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A miniature X-ray source, based on a small vacuum discharge, is studied. It was designed to be of small size and low cost. The electrical characteristics are given. Evidence of pinches is shown even with kiloampere pulses. The size and the reproducibility of the source are estimated by radiography: the source diameter and its excursion are certainly smaller than 50 Â¿m. The total energy scales as V4 and is independent of Z, the anode atomic number. The spectrum is studied by the absorption method. The temperature varies in the range 7-10 keV.