operation of the impulse
electromagnetic stepping switches and the like.
The principal object of the present invention
generator for a variable time interval which is
determined by the time delay network connected
is to provide a source of low frequency impulses
in the grid circuit of gas discharge tube 4.
that is stable in operation, compact in construc
To prepare the apparatus for use switch 5 is
tion, ?exible in adjustment, quiet in operation,
operated to connect the negative terminal of the
and economical to produce.
battery G to all of the points in the circuit marked
A further object of the invention is to provide 10 (—) thus completing a circuit to the heaters of
an impulse generator employing resistance and
all of the tubes in series, energizing the upper
capacitance elements to determine the speed and
winding of relay MG, and charging condenser l
make to break ratio of the impulses and including
to the potential existing across the series heaters
a novel circuit arrangement which provides inde
of tubes 3 and 4. Relay I46 operates and opens
pendent adjustment of the speed and the make
the charging circuit for condenser 'l. Condenser
to break ratio.
‘I slowly discharges through resistor 8 at such a
Another object of the invention is to provide
rate that the voltage between the grid and cath
a means for causing any desired number of im
ode of tube 4 does not reach the striking potential
pulses to be produced in a series, either in a single
until the cathodes of all of the tubes have had
group or repeated groups, and in the latter case
time to reach their normal operating tempera
to provide an adjustable spacing interval between
tures. During this time tube It is the only one
successive groups.
that has any potential applied to its anode and
A feature of the invention is the novel method
it is prevented from ?ring by the negative poten
of protecting the gas discharge tubes employed
tial on its grid. When condenser '! has discharged
in the unit against the ?ow of destructive cur
25 suiiiciently tube 4 ?res to energize relay IEO.
rents during the warm up period of the tubes.
Relay £68 operates and closes a circuit to relay
Other objects and features of the invention will
I50. Relay :59 operates, opens the circuit to the
appear upon a further perusal of the speci?ca
upper winding of relay me, closes its locking cir~
tion taken in connection with the accompanying
cuit, prepares a circuit to. the lower winding of
drawing, in which:
relay
transfers relay lat from the anode of
30
Fig. 1 is a schematic diagram of the impulse
tube 4 to contacts of key l6, and substitutes varia
generator proper and the associated impulse
ble resistor i i for resistor 53. If the lower contacts
counter and interval timer.
of key iii are normal, relay l?ii will still be con
Fig. 2 is a schematic diagram of a modi?cation
nected to the anode of tube G through contacts
of the impulse generator.
of relay $49, but if the lower contacts of key it]
Referring now to Fig. 1, the two gas discharge 35 are operated the circuit to relay Hit and the anode
tubes, l and 2, at the left of the ?gure with their
circuit of tube :3 will be opened. In either event
immediately connected circuits constitute the
this latter circuit is opened when relay I40 re
impulse generator proper. A time delay network
stores, causing tube ii to deionize and releasing
is connected in the grid-cathode circuit of each
40 relay Hi3. rl‘he restoration of relay bill also re
tube. Either one or the other of these circuits
closes the charging circuit to condenser '1' and
is connected to a source of biasing potential by
closes a circuit to relay I38. Relay E38 operates
contacts of relay HG which is controlled by the
and connects contacts ill of relay ilil to termi~
anode current of one of the tubes. Whenever the
grid potential of one of the tubes is reduced to
nals l2 which are connected to the load circuit.
The restoration of relay Hill connects ground to
45
the striking point, due to the gradual discharge
the anodes of tubes I and 2 from contacts of relay
of the condenser in its grid circuit, the tube fires
I50 and through contacts of relays its and hit.
and extinguishes the ionic discharge in the other
The preceding operations protect the tubes dur
tube thus causing relay I ill to alternately operate
ing the warm up period. Assuming that key it
and release to transfer the source of biasing po 50 is normal continuous impulses will now be pro
tential to the grid circuit of the tube which last
duced as follows.
?red.
