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Copyright: 1996 - 2024


    Kirt Blattenberger,


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 typing up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

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General Electric Vacuum Tubes
November 1944 Radio News Article

November 1944 Radio News
November 1944 Radio News Cover - RF Cafe[Table of Contents]

Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles from Radio & Television News, published 1919-1959. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.

Special Insert: Radio-Electronic Engineering Department

People have been worrying and complaining about machines and computers taking away jobs from humans ever since Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin (probably even before then). In this advertisement in a 1946 issue of Radio News magazine, General Electric touts the wonders of its electronic inspection apparatus that is capable of inspecting and testing hand grenade fuses at a rate of 4,000 per hour. The job is performed with a variety of specialty vacuum tube types, including an x-ray generator to produce metal-penetrating energy and a phototube to detect the resultant image. A thyratron tube provides 1/10th megavolt pulses to the x-ray tube, and sundry amplifier and rectifier tubes decide whether the image represents a good fuse. Given the criticality of the job, it is doubtful that too many people complained about not having the responsibility of judging the fitness of those hand grenade fuses.

General Electric Vacuum Tubes

General Electric Vacuum Tubes Advertisement, November 1944 Radio News - RF CafeThis electronic fuse inspector helps to make hand grenades safe for Johnny Doughboy

A G-E X-ray tube (1), a G-E phototube (2), a G-E thyratron tube (3), and several G-E amplifier tubes are the "eyes and brains" of this ingenious machine.

To safeguard our fighting men, hand grenades must be flawless - every fuse must be timed to split-second accuracy.

From the engineering laboratory of General Electric has come an automatic X-ray inspector - the first of its kind - which checks time fuses at the incredible rate of 4000 an hour ... with the unerring accuracy no other inspection method can even approach.

A movable belt carries the fuses through the penetrating beam of a 100,000-volt G-E X-ray tube which casts its glow on a fluorescent screen. A G-E phototube, or "electric eye," inspects the glow. If constant, verdict is "O.K." If intensity changes, powder charge is inadequate for proper timing. Instantaneously, a four-way alarm is given ... a bell rings; a red light flashes; the imperfect fuse gets a dab of red paint; a photo-electric meter chart records the "dud."

It is the purpose of G-E electronic tube engineers to aid any manufacturer of electronic devices in the application of tubes. Through its nation-wide distribution system, G. E. is also prepared to supply users of electronic devices with replacement tubes.

Free Booklet on Electronic Tubes

Send us the names of interested men in your plant. We will mail them, without charge, an illustrated, easily understood book on "How Electronic Tubes Work." Address Electronics Department, General Electric, Schenectady, N. Y.

• Tune in "The World Today" and hear the news direct from. the men who see it happen, every evening except Sunday at 6:45 E.W.T. over CBS. On Sunday listen to the G-E "All Girl Orchestra" at 10 P.M. E.W.T. over NBC.

G. E. Has Made More Basic Electronic Tube Developments than Any Other Manufacturer!

General Electric




Posted October 25, 2019

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