On Apr 3, 2011, at 3:52 PM, Robert Pease wrote:

Recently  I had  a debate   with an engineer  about the neons  in a  K2-W. He was  surprised  that  the zener  could  do the  job  of the neons.

I pointed  out that  when we  first needed  this  function, there  were no Zeners  you could  buy.  And  when  they came  along,  they cost 80x the  cost of an NE-2.  And some  were   probably pretty leaky.

ONLY the  K2-WJ's  need  for  a  "neon  that  didn't  emit nuclear  rays" caused the  Zener to get in to that   amplifier. So the  K2-WJ  can  be used in Nuclear submarines.

Hey,  an  NE-14  will start in the  dark;  But an NE-2 may not.  Why  not put a grain-of-rice bulb in a K2-W to throw light on the NE-2's?  That would be  cheap. Come to think of it,  that bulb might not last as  long as the K2-W, even running at  derated  voltage.  So maybe  that's not such a good idea.

The  zener  in the  K2-WJ   runs at  140  UA;  the neon in a K2-W   at 60.

That is probably  because MOST   140-volt  zeners   would  run at   60 UA; but to keep the yield  high  and  the price low, Bruce  had to  slide  the 60 UA  bias up to 140 UA?    -  Plausible.

Beast  reg rds. /  rap / Robert A. Pease (graduated  from Philbrick  in 1976.)