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Inventions Wanted
May 1961 Radio-Electronics

May 1961 Radio-Electronics

May 1961 Radio-Electronics Cover - RF Cafe[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 - RF Cafe

Invention Patent Advertisements from Popular Science.

Radio-Electronics 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.

Inventions Wanted

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 invention.

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 repeatable characteristics.

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 consumption.

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 radio-frequency radiation.

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 shelf-life capability.

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.

The Editors




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