Wamco KW-104EW & KW-104NS Minitron Displays  
Written by AnubisTTP on 2011-09-10  


Devices included in this entry:

Wamco KW-104EWAU (8 pin bathtub; pictured in thumbnail)
KW-104NSAU (8 pin bathtub; pictured in thumbnail)

Wamco is a prolific manufacturer of 'minitron'-style filament displays, and produced a number of specialized displays for the aerospace industry. These devices are a good example, a pair of special symbol displays which were originally intended for use in navigation systems. The KW-104EW can display either an "E" or a "W" character, and the KW-104NS can display a "N" or "S" character. Despite appearances, these tubes are not segmented, they can only display the two special characters for which each is designed. Strangely, these tubes actually have doubled filaments in any segment position where the characters overlap, even though it would have been cheaper and less complex to simply share segments in the same way as a normal seven-segment display. Though these devices have a flat package and 8 pin bases, they are not DIP compatible; the pins are arranged in an unusual star-shaped pattern that is incompatible with modern breadboards.


Wamco KW-104EV & KW-104NS 'Minitron' style symbol displays, normal operation.

Despite appearances, these tubes are not segmented, each character has it's own set of filaments and sections shared by each character have double filaments.

Various different minitron displays for size comparison. Clockwise from right; IEE FFD21, 3015F (silver plate version), 3015F (black plate version), Wamco KW-104EW, Wamco KW-104NS, Wamco KW-104S, Wamco KW-105, Wamco KW-105AL.

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