neon oscilator schematic, output voltages.

Bill Layer blayer at
Wed Nov 24 15:49:28 CET 1999


>anyone know where I might find more info on Neon oscilators and their
>design ?
>[think they might be called relaxation oscilators ? ]

I attached a small .gif of a  neon relaxation oscillator circuit. The basic 
model is pretty simple.

>Be interested to know any advantages / disadvantages for use at Audio
>and LF frequencies .

EB is a bit disparaging of their qualities - or lack thereof. His main 
comment is that they are unstable, and do not hold a tune, whereas the 
thyratron circuits are much more stable and tend to stay in tune. I have 
experimented with both, but not to the extent that I could quantify their 
musical usefulness. About all I can say is that they are sawtooth 
oscillators, with interesting harmonic products :)

The output voltage level is an interesting situation. In as much as I don't 
care for the thought of patchcord ends capable of shocking us, I think that 
is probably the only real issue of concern. The cords themselves ought to 
handle the voltages fine. I'd be a little concerned using a resistive 
divider to drop voltage for a subsequent SS stage, because the Zout of the 
tube stage is (probably) high already. I could see an SS input stage 
loading the signal... For subsequent tube stages, let it swing away...

Cost might be a problem, but we could use transformers to couple the 
stages; this solves our voltage and impedance issues, and offers another 
opportunity to shape the sound of the unit ;)

Just thinking...

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