Huge Resource for Vintage Data Books and Textbooks
was not all that long ago when virtually everything you bought was NOT
designed to be thrown away when it broke. Back when integrated circuits
(ICs), resistors, and capacitors had wire leads and cases were held
together with straight-slot and Phillips head screws rather than the
microminiature 'security' type screws, it was possible for the able
and willing repairman to troubleshoot and repair a device or appliance.
Now, in a world that bombards us with admonitions against not being
green, practically everything is meant to be thrown away after use -
from cellphones and televisions to clothing and the vast quantity of
cardboard and Styrofoam packaging that contains our disposable goods.
For those of us who lived during the aforementioned times and/or
those who dabble in vintage electronics either for hobby or for career
necessity, access to data books can sometimes mean the difference between
repairing and reusing a piece of equipment or relegating it to the same
refuse mountain that modern goods inhabit. Many such references can
be found on eBay and various electronics forums, but prices can be high.
Fortunately, there are good Samaritans like Arthur Missira who
are on a mission to make as many such resources available to the public
at no charge (more than
1,500 volumes to date). Mr. Missira wrote to me recently (apologies
to him for taking so long to relay the news) saying he has been scanning
and uploading reams and reams of data book pages and technical text
books onto the Archive.org website. In order to avoid copyright issues,
he has either received permission to replicate the material or relied
on copyright dated prior to 1978 having expired. I have not attempted
to interpret the laws of the United States Patent and Copyright Office
but some legal beagle reading this is welcome to chime in with an opinion
or statement of fact. See also
Duration of Copyright and
Copyright Basics for more information.
catalogs for most of the very familiar microwave components companies
do not seem to be available yet at Archive.org, either because nobody
has bothered to upload them yet, or because for some reason the companies
(or their new owners) object to their copyrighted material being placed
in the public domain. A few names that come to mind from when I first
entered the RF / microwave engineering realm in the mid 1980s are Avantek
(bought by HP, now Agilent), Anzac (bought by M/A-COM, then AMP, now
Tyco), Amplifonix (bought by Spectrum Microwave), Celeritek (bought
by Mimix), Cougar (bought by Teledyne), Continental Microwave (bought
by Chelton, now Cobham DES), FSY Microwave (bought by Spectrum Microwave),
KDI/Triangle (bought by Aeroflex), and Watkins Johnson (bought by Stellex,
now TriQuint). This info was found in the "Where
Are They Now?" article in the December 2011 Microwave & RF magazine.
None of those companies' catalogs are listed according to my search.
There are, however, plenty of catalogs and data books for analog
and digital components from companies like RCA, Philips, General
Instrument, etc. Additionally, there is a huge number of technical books,
repair manuals, and other resources available. The best thing to do
is go to the
Archive.org website and try a few searches.
Here are a few
of the thousands of examples:
Posted September 23,
1996 - 2018
BSEE - KB3UON
RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling
2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas
and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer.
The Internet was still largely an unknown entity at the time and not much was available
in the form of WYSIWYG
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