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Old 11th February 2012, 08:28 AM   #1
fid is offline fid  United States
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Default Honeywell Mercury Tube?

Hi Folks,

I came across what looks like an old tube. It has mercury inside of it - sloshing around. It says Honeywell Regulator Company on a green label, and has some numbers on it. Is this something I should throw away? Anybody know what it's from?
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Old 11th February 2012, 08:44 AM   #2
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Sounds like some kind of mecury switch.
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Old 11th February 2012, 01:44 PM   #3
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
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I associate mercury with high voltage rectifiers, but the memories are 50 years old.

Mercury-arc valve - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mercury-Vapor Rectifier Tubes | High Fidelity Tubes

From our very own forum:
Mercury vapor rectifier tube question
Gas-Rectifier power supply
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Old 11th February 2012, 07:02 PM   #4
fid is offline fid  United States
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Default Photos Of Mercury Tube

Ok, here are a couple of pictures of this tube. The number on the label is: 63S-4 KX. The "6" and the "3" were very hard to see, so they might be wrong - but that's the best I could get.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 11th February 2012, 07:16 PM   #5
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That's a mercury switch. They're valuable to some people. They make great switches with contacts that never wear out. It'll last as long as the wires do. Some older thermostats used them. It's probably better than what's used in electric heaters to shut them off if they tip over. You're better off selling it to someone that can use it (Ebay maybe?), or giving to a metals recycler that sells mercury. It's valuable, but very toxic waste if not handled properly. Don't break it open, put it in the trash or with recycled bottles/cans. Those curious about mercury rectifiers might get data sheets for the 866A and 872. They're low-voltage drop rectifiers, but may need a 15 minute warm up to vaporize the mercury before turning on the high voltage. Most AM broadcasters with tube type transmitters from the 50's using them replaced them with silicon rectifier modules combining strings of diodes to handle the voltage..
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Old 11th February 2012, 07:26 PM   #6
fid is offline fid  United States
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Default Thanks

Ok, thanks for that. I'll put it on ebay later tonight, rather have somebody who knows the value of it and can put it to use be in possession of it. Don't know what it's worth, though .

Quote:
Originally Posted by riccoryder View Post
That's a mercury switch. They're valuable to some people. They make great switches with contacts that never wear out. It'll last as long as the wires do. Some older thermostats used them. It's probably better than what's used in electric heaters to shut them off if they tip over. You're better off selling it to someone that can use it (Ebay maybe?), or giving to a metals recycler that sells mercury. It's valuable, but very toxic waste if not handled properly. Don't break it open, put it in the trash or with recycled bottles/cans. Those curious about mercury rectifiers might get data sheets for the 866A and 872. They're low-voltage drop rectifiers, but may need a 15 minute warm up to vaporize the mercury before turning on the high voltage. Most AM broadcasters with tube type transmitters from the 50's using them replaced them with silicon rectifier modules combining strings of diodes to handle the voltage..
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