Nothing Box
by Mike Ellis

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The nothing box is a set of nine relaxation oscillators. It blinks random patterns and looks cool. When the voltage on the capacitors charge to 65 volts, the neon gas ionizes and discharges the capacitors to 55 volts. The frequency can be simply calculated from the exponential RC function, assuming that the discharge time is neglible to the charging time.


In 1968, 45 volt, and 67 1/2 volt batteries were easier to get. I recently bought a set of 45 volt batteries from Newark. If the batteries are fresh, they will last their shelf life, which is usually 5 years. Notice that there is no off-on switch, so the nothing box runs constantly.

Download the Orcad Schematic File


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