February 1960 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.
As did/do most technically-oriented
magazines, Radio−Electronics ran a monthly news of the day column that
contained short blurbs on recent happenings - inventions, research, personnel promotions,
industry events, etc. The December 1968 issue was loaded with plenty of good tidbits.
One notable is Raytheon's amazing new "Tel-O-Riginator" (aka telephone-originator)
for an early example of Amazon same-day service that would Make the entire country
5 hours wide and 3 hours deep." It doesn't mention whether a drone could deliver
the goods. The audiophile contingent was no doubt tantalized at the appearance of
an eighth-sphere surface array of speakers. The USSR's space timetable was supposed
to be far ahead of U.S. efforts.
Jack Binns, who famously transmitted the first wireless SOS signal - from the
SMS Titanic no less - had recently passed on. Mr. Binns also wrote the foreword
to many of
Radio Boys story books. Read on for more breathtaking happenings.
New Briefs: 11/1957
| 8/1958 |
Electronics and Jets may combine to
revolutionize distribution of high-value low-bulk merchandise if a new concept in
distribution pioneered by Raytheon spreads to distribution of other similar merchandise.
The Raytheon plan includes data-processing machines for receiving and dispatching
orders, controlling inventories and keeping accounts, and deliveries largely by
jet cargo planes which make the entire country "5 hours wide and 3 hours deep,"
according to American Airlines, who cooperated in setting up the system.
Special punch-card equipment designed and installed by Western Union can accept
a typical order in 17 minutes, fill it in 90 minutes and deliver it to a jet plane
at the airport in 45 minutes, making it possible to fill orders anywhere in the
United States within 24 hours after the order is placed.
Tel-O-Riginator equipment will be installed first in the 25 district offices
of Raytheon's Distributor Products Div., and eventually in the offices of a major
distributors of Raytheon products.
No More Woofers & Tweeters?
So goes the suggestion of Dr. Amar G. Bose, MIT professor who recently patented
a speaker system which uses a one-eighth segment of a sphere covered with 22 identical
small cones, placed in a corner of the room. Effectively, the whole spherical surface
moves in unison to make those bass notes boom right. Somewhat similar systems, not
usually in corners, have been in private use for several years.
Mars Technical Net schedule for February: Feb. 3, "Quartz Crystals
in SSB Filters," W. E. Benton; Feb. 10, "Design Philosophy of a Modern SSB Transceiver,"
Chick Carny; Feb. 17, "Distortion in High-Fidelity Amplifiers," Milton Snitzer;
Feb. 24, "High-Power Transmitter Stations," Herbert Hawkins.
Sessions will continue each Wednesday at 9 p.m. EST, 4030 kc, upper sideband,
with discussion via net radio following each talk.
FM Station was given away in New York. WBAI-FM, good music station
belonging to Louis Schweitzer, chemical engineer and industrialist, was presented
by him to nonprofit Pacifica Foundation, to become a listener-sponsored, no-advertising
The station will broadcast classical music, with jazz, folk music, children's
shows and public affairs programs also aired. Listeners will be asked (but not pressed)
to send in $12 a year to sponsor the station.
A similar operation has been run by Pacifica in Berkeley, Calif., since 1949.
KPFA-FM is now nearly self-supporting, with 7,500 paying listeners, Pacifica opened
a second station, KPFK-FM, in Los Angeles in mid-1959 and has almost 5,000 paid
subscribers to date.
First Broadcast of opera made by Lee de Forest frorn the Metropolitan
Opera House in New York City Jan. 13, 1910, was celebrated through the month of
January with a special exhibit by the New York Public Library. Exhibit included
all collectable memorabilia on the historic event.
Transitor Television set by Emerson was scheduled to go into production this
winter. Size of screen was not definitely decided but officials said it would be
a full-size picture tube, not a small optically enlarged one like Philco's 2-inch
tube-with-lens, The price was expected to be near that of Philco's portable set,
$250. Emerson said its transistors would be American-made.
IRE Will Honor Dr. Harry Nyquist, authority on feedback analysis,
along with Haraden Pratt, J. A. Rajchman, J. VV. Gewartowski, K. A. Norton, and
E. J. Nalos. Dr. Nyquist will receive the society's 1960 Medal of Honor "for fundamental
contributions to a quantitative understanding of thermal noise, data transmission,
and negative feedback." Mr. Pratt will get the Founder's Award, the Institute's
second highest award, which is bestowed only on special occasions. Seventy-six engineers
will be elevated to the rank of Fellow. Among them is William Sichak of ITT, whose
picture appeared on our February, 1959, cover.
New officers of the IRE for 1960 include Ronald McFarlan, consultant to Datamatic
and Raytheon, president; J. N. Dyer, Airborne Instruments, vice president ; and
J. A. Ratcliffe, Cavendish Labs (England), vice president.
Anechoic RF Test Range. in effect, is the antenna test setup
at Technical Appliance Corp. between two hilltops in Sherbourne, N, Y., where a
3,000-foot valley between transmitter and receiver location provides near-free-field
conditions for checking new antenna designs. Towers installed can handle antennas
up to 60 feet in diameter.
