A pleasant surprise at the International Microwave Symposium (IMS) 2009 (also see
IMS2011) show in Boston was the "Historical
Booth." It had a very nice display of items from the early days of radio and radar. According to the IMS 2009
website, the items are "memorabilia from the first IMS held in Boston 50 years ago." Most displays were glass
cases, so it made getting useful photographs difficult because of glare and reflections. You will see some of
that in the images here. More information can be found on the
National Electronics Museum website. Barney
Fife, seen in the first photo, was dutifully guarding the displays. After seeing what was included, I was glad
that the show organizers decided to place him there.
In retrospect, I should have taken many more photographs of the displays and suffered through attempting to
remove the glare and reflections, because a lot (maybe all) of this stuff cannot be found documented anywhere
on the Internet. One item in particular I wish I had photographed was what appeared to be a specially formed section
of waveguide (maybe C-Band based on size) that had been routed out of a block of wood, and then the cavity was
lined with copper foil.
We've come a long way, baby!
In order to keep page loading time reasonable, I have reduced most of the images to fit on half the page. Clicking
on an image will display the full-size version. Some image files are very large, but I wanted to try to retain
enough resolution to be able to read the text in the images. Please contact me if you would like to use any of
the images in your publication. If you use them without permission, please at least credit RFCafe.com.
Please take a few more minutes to read my report on the rest of the IMS 2009 show, "RF
Cafe Goes to Beantown."
Vacuum Tube Display
- Acorn Tubes
- RCA 954 Pentode Amplifier
- RCA 955 Triode Amplifier
- RCA 957 Triode / VT237
- RCA 958 Power Triode
- Low Noise Amplifier Tubes
- Western Electric WE 386A Pentode
- Tung-Sol WE 717A "Mushroom" Pentode
- Western Electric 6AK5 Pentode
- RCA 1630 Orbital Beam Amplifier
- Originally RCA A-5588A (aka VT-128), used in SCR-270 radar like at Pearl Harbor
- Western Electric 316A Triode
- Western Electric WE388A Triode
- "Doorknob Tube" used in AN/APT-2 "Carpet" radar jammer
- EIMAC 15E Pulse Oscillator
- RCA 832A Twin Triode (aka VT-286)
- RCA 8012 UHF Triode
- Used in AN/APQ-9 "Carpet III" radar jammer
- General Electric GL-3C22 Lighthouse Tube
- General Electric 2C40 Lighthouse Tube
- General Electric 2C39 Power Lighthouse Tube
- Bell Labs 416A Planar Triode
- Western Electric 416B Triode
- Western Electric 416C Triode
- Sylvania Rocket Tube
- RCA 6161 Power Triode
- General Electric Planar Triodes
- RCA Pencil Tubes
- 5876 Pencil Triode Amplifier
- 5893 Pencil Triode Amplifier
UHF Tubes from WWII
Most Good up to 500 MHz
- 15E/4C30 Transmitting Triode
- 1630 Orbital Beam Hexode
- 954 Acorn Tube Pentode
- 955 Acorn Tube Triode
- GL-316A/VT-191 Transmitting Triode
Water Cooled High Power Triode
- Used in the SCR-270 radar
5J29 Continuous Wave (CW) Magnetron
(used in aircraft jammer transmitters)
- Microwave magazine, July-August 1959(?)
- QST (1959?)
- RCA Laboratories report
- RCA "Practical Analysis of Ultra High Frequency"
- "The Invention of the Travelling Wave Tube"
- IEEE "Microwave Theory and Techniques"
- Western Electric 725 X-Band Magnetron
- Western Electric 720BY Magnetron
- Peak Power = 1 MW @ 2.8 GHz
Dr. Harold A. Zahl
The VT-158 Tube and the TPS-3 Radar
Large display of patents, photos, manuals, and an example of the VT-158 tube.
VT-158 600 MHz
WWII Radar Transmitting Tube
- Developed at Camp Evans by Dr. Harold A. Zahl for the TPS-3 radar
Radarange Mark VI
(Amana is a division of Raytheon)
The klystron is sitting to the left
of the oven.
Unfortunately, I do not have any information on this display of tubes and waveguide