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
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
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