May 1961 Radio-Electronics
[Table of Contents]
Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics.
See articles from Radio-Electronics,
published 1930-1988. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.
Invention Patent Advertisements from Popular Science.
magazine editor Hugo Gernsback was renowned as a visionary in many technical
fields. He regularly presented ideas, and sometimes his own inventions, in the
pages of his many publications; so many, in fact, that he numbers them. While perusing many hundreds of vintage
technical magazines (Popular Science, Radio-Electronics, Mechanix Illustrated,
Popular Electronics, Short Wave Craft, etc.), over the last couple decades, I
have seen many full-page advertisements by companies offering to file patent
paperwork for readers' inventions. I have also seen many articles warning people
off of those companies because they were often run by shyster lawyers that
exploited the sincere hopes of laymen who had good ideas but didn't know how to
go about securing patent protection. A lot of ideas were reportedly stolen by
those companies, who registered patents in their own names while ruining the
lives of trusting clients. Some would say good
22 oz. framing hammer
to the cranium is justified in instances like that, similar
to with mass spammers. Anyway, in
this editorial are many suggestions for a broad range of topics like computers,
radar, aviation and missiles, electronics components and systems, lightwave and
infrared, and test and measurement.
Hugo Gernsback, Editor
... Our Armed Forces Call for New Electronics Ideas ...
In our May, 1960 issue, we printed a list of electronics ideas wanted by our
Armed Forces. Here is the latest list, which contains mostly new requests.
Anyone may submit to the National Inventors Council proposals for basic inventions
needed for national defense. Such proposals should be submitted separately, typewritten,
if possible. It is advisable that descriptions be complete, including references
to the basic principles underlying the invention and a discussion of any experimental
work or tests that have been conducted. Advantages of the invention as compared
to existing devices or techniques should also be listed. It is not necessary that
sketches or drawings be professional.
Keep copies of all items presented and retain one copy that has been notarized
with the exact date so you will always have proof of conception for patentability.
This is important because your original copy will not be returned by the Government.
Note that the inventions listed here are outlined only sketchily. The Government
booklet gives additional information about the actual background and need for each
It is suggested that you write for the booklet Inventions Wanted by the Armed
Forces, December, 1960, issue. Write to: National Inventors Council, US Department
of Commerce, Washington 25, D.C. - H.G.
Electronic Components and Systems
1411. Low-Energy, Reliable Switching Device. - Develop a low-energy
switching device (5,000 ergs maximum) capable of at least 100 reliable operations.
1412. Semiflexible Waveguide. - Develop a semiflexible waveguide
in half-wave size for use in missile fuzing applications.
1413. High-Frequency Transistors. - Develop inexpensive high-frequency
transistors (200 to 500 mc) that can handle 1 to 10 watts of power, and also develop
transistors for frequencies between 50 and 100 kc that can handle 100 watts of power.
1437. Reliable Thermistors. -Produce a line of reliable thermistors
that will provide a wide range of temperature coefficients and that will have highly
1438. Microminiaturization. - Vast amounts of work are being
done in this field, especially in electronic components and subassemblies. Typical
is the recently developed evaporative film technique.
1439. Low-Voltage Vacuum Tubes. - Develop a vacuum tube or other
device that will operate on transistor low-voltage power supplies, and will ease
the problem of using transistor circuitry to process high-impedance source voltages
in control systems. This device shall be capable of eliminating unwanted feedback
paths and shall have overall stability, small size, light weight and minimum power
1441. Failure analysis of Electronic Components. - Determine
shock and vibration characteristics (test to failure) of electronic components,
as mounted by conventional techniques utilizing a conventional chassis, to evolve
the actual reasons for failure of components.
1450. Flash X-Ray Device. - Develop a 1·megavolt flash X-ray
device with an extremely rugged or expendable power source of small size. The device
should provide up to 10 flashes of 0.1 to 1μsec duration in an arbitrary but
accurately timed sequence.
1491. Distinctive Audio Signal Device. - A device capable of
producing a sound completely distinctive from present sirens, horns, whistles, bells,
buzzers, engines (jet and reciprocating) or explosions. For a sze and cost comparable
to conventional sirens, the device should produce this sound at not less than 125
db (reference 0.0002 dyne per cm2) at 100 feet.
1494. Solid-State High-Impedance Amplifier. - There is need
for a solid-state amplifier with very high input-impedance characteristics (on the
order of 1011 ohms) and very-low-level noise characteristics, as a replacement
for electrometer tubes in conventional ion-chamber detector radiation survey meters.
Amplification of ion currents of the order of 10-11 amperes is required
for metering circuits requiring 50 μa.
Light and Infrared
1375. Light Source. -A lightweight high-energy repetitive light
source for night aerial photography.
1415. Infrared Fuze Modulator. - Develop an electrical or magnetic
modulator (shutter) for IR fuzes.
1435. Light-Reflective Material. - Develop a material highly
reflective to the light spectrum from infrared to ultraviolet, but transparent to
Radar, Tracking, TV
1374. V/H Sensor. - A lightweight small-size device for detecting
the ratio of velocity with respect to height of a flying vehicle with an accuracy
of 0.1 of 1% or better.
