Huge Resource for Vintage Data Books and Textbooks
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 (USPTO) regarding copyright law, 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.
Unfortunately, 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, 2013
More than 10,000 searchable pages indexed.