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Dekatrons are basically the predecessor of the 4017 decade counter. Dekatrons are filled with neon gas and has 30 cathodes and guides between each cathode that are all arranged in a circle. Pulsing the guides with negative voltages in the correct sequence will cause the neon gas on the initial cathode to jump to the next cathode and so on. A dekatron spinner is basically an eye-catching device that runs off mains frequency (60Hz in my case), which makes six complete revolutions per second.
I used a GC10/4B dekatron that was commonly used in calculator applications because of its four direct-access cathodes (most dekatrons only had one direct access cathode at zero so a pulse can be obtained for every revolution). Below is the schematic of my dekatron spinner:
A voltage quadrupler is used to provide 400-500V for the dekatron, and the 60Hz signal provides the pulses that runs the spinner. I eventually replaced the GC10/4B with a slightly smaller 6802 dekatron that is similar to the GC10/4B.
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