June 1945 Radio-Craft
[Table of Contents]
Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics.
See articles from Radio-Craft,
published 1929 - 1953. All copyrights are hereby acknowledged.
Electronics has dominated our lives
ever since the first commercially available radios became available in the early
twentieth century. It was a mysterious miracle science then and still is today.
Most people have no understanding of electronics; they just know that life without
it is unimaginable. Fantastic new applications for electronics are continually being
introduced to supplement or replace mechanical devices. Sensing and control are
prime applications for electronics that improve functionality and safety. This promotion
of the MIT-Sperry Detonation Indicator, aka the "Knock−O−Meter," is a good example.
It appeared in a 1945 issue of Radio−Electronics magazine, near the end
of World War II. Today, such a name invokes chuckles and usually implies a
joke of a product, but not so at the time.
How electronics helps tell a knock from
a boost ...
The MIT-Sperry Detonation Indicator is an engine instrument that discriminates
between normal and abnormal combustion.
Through an electronic pickup, it instantly detects detonation - popularly called
knocking or pinging - in most types of internal combustion engines. And it gives
immediate evaluation of detonation.
As a result, warning is given at the time trouble starts ... engine life is lengthened
...-mixture may be adjusted so that considerable fuel is saved ... and the period
between engine overhauls is extended.
No piercing of engine cylinders is required. Yet even the slightest detonation
is signaled visually, and the faulty cylinder or cylinders spotted.
Use of the MIT-Sperry Detonation Indicator on airplanes results in remarkable
fuel savings, longer engine life, greater safety.
The same is true of surface transportation which employs internal combustion
Engine manufacturers find this instrument an invaluable aid in designing and
testing. It also permits development of fuels exactly fitted to engine characteristics,
thus increasing power output and lowering fuel costs. Also with the Knockometer,
a special application of the Detonation Indicator, fuels with superior anti-knock
characteristics can be developed and their quality production controlled.
Since 1937, Sperry engineers have been working on the perfection of a detonation
indicator. This is but one of the many fields in which Sperry has pioneered in the
field of electronic development.
Additional information on the MIT-Sperry Detonation Indicator is available on
Sperry Gyroscope Company, Inc. Great Neck, N.Y.
Division of the Sperry Corporation
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Posted November 1, 2021