Tube 2 is prevented from ?ring when relay I69
The output impulses are obtained from contacts
restores due to the negative bias applied to its
of relay ll?. In order to produce impulses in
grid from break contacts of relay H0. Tube 2
groups other contacts of relay lid are arranged 55 has no bias voltage on its grid and consequently
to charge a condenser during the operated period
it ?res to energize relay 2 It. Relay i it! operates
of the relay and to discharge the condenser into
and transfers negative battery from the grid of
a relatively larger condenser during the released
tube i to the grid of tube 2. Tube 2 will remain
period. The voltage on the large condenser is
ionized however as its grid has no control of the
thus increased a definite amount for each opera 60 anode current after the tube has ?red. Condenser
l3, which was charged to the potential existing
tion of relay H0 and this voltage is used to con
2,458,283
across the left hand portion of potentiometer [4
during the time that relay I II] was restored, com
mences to discharge through the left hand por
tion of potentiometer I5. After a time interval
determined by the capacity of condenser l3 and
the resistance of the left hand portion of poten
tiometer I5 that is in parallel with it the voltage
then
is: 6 _R_C'
e0
t=RO log a;e0E
across condenser I3 falls to a value which will
cause tube I to ?re. When tube I ?res the poten
tial on the anode of tube 2 is momentarily reduced 10
by the capacitative coupling between the two
t
the tube ?res when eg=eg,=ABE,, let t at this
time=T
E
'
T=RC log %§—“=KRC
_
s
where K is a constant depending on the tube charac
anodes through condenser I6 causing tube 2 to
teristics and on the setting of potentiometer 14.
deionize and thus release relay Ill}. The im
pedance lilil in the anode circuit of tube I is pref
A number of tubes were found that had the
erably a relay similar to relay H0 except that it 15 proper characteristic necessary to obtain con
is not provided with contact springs. Relay IIIl
stant timing with a variable voltage supply. Typ
restores and transfers negative battery back to
ical examples are the types 884, GL-502, 2050,
the grid of tube I. After a second time interval
and 2051-02.
determined by the capacity of condenser I1 and
There are many occasions, particularly in test
the resistance of the right hand portion of poten 20 ing electromagnetic stepping switches of the type
tiometer I5 that is in parallel with it the voltage
commonly used in automatic telephone ex
across condenser I‘l falls to a value which will
changes, where a series of a predetermined num
permit tube 2 to ?re. When tube 2 ?res relay
ber of impulses is required rather than continu
I It is reopcrated and the anode potential of tube
ous pulses. A single series of impulses may be
I is momentarily decreased by condenser I5 caus 25 obtained with the circuit of Fig. 1 by operating
ing it to deionize. The same cycle of events is
the lower contacts of key it]. This connects pos
repeated inde?nitely causing relay I ID to be oper
itive battery to the anode of tube 3 through the
ated intermittently at a rate determined by the
lower winding of relay Mal and prepares a circuit
product of the voltage across the left hand por
to relay I60 from key I8. When there is no
tion of potentiometer I4 and the sum of the time 30 charge on condenser 9 a negative bias derived
constants of the parallel RC circuits in the grid
from the voltage drop across the left hand por
circuits of tubes I and 2. If condensers I3 and
tion of potentiometer I9 is applied to the control
I?! are equal, which is the preferable arrangement,
grid of tube 3, but if relay III? has been operating
the sum of the time constants of these two con
for some time there will be a charge on condenser
densers and the portions of potentiometer I5 that 35 9 which overcomes this bias voltage causing tube
are connected in parallel with them will be inde~
3 to ?re and energize relay I48. Relay I40 oper
pendent of the setting of potentiometer iii. In
ates, opens the circuit to relay I39 and opens the
this case the setting of potentiometer it deter
anode circuits to tubes I and 2 to stop further
mines the voltage that the condensers are initially
i-mpulsing, Relay I38 restores and opens the
charged to and thus controls the speed of the 40 impulsing circuit to the load. In order to initiate
impulses obtained from contacts I II of relay III)
the generation of a series of impulses, key l8,
and the setting of potentiometer I5 determines
which is of the non-locking type, is operated
the ratio of the closed time to the open time of
momentarily. The operation of key I8 closes a
these contacts, hereafter called the make-break
circuit to relay IEO which operates, short circuits
ratio.
condenser 9, opens a further point in the anode
In order to prevent any change in the make
circuits to tubes l and 2, and opens the anode cir
break ratio or in the impulse speed the impulse
cuit to tube 3 through relay I40. Tube 3 de
generator circuit has been arranged to use a
ionizes and relay Mil restores, closing the circuit
common power supply for the anode circuits and
to relay I30. Relay I30 operates and closes the
the control grid biasing circuits of tubes I and 2. 50 impulsing loop to the load. When key It is
If a linear relation exists between the anode and
released relay I60 restores, removes the short cir
the control grid voltages required for ?ring tubes
cuit from condenser 9, closes the anode circuits
I and 2 the time delay between the opening of _ to tubes I and 2, and closes the anode circuit to
the grid condenser charging circuit and the ?ring
tube 3 through the lower winding of relay MI].
of the associated tube will be independent of the 55 Tube 3 is prevented from ?ring by the negative
power supply voltage, assuming that the power
bias applied to its grid through condenser 9.
supply voltage does not change during this period.