1418. Missile-Target Attitude Sensing Systems. - Develop an
inexpensive, lightweight testing device which gives, in addition to target miss
distance, the relative attitudes of missile and target at intercept and fuze firing.
The system is to be contained in drone targets and must be capable of transmitting
the required information to the ground or recording it for future analysis after
the target drone is eventually recovered.
1378. Pattern Recognition. - To develop techniques for electronically
simulating human perception processes of judgment, observation and environment,
in the recognition of patterns and symbols (Bionics).
1444. Erasable, Magnetic Tape. - Develop an erasable, magnetic
tape unit which provides an information storage density of at least 1012
bits per cubic foot (random access not necessary).
1449. Conversion of Heat Energy Into Electrical Energy. - Develop an efficient
device for direct conversion of heat to electricity. The output should exceed 5,000
watt-hours per pound of device weight.
Aviation and Missiles
1383. Acoustical Temperature Sensor for Rocket Soundings. A
need exists for a sensitive and rugged acoustical temperature sensor for application
in meteorological rocket payloads. The temperatures to which the sensor would be
exposed range from -60°C to +60°C. The device must withstand 50G acceleration
and nose cone temperatures up to 150°C. The sensor would be expelled from the
nose cone at apogee (250,000 feet) and would be lowered by parachute. The sensor
would be required to operate with plus or minus 5% accuracy from 250,000 feet to
75,000 feet. The sensor and telemetry system should cost no more than $250,000 per
unit in lots of one hundred due to the cost restrictions on synoptic rocket soundings
from several launch sites.
Computers and Data Systems
1379. Low-Speed Fieldata Printer. - To develop a low-speed fieldata
page printer which is lightweight and small (pocket size), utilizing new principles
for printing and other electromechanical functions. This unit must be very simple.
1442. Analog-to-Digital Converter. - To process large volumes
of data of all types, an analog-to-digital converter is required that is capable
of converting all types of analog data (readings of voltage, current, pressure,
intensity, velocity, acceleration, and so on) into digital format for magnetic tape
storage without any intermediate manual steps such as reading amplitudes visually,
tabulating values or plotting curves.
1443. Computer. In the computer field there is a need to: (1)
Develop a self-organizing computer which can perform functions analogous to human
thinking; (2) Develop a technique which will obviate the propagation time restriction
in fast computer designs; (3) Establish in basic computer philosophy the parameters
for the optimum computer and formulate a method for determining the most efficient
system configuration for a given application.
1445. Automatic Transfer of Oral or Handwritten Information into Digital
Information Signals. - Develop a mechanism to transfer automatically oral
or handwritten information into digital information signals. These signals should
be of such a configuration that they may conveniently be recorded on punched or
magnetic tape or punched cards.
1446. Computer Memory Device. - Develop a random-access computer
memory device with a 0.01-μsec access time, a 10,000,000-bit capacity, and a
volume of less than 1 cubic foot.
1460. Digital Output Transducers. - Develop transducers for
use on rocket-engine test stands that have digital rather than analog output.
Tests and Measurements
1320. (Revised) Impact Acceleration Measuring and Recording Device.
- A device for measuring and recording high accelerations inherent with missile
impact. The device should be self-contained in the missile and recoverable. It should
be capable of recording the complete deceleration-time curve during impact.
1380. Nuclear Surveillance Device. - Methods for obtaining three-dimensional
location and yield of all nuclear detonations to ranges beyond line of sight, under
all weather conditions. The method or methods proposed should combine simplicity,
accuracy and reliability.
1382. Identification Device. - A light-weight device to
be carried by small Army aircraft, helicopters and zero-ground-pressure vehicles
to permit positive and extremely rapid identification of the vehicles by friendly
forward-area anti-aircraft weapons operating primarily against low-flying enemy
aircraft. This device should be capable of being carried by ground vehicles for
air-to-ground and ground-to-ground identification of these friendly vehicles.
1407. Timing Device. - Develop an accurate (±1%), short-period
(5 minutes or less), rugged, inexpensive, highly reliable timing device having long
1425. High-Feedback Potentiometer. - Design a feedback potentiometer
for use in the high-temperature (1,000°) environments associated with missile servos.
1453. Electromagnetic Radiation Warning Device. - Develop a
simple, reliable, inexpensive, lightweight instrument which will warn the carrier
when he is in an area of electromagnetic energy of a power level of 0.010 watt/cm2
greater. The warning should be of the audible, subaudible (vibratory) or thermal
type, depending on the environment in which the instrument is to be used.
1462. A Method for Observing the Inside of Burning Rocket Motors.
- A technique for the observation of the internal burn-ing process in a solid rocket
would be an extremely valuable research tool. The technique need not give rise to
a pictorial presentation. Any means by which internal burning processes could be
better characterized would be quite useful. To this end, radioactive isotopes should
receive strong consideration.
"Inventions Wanted" has appeared once a year in this space since 1957 in an effort
to serve our Government as well as our readers.
We would appreciate a vote from you on a postcard please. if we should continue
"Inventions Wanted" in the future.