Sylvania 6802 & 6909 Dekatron Tubes (CK6802)  
Written by AnubisTTP on 2006-10-11  


Devices included in this entry:

Sylvania 6802 counter (octal base)
Raytheon CK6802 counter (octal base)
Sylvania 6909 counter (octal base; pictured in thumbnail)

The 6802 is Sylvania's original octal-base counter, designed to compete with ETL's GC10B. Sylvania later upgraded the 6802 design to the 6909, which replaces the neon with a Penning mixture and is capable of impressive 100kHz operation. Unfortunately, the 6909 is extremely prone to outgassing, making the 6802 ultimately a much more practical and long-lived device.

Raytheon made second-source versions of these tubes, prefixed by a CK identifier in the part number. The CK variants of these tubes are electrically identical, despite their vastly different internal construction.

Sylvania Decade Counter Tubes (PDF)


Sylvania 6802 Dekatron Tube
Sylvania 'green print' 6802 dekatron. Newer Sylvania tubes have yellow print on their bases.

Sylvania 6909 Dekatron Tube
Sylvania 6909, a 100 kHz 6802 variant with a Penning fill. Like the 6802, this tube uses a standard octal base, and has an identical pinout. By making careful adjustments of the test fixture, we were able to get this tube to count at a speed of 155 kHz before it began to drop counts. However, the tests suggest that 70 kHz is a more realistic expectation of counting speed under real world circumstances.

Sylvania 6802 Dekatron Tube Test Fixture
Sylvania 6802 mounted in our 'dial-a-dekatron' test fixture. The example pictured was tested to a speed of 5.8kHz before it began to drop counts.

Raytheon CK6802 Dekatron Tube
Raytheon CK6802 with military carton.

Sylvania 6802 Dekatron Spinner
A green print Sylvania 6802 installed in a YS610 dekatron tester.

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