This negative bias is derived from the voltage
This may readily be seen from the following equa
’ drop across the left hand portion of potentiome
tions.
ter l9 as previously mentioned. Tubes I and 2
60 again operate as previously described to cause
Let
relay I It] to intermittently open and close the load
circuit at contacts I I I. Each time that relay I I0
Ea=the power supply voltage which is subject to
operates it charges condenser 28 to the potential
gradual variations,
eg,=the grid striking potential,
er=the anode voltage
= AE', where A is a constant which depends on the
setting of potentiometer 14.
eH=Bem where B is a constant determined by the
tube characteristics,
=ABE,
eo=initial grid voltage
= (1~A)Es
e g = instagitaneous grid voltage
=eue RC, where t is time starting from the instant
_ of battery 6 and each time that it restores it con
nects condenser 6 in parallel with condenser 9.
A part of the charge on condenser 28 is thus
transferred to condenser 9 each time that relay
H0 operates and restores. The voltage across
condenser 9 thus increases in discrete, although
non-uniform, steps. The grid bias on tube 3,
which is the voltage across the left hand portion
of potentiometer I9 less the voltage across con
denser 9, thus decreases a de?nite amount for
each impulse. When the desired number of im
the grid condenser charging circuit is opened, 75 pulses
have been produced, as determined by the
2,458,283
setting of potentiometer I9, the grid bias on tube
3 reaches the striking potential causing the tube
to ?re and energize relay I40. Relay I40 oper
6
grid loses control once the tube has ?red. Con
denser 23 discharges through resistor 25 until
the voltage between the grid and cathode of tube
ates, removes plus battery from the anodes of
2i reaches the striking potential. At this time
tubes I and 2 to prevent further impulsing, and
tube 2i ?res and energizes relay 200. Relay 200
opens the circuit to relay I30. Relay I30 re
operates and interrupts the anode circuit of tube
stores after its slow release period and opens the
22 at contacts 20I during the time that the
impulsing circuit. A similar cycle of operations
armature spring is traveling from the break to
is repeated each time that key I8 is momentarily
the make contact, which time interval is suffi
operated. The particular arrangement of the 10 cient to deionize tube 2I0. Relay 2I0 therefore
impulsing circuit illustrated is intended for con
releases and transfers negative battery back to
trolling automatic telephone switches of the
condenser 23 from condenser 21. During the
Strowger type. These switches are seized by clos
time that relay 2 It is releasing it also interrupts
ing a loop circuit to them, are stepped by inter
the anode circuit to tube 2I at contacts 2I2 but
mittently opening the loop, and are released by
opening the loop for a half second or more.
It
tube 2i ?res as soon as this circuit is re-estab
lished because condenser 23 does not become
should be apparent that other types of stepping
charged rapidly enough to prevent the tube from
switches or impulse controlled circuits may be
?ring. The rate at which condenser 23 charges
operated in a diiierent manner and that suitable
is limited by the resistance of the right hand
modi?cation might be made in the contact ar 20 portion or" potentiometer 28. Condenser 21 now
rangement of relay H0 and the use of relay I30
discharges ‘through resistor 26 until the voltage
to accommodate such variations without alter
between the grid and cathode of tube 22 reaches
ing the spirit of the invention.
the striking potential, at which time tube 22
In some types or" tests it is necessary to use
?res and energizes relay 210 again. Relay 2I0
repeated groups of impulses with a predetermined 25 operates, transfers negative battery from con
time interval between them. To obtain such re
denser to 2'5, and again momentarily interrupts
peated groups of impulses the upper contacts of
the anode circuit or" tube 2|. This time tube 2I
key II? are operated. The operations are the same
will remain deionized, as condenser 23 is fully
as previously described for a single series of im
charged, and will therefore release relay 200.
pulses except that tube 4 now operates relay I60 30 Relay 200 restores and momentarily interrupts
a predetermined length of time after the com
1e anode circuit of tube 22 but without any per
pletion of each series instead of relay IEO being
ananent effect as the voltage across condenser 21
operated by key I8. At the end of a series of
has not yet increased su?iciently to prevent the
impulses relay Ilia’) is operated when tube 3 ?res.
