General Electric Y1938  
Written by Accutron on 2017-03-22  

Devices included in this entry:

General Electric Y1938 seven-segment VFD (engineering sample; pictured in thumbnail)
General Electric Y1938 seven-segment VFD
General Electric Y4102 overflow indicator VFD


Introduced in 1970, the General Electric Y1938 is a rare, early example of a USA-manufactured VFD. The Y1938 is a single-digit seven-segment display, packaged in a compact cylindrical envelope with a nine-pin miniature base. Such devices were developed as an alternative to Nixie tubes, which have higher voltage requirements and other undesirable electrical characteristics. Unlike later VFDs, the Y1938 lacks a control grid, making multiplexed operation impossible.

Y1938 prototypes have a substantially different internal construction than production variants, with the phosphor elements painted on a monolithic ceramic substrate. This superior construction method was likely abandoned to reduce manufacturing costs.

General Electric Y1938 Datasheet (PDF)


General Electric Y1938 seven-segment VFD, prototype engineering sample.


Y1938 prototype, rear label.


General Electric Y1938, production variant.


General Electric Y4102 overflow indicator VFD.

This article is part of the [Vacuum & Gas-Filled Displays] exhibit.

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