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WikiProject Electronics (Rated Start-class)
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It would be interesting for someone to give a description on how this device works?

I just added a bit more info on internal operation... Bert (talk) 13:43, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Additional information required[edit]

"It is usually a large steel container"

How large? I came here following a link on a page about vacuum tubes, so I have pretty small on my mind and cannot imagine compared to what is this "large". Please try to be more specific. -- (talk) 09:48, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Couldn't find any dimensions on the web, but they are usually too big to lift - say, a half-metre or so high. page 19 shows a picture of a fellow standing next to some ignitrons of unspecified rating. --Wtshymanski (talk) 17:08, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

They aren't always this big, though - the common BK42, for example, is roughly 8" tall by 2.5" diameter, weighing 1.66kg.Emartuk (talk) 14:41, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

removed from article:[edit]

I've posted a correction once before. Please get an expert 'in' on this. The 'Ignitor' should be ABOVE the Mercury bath/dish to initiate a conductive plasma 'cloud'. Your diagram short-circuits 3 and 2 via 4 (conductive Mercury), which negates Insulating 5

A spark GAP is required between 3 and 4 for full conductive load to occur between 5 and 2.

Dr. James Douglas (removed from article by EdBever (talk) 07:56, 13 March 2009 (UTC))

Expert? We don't use experts here, just references. The reference I use says the ignitor probe is made of a refractory semiconductor like silicon carbide, and that the high electric field to initiate an arc develops in the meniscus between the probe tip and the surface of the mercury. Yes, I think that's a little odd, too, but please find a reference that shows a gap between the probe and the mercury surface and quote it here so we can all benefit from your expertise. The other refernce I have that talks about the inner workings of ignitrons doesn't say yes or no ona gap. --Wtshymanski (talk) 13:42, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
I've worked on characterizing and on the development of ignitrons for several years in the late eighties. The ignitor actually dips into the mercury, forming a meniscus having a dc resistance typically between 50 and 100 ohms. When the tube is triggered, an ionized mercury jet forms closing the gap between anode and cathode. Ignitrons often fail when metal from either the tube walls or the anode plates out on the ignitor, which allows it to be wetted with mercury. The ignitor resistance then falls under an ohm and the tube cannot be triggered.--RKihara (talk) 06:27, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

More moved text[edit]

These (unsigned) comments were added into the article, rather than the talk page as they should have been. Hellbus (talk) 02:42, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Please Edit This Entry! 3 & 2 form a short-circuit via the mercury. For 'ignition' to occur, the 'ignitor' should be placed just above the mercury, otherwise, the ignitor HV would be in direct contact with the 'load voltage'. Once ionization occurs, a strong conductive path is generated. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:05, February 14, 2009

The drawing is correct. The Ignitor electrode is coated with a porous ceramic layer that isolates it from the mercury pool. The pores are small enough that the mercury's surface tension keeps it from touching the metal, and provide multiple sites for the ignition arcs.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:20, June 23, 2009