Medical Electronics took another step forward with the introduction
of an optical probe consisting of thousands of minute spun-glass fibers bound together,
with a small lens focusing on their ends. Each of the fibers picks up light from
a minute section of the surface ahead of it and transmits it to the other end. The
mosaic of spots of light is scanned, then displayed up to 35 times life-size on
Dental and surgical work previously unavailable for observation can now be examined
by doctors or classes while operations are in progress.
Fraud in TV Repair was charged against Fairfax County, Virginia,
service dealer T. M. Lowery for charging $36.30 for repairs he didn't make. Found
guilty by Judge J. N. Groves, Lowery was given 15 days in jail, plus a suspended
sentence for a year. A detective testified at the trial that all Lowery actually
did was replace two small tubes, one unnecessarily, although his bill included such
items as "reworking" a sound circuit, reworking the video circuit, restoring high
voltage and adjusting the channel selector.
Microminiature Circuits that cost no more than the same ones
built with standard components were demonstrated at a press conference by Aerovox's
Hi-Q division at their Olean, N.Y., plant. The photo shows a complete adder circuit
designed for use in a ballistic missile computer. It is 50 times smaller than conventional
units, measures only 1/2 x 1/2 x 1 inch and contains 85 components. These units
are not the smallest that can be made, but are the smallest ones that can be made
at a price comparable with standard versions.
Two advanced types of capacitors now in production - Cerafil and Cerol - were
also shown. Both are ceramics and are made in a way that makes great size reduction
To make a Cerafil capacitor, Aerovox starts off with a ceramic tube about 1/32
inch in diameter. The tube's outer surface is metallized, and the metallized layer
acts as one of the electrodes, Over the metallized surface, a thin film of ceramic
dielectric is formed and over the dielectric goes another metallized layer for the
other electrode. A single finished tube or a parallel combination makes up the finished
unit, depending on its capacitance. Leads, protective coating and color coding are
the final steps.
The Ceiafil line covers values from 10 μμf to 0.1 μf. Up though the
0.001- μf units, they measure 0.090 inch in diameter and 0.320 inch long, The
0.1-μf units are 0.310-inch diameter and 0.750 inch long.
As it is not practical to make Cerafil capacitors larger than 0.1 μf at this
time, Aerovox has developed a rolled type ceramic-dielectric capacitor for the larger
capacitance values of 0.1 μf- 2 μf. The 0.1-μf capacitors are 0.210 inch
in diameter and 0.690 inch in length, and the 2-μf units are 0.400 inch in diameter
and 1.44 inches long. All Cerafil and Cerol units are rated at 100 volts at 85°C.
USSR Space Timetable may be far ahead of ours, Dr. Eberhardt
Rechtin, telecommunications chief of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a speech
in which he also declared that continuing space programs at their present level
is largely a waste of money.
According to Dr. Rechtin, Soviet space scientists have presented a plan under
which a Soviet satellite carrying two men will, within the next few months, orbit
the earth for 2 weeks, and shortly afterward two men with a television camera will
make a round trip to the moon. This may be followed by another rocket in which two
men and two women will make a trip around the moon lasting a half-year. In 1961,
Soviet scientists expect to send rockets to Mars and Venus.
A more hopeful note was struck by Noah Dietrich, head of the Houston Fearless
Corp., who stated that America has shaken off its complacency because of recent
Russian advances, He predicted that we will now entirely eclipse Russian advances
in missiles and Space,
Jack Binns, famed as the radio
operator who sent the first radio distress signal to save a ship at sea (1909),
died December 8, 1959, at the age of 75.
His CQD summoned aid to the sinking ship Republic, with the result that all 1,600
passengers and the crew were taken off the ship before it sunk.
Mr. Binns was born in England and worked for the Marconi Co. as a wire-less operator
for 7 years. He later was a reporter for the New York American and then worked on
the staff of the New York Tribune. Joining the Hazeltine Corp, in 1924, he became
president in 1942, chairman of the board in 1952 and, at the time of his death,
was honorary chairman of the board:
Electronic Lungs, Heart and other vital organs were seen by
Gen, David Sarnoff in his crystal ball as replacements for damaged body parts, "Miniaturized
electronic components," he thought, might eventually be developed "to serve as long-time
replacement for organs that become defective through injury or age." He also predicted
an electronic "dashboard" - a home device like the bathroom scale, which would "register
heartbeats, blood pressure, pulse, with an alarm system," warning when to call the
FM Car Radio is now in production by Motorola, Designed for
under-dash mounting in all 12-volt automobiles, the model FM-900 uses seven tubes,
three transistors. Output is 15 watts push-pull. It works off regular AM car antenna,
and includes afc.
Posted February 10, 2023