>> Thursday, July 2, 2009
Sly said: I picked up this strange contraption at an auction, and nobody I know can tell me exactly what it is... The main air in has a gauge that goes up to 30 psi.
I'm speculating, of course. It would help if I had better information (like if there are quick disconnects on the sides not facing the camera). I'm also not a mechanical engineer and this is clearly an older box (using the older Johnson Controls logo)
But I can tell you what I think it is: a gas manifold, either for taking a single source and parsing it out to several outlets or (as seems more likely since there are 5 notations for S=supply) or control of multiple sources to multiple outlets. The fact that there are 5 gauges for 5 gasses argues that we're not mixing gasses but rather regulating/controlling multiple gas outlets.
As a source gas, 0-30 psi (psia? psig?) seems awfully low so this might be a control box for a low-pressure gas purging system (critical electronic/optical equipment might be purged with dry air or nitrogen to keep it uncontaminated or to keep it free of condensation). But it might have a dozen other general or specific uses.
Johnson Controls has made a great many controls and boxes for some of our environmental chambers. Most of the controls were there long before I was so I don't know if they were custom made or general equipment. That applies here as well. If knew (a)inlets and outlets, (b) whether the apparent nobs on the front were for control, (c) what ranges the gauges were reading, (d) any cautions or other labeling and (e) if Lee's right and those little domed items linked to gauges are LEDs, that might help me narrow it down.