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Monday, March 15, 2021

Aladdin's Lamp == The Vacuum Tube (aka The Thermatron) (Video)

After our posting of the video about 1957 transistor production, our friend Peter O'Connell VK2EMU asked for some equal time for vacuum tubes.  He sent me this 1940 Western Electric video.  It is quite interesting. 

-- I like the Aladdin's lamp metaphor.  When I was out in the Azores I thought of my homebrew 17 meter DSB rig as my "magic carpet." 

-- Lowell Thomas was brought in to narrate.  His voice sounds a lot more natural than that used to narrate the transistor film. 

-- To explain the effectiveness of transcontinental telephony with vacuum tube repeaters, they compared the system that of a relay of "hog callers" claiming that it would take 100,000 hog callers to carry a signal from New York to San Francisco.  So perhaps this could be a rival to db?   100,000 hc? 

-- Arlington to Paris 1915 caught my eye -- Arlington Va. is right down the road. 

-- The film of Edison in his lab was good to see.  And note the importance of his lab notebooks. 

-- The explanation of thermionic emission was quite good.  But of course too much credit was given to Lee DeForest. 

-- The breathless description of the amazing uses of tube technology was for me a reminder of how recent this technology is.  My father started as New York City cop in the 1950s.  He always referred to his police car as a "radio car." 

Hey, are any radio amateurs out there using one of those big water-cooled tubes?  If not, why not? 

1 comment:

  1. I love it. Haven't seen a video with as much assembly detail. Hard to believe people (women of course) assembled them almost completely by hand. Bring back vacuum tubes and employ millions!


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