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Detonation Indicator - Sperry Gyroscope Company
June 1945 Radio-Craft

June 1945 Radio-Craft

June 1945 Radio Craft Cover - RF Cafe[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.

Detonation Indicator

Detonation Indicator, Sperry Gyroscope Company, June 1945 Radio-Craft - RF CafeHow 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 engines.

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 request.

Sperry Gyroscope Company, Inc. Great Neck, N.Y.

Division of the Sperry Corporation

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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 World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps while tying up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

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