tube from ?ring. The above cycle of operations
The operation of relay I40 opens the charging
continues as long as the positive battery is ap
circuit to condenser ‘E which proceeds to discharge
plied to lead 24. The time interval during which
through resistor 8. Resistor 8 is adjusted to pro
contacts '25: are closed is determined by the ad
vide the desired spacing interval between each
justment of resistor 20 which determines the
series of impulses. When condenser ‘I has dis
time required ‘for condenser 21 to discharge, or by
charged sufficiently tube 4 ?res and energizes 40 the setting of potentiometer 29 which determines
relay 580. Relay I60 operates, opens the circuit
the initial voltage to which condenser 21 is
to relay MI] and the anode of tube 3, and short
charged. In like manner, the time interval dur
circuits condensers 9 and 2B. Relay I40 restores,
ing which contacts 2H are open is determined
opens the circuit to relay I60 and the anode of
by the adjustment of resistor 25 or the setting
tube 6, and reclcses the charging circuit to con 45 of potentiometer 28. In order to adjust the
denser TI. Tube 4 deionizes and relay I60 restores
speed and maintain the make-break ratio con
removing the short circuit from condensers 9 and
stant both the open and the closed periods must
3t, reclosing the anode circuit to tube 3 and clos
be adjusted simultaneously with this arrange
ing the anode circuits to tubes I and 2 to start
ment.
a new series of impulses.
50
In Fig. 2 triode type gas discharge tubes have
The modi?ed form of impulse generator shown
been illustrated while in Fig. 1 tetrode types are
in Fig. 2 may be substituted for the left hand
shown. It has been found that either type may
portion of
l by connecting the leads extend
be used interchangeably. The examples previous
ing from Fig. to the corresponding leads extend“
ly cited include both types. The resistors shown
ing from the portion of Fig. 1 to the right of the 55 connected in series with each of the control grids
dotted line. The chief difference in the opera‘
are merely to limit the current flowing to the
tion of Fig. 2 is in the manner of causing the
grid when the tube is ?red and play no part in
alternate tube to deionize whenever one of the
determining the timing intervals.
tubes ?res. In Fig. 1 this was accomplished by
What is claimed is:
coupling the two anodes together through con 60
1. In combination, a gaseous discharge tube
denser l?. The coupling may also be increased
having at least a cathode, a control electrode, and
by the use of the common impedance I20 in the
an anode, a relay having a winding connected be
anode circuits of tubes I and 2 to provide more
tween said anode and cathode, a normally
positive operation although it is not essential.
charged condenser connected between said con
In Fig. 2 each of the relays in the anode circuits 65 trol electrode and cathode, a resistor, means con
of the tubes is provided with contacts which are
trolled by the relay for causing said condenser
arranged to momentarily open the anode circuit
to discharge through said resistor so as to initiate
of the alternate tube to deionize it whenever the
an ionic discharge in the tube after a predeter
relay operates. When positive battery is con
mined time interval, said relay being operated
nected to the anodes of tubes 2| and 22 over lead 70 when said discharge occurs, and means responsive
24 tube 22 will ?re and energize relay 2I0. Relay
to the operation of said relay for deionizing said
210 operates and transfers negative battery from
tube whereby the relay is periodically actuated.
condenser 23 to condenser 21. The application
2. In combination, a pair of gaseous discharge
of negative battery to the grid of tube 22 will not
tubes each having at least a cathode, a control
interrupt the anode current of the tube as the 75 electrode, and an anode, a relay connected be
2,458,283 .
8
7
connected across said source, adjustable taps‘on
said resistors connected to said cathodes, a pair
of condensers individually connected between the
control electrodes and cathodes of said tubes, a
third condenser connected between the anodes of
said tubes, a pair of impedances individually con
nected between the anodes of said tubes and the
positive terminal of said source, at least one of
said impedances being a relay, contacts on said
tween the anode and cathode of each tube, a
source of biasing potential, circuit arrangements
for causing varying voltages derived from said
source of biasing potential to be applied between
the control electrodes and cathodes of each of
said tubes so as to alternately initiate ionic dis
charges therein, and switching means controlled
by said relays for momentarily interrupting the
anode circuit of the alternate tube in response
to the initiation of a discharge in one tube where 10 relay normally connecting the negative terminal
of said source to the control electrode of one of
by said relays are alternately and intermittently
said tubes, said relay being operated in response
to the ?ring of the other of said tubes to transfer
actuated.
