Melz ITM2M Gas Discharge Display Tube  
Written by AnubisTTP on 2010-03-16  



The ITM2M (also sometimes called the ITM2-M) is a strange device, a Soviet-manufactured indirect gas discharge display. Like a Nixie, the ITM2M is filled with low pressure ionizing gas, but all similarities to more common displays end there. ITM2M tubes contain an array of 16 tiny thyratrons, each painted with one of four colored phosphors. Activating one of the thyratrons causes the gas within to ionize, resulting in illumination of the associated phosphor. These tubes have complex power supply requirements and must be supplied with separate -300VDC, 150VDC, and 75VDC signals to function properly. However, once those needs are met, individual rows and columns are self-latching and can be controlled with a low voltage 10VDC signal due to the switching action of the internal thyratrons.The ITM2M is packaged in a tiny cubical envelope, allowing for the construction of large tiled displays.

ITM2M Datasheet (PDF)


Melz ITM2-M four-color indirect discharge display tube.

Though commonly called a 'Nixie' tube, the ITM2M actually uses an array of phosphor-painted thyratrons to display images.

ITM2M tube, normal operation.

Each ITM2M pixel maintains a keepalive discharge even when a given dot is not illuminated, for faster switching speeds.

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