3. An impulse generator comprising a gaseous
the negative terminal of said source from the con
discharge tube having at least a cathode, a con
trol electrode, and an anode, a relay connected 15 trol electrode of said one tube to the control
electrode of said other tube thereby causing said
between said anode and cathode, circuit con
one tube to ?re a predetermined time interval
nected between said control electrode and cath
thereafter, said third condenser causing either
ode, means controlled by said relay, for causing a
tube to be extinguished in response to the ?ring of
current to ?ow in said circuit so as to initiate a
the other tube whereby said relay is periodically
discharge in said tube after a predetermined time
actuated, the adjustment of the taps on said ?rst
and second resistors determining the ratio of ac
tuated to released intervals and the rate of peri
operation of said relay for deionizing said tube
odic actuation, respectively, of said relay.
whereby the relay is periodically actuated; char
7. An impulse generator comprising two gase
acterized in the fact that a common voltage 25
ous discharge tubes, each having at least a cath
source is used for the anode supply and for the
interval, said relay being operated when said
discharge occurs, and means responsive to the
ode, a control electrode, and an anode; a
condenser connected between the control elec
trode and the cathode of each tube, a source of
source of said current, and that the control elec
trode voltage necessary to initiate a discharge in
the tube is a linear function of the anode voltage,
whereby the rate at which said relay is periodi
cally actuated is rendered, substantially inde
pendent of the voltage of said source within the
working range of the impulse generator.
4. In combination, a gaseous discharge tube
having at least a cathode, a control electrode, and
an anode, a relay connected between said anode
30 bias potential for charging said condensers alter
nately, a discharge circuit connected across each
of said condensers for discharging each at a pre
determined rate, either one of said tubes becoming
ionized in response to the potential of the corre
35 sponding condenser reaching the ?ring point of
said tube, means responsive to the ionization of
either one of said tubes for deionizing- the other
of said tubes and for transferring said source from
the condenser associated with said other tube to
ing a current to ?ow in said circuit so as to initi 40 the condenser associated with said one tube, said
tubes ?ring alternately at intervals determined by
ate an ionic discharge in the tube after a prede
the discharging rates for said condensers.
termined time interval, said relay being operated
and cathode, a circuit having a time constant
connected between said control electrode and
cathode, means controlled by said relay for caus~
when said discharge occurs, means responsive to
8. In an impulse generator as claimed in claim‘
7, an adjustable voltage divider connected across
the operation of said relay for deionizing said
tube whereby the relay is periodically actuated, 45 said source to determine the potential for charg
ing said condensers, said divider being adjustable
a condenser, means controlled by said relay for
altering the charge on said condenser a prede
termined amount for each operation of the relay,
and means for terminating the periodic actuation
of said relay in response to the charge on said
condenser reaching a predetermined value.
5. An impulse generator comprising a pair of
gaseous discharge tubes each having at least a
cathode, a grid, and an anode, an anode circuit
for said tubes including a relay, a grid circuit for 55
said tubes associated with contacts of said relay
so as to cause ionic discharges to be alternately
initiated in said tubes in response to intermittent
operation of said relay, means responsive to the
initiation of a discharge in either one of said
to change the sum of the intervals required for
discharging said condensers while the ratio of
the intervals remains constant, a resistive ele
ment in each of said discharge circuits, and means
for adjusting said resistive elements simulta
neously to change the ratio of said intervals while
the sum thereof remains constant.
HAROLD J. MCCREARY.
REFERENCES CITED
The following references are of record in the
?le of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS
tubes for deionizing the other tube whereby said 60 Number
relay is intermittently operated, a condenser,
1,979,054
means controlled by said relay for altering the
2,059,562
charge on said condenser a predetermined
amount for each operation of the relay, and. 65
means responsive to the charge on said condenser
reaching a predetermined value for terminating
the intermittent operation of said relay.
6. An impulse generator comprising a pair of
gaseous discharge tubes each including at least
70
a cathode, a control electrode, and an anode, a
source of potential, a ?rst resistor connected be
tween said control electrodes, a second resistor
2,073,701
2,080,273
2,104,142
2,153,202
2,282,916
Name
Date
Scheer ___________ __ Oct. 30, 1934
Curtis et a1 _________ __ Nov. 3, 1936
Lazzarini ________ __ Mar. 16,
Holmes __________ __ May 11,
Swart _____________ __ Jan, 4,
Nichols _____________ _, Apr. 4,
Wolf ____________ ___ May 12,
1937
1937
1938
1939
1942
2,297,119
Williamson et a1. ___ Sept. 29, 1942
2.32.3,019
2,350,888
2,359,967
Dohle ___________ __ June 29, 1943
Hall _____________ __ June 6, 1944
Brown ___________ __ Oct. 10, 1944
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