Welcome to the Industrial Alchemy webserver. Recent updates are listed below.


2018-01-25 Roy G Biv  
Posted by AnubisTTP  

How complicated can you make a light bulb? If you are building a large outdoor display, the answer is 'pretty insanely complicated'. The ILD3 family is a series of cathode ray tubes that require a hardware stores-worth of small parts just to produce a single dot of colored light. Produced in several different colors, each contains a full CRT electron gun assembly, but no deflection or focusing structures. As it turns out, this is not as preposterous a design decision as one might expect.

Not all of our new display additions work in a vacuum. The Beckman SP-450 is a neon filled panaplex display of unusually large dimensions; this late-era gas filled readout can display 32 alphanumeric characters, as well as decimal points and arrows. Other recent additions include an entry covering the CV3615, a small British electrically tunable klystron.


2018-01-05 LETT3RS  
Posted by AnubisTTP  

The realm of early LED displays is littered with many impractical and perplexing devices. The newly added AEL4004 LED display is just such a device; it is alphanumeric, cripplingly tiny, hard to read, and impossible to use in arrays of more than six characters. A 1970s electronics engineer would have a hard time finding a use case for such a device, especially given it's high cost and expensive manufacturing process. As a result, the AEL4004 was not heavily produced and is now quite rare... it is unlikely this obscure display will see much use in modern homebrew projects.

Not all of our new LED additions are rare. We have also added a page for the Hewlett Packard 5082-7300 family of LED displays. The 5082-7300 was one of the most popular intelligent LED displays ever produced and was produced in many different versions, including gilded military versions like the HDSP-0962. The 5082-7300 is probably best known as the display used in the COSMAC ELF, a popular single board computer from 1976.


2017-11-29 Clockwork Yellow  
Posted by AnubisTTP  

In the time before transistors, many things we now take for granted were complicated. Calculating a taxi fare was a task requiring hundreds of moving parts and not a single smartphone app, when using a machine like an Ohmer Fare Register. This recent addition to our collection can mechanically integrate time and distance to calculate the fare for a taxi passenger, using a vast collection of cogs and levers to preform the task. The home repairman that tries to dismantle this device for cleaning would likely need seven arms and psychic powers to reassemble it without issue.

Not all of our new additions are mechanical. We have also added a Pinlite 430 minitron to Filament Displays section of the site. The Pinlite 430 is noteworthy in that it is one of the smallest minitrons ever made, and is one of only a handful of filament displays with digits smaller than 8mm. Other additions include a new entry and photos for the Sylvania SS-501 argon discharge tube, a large 'U' shaped device intended for use in marine warning strobes.


2017-10-15 LED Lined  
Posted by BoilingFlask  

LEDs are out in force in this site update, which includes several new LED items:

* LED Displays: The Russian-made 3LS340A1, a 5x7 LED matrix with an unusual design twist.
* LED Indicators: A pair of strangely shaped Western Electric 529A & 529B wedge LEDs.
* Photocells: A Sylvania P607 UV sensitive photocell tube.
* LED Displays: New photos for the Texas Instruments TIL308 including an example that has suffered some, ahem, extreme mechanical trauma.


2017-08-22 A High Fiber Diet  
Posted by AnubisTTP  

There existed a short time within human history in which 7 segment displays were known to the electronics world, but LEDs were either unavailable or too dim to fill every display need. Incandescent display devices like the MSC 24662 and the MSC 901A1B1WC9 were manufactured to fill this gap. These numeric displays make use of small bundles of fiber optics and incandescent bulbs to display numbers. Each differs only in the method of connection; the 901A1B1WC9 makes use of permanently attached flying leads, while the 24662 is fitted with a small edge connector.

Other new additions include a Sylvania C2 concentrated arc lamp, and a Wakmann A-11 aircraft clock. The A-11 example used for the photographs is particularly noteworthy, as it is the difficult to find 24-hour version of this clock.


2017-07-19 This Post Endorsed by the Microscope Lobby  
Posted by AnubisTTP  

An assortment of new items have been added to the site:

* LED Displays: An impossibly small Surface Mount LED Array intended for use in a 4 digit LED wristwatch.
* Trigger Tubes: A somewhat mysterious neon filled TR cell with an unknown part number.
* Photocells: The remarkably spartan General Electric 1P24, a photocell which is almost entirely empty space.
* Transistors and Diodes: A General Electric 2N188 top hat-style transistor.


2017-06-10 Twin Twin Towers  
Posted by AnubisTTP  

There is a reason Amdahl integrated circuits are likely the most common brand of CPUs to be cast into lucite paperweights, and that is because all of their chips are weird. The Amdahl 209 is no exception, with its four round cooling towers and complicated multi-chip carrier, it could have teleported directly in from the deepest corner of the Movie Prop dimension. It seems likely that James Bond had to steal at least one of these in the 1980s, or at the very least, defuse an overly theatrical bomb containing one.

We have also made several other updates, including a mysterious OD-2086 metal can UV LED to our LED Indicators page, and a Electronic Products 7616 geiger tube to the Spark Gap & Trigger Tubes section.Additionally, we have added new photos for the unusual Siemens MDL2416 metal clad LED display to the LED Displays page.


2017-05-15 Soviet Silicon  
Posted by AnubisTTP  

Over the past few weeks a number of new items have been added to the site:

* LED Displays: A very unusual Russian-made IPV72A-4/5x7 4 digit smart display.
* Filament Displays: Two new large Aurora displays, the FFD61 and FFD81
* Integrated Circuits: A tiny Cypress 22V10 logic array in a ceramic windowed leadless package.
* Diodes & Triodes: An RCA 6884 beam power tetrode in a ceramic air cooled enclosure.

Additionally, we have added new photos to the Gas Discharge Displays section for the Burroughs HB-105 pixie tube.


2017-04-20 Strength of Stones  
Posted by AnubisTTP  

The early days of LED manufacture were strange times, and the General Electric SSL-1 and Telefunken TLHB5400 LEDs are both solid examples of just how strange early LEDs can be. These LED devices both make use of an unusual chemistry for their light emitting dies; silicon carbide. Though commonly used in modern times as an abrasive sandpaper coating or as a diamond substitute in cheap wedding rings, silicon carbide crystals can also produce a dim yellow-green light under the right conditions. The SSL-1 is a very early LED, dating back to the 1960s, and at the time silicon carbide crystals were the only option for producing solid state light at the short end of the spectrum. Telefunken's TLHB5400 holds a similar distinction; as one of the first commercially produced blue LED's it also made use of a silicon carbide die (this time chemically doped), to produce it's pale blue output.

Other recent additions to the Technology Museum include an Intersil 6100 12 bit microprocessor, as well as new content and photos for the Hewlett-Packard 1842 LED.


2017-03-24 Tower of Power  
Posted by AnubisTTP  

Once again, we have added a number of new items to the Technology Museum:

* Magic Eye Tubes: A Tung-Sol 6AL7 square target tuning eye tube.
* Solid State Indicators: The Soviet-made KL101, a very primitive and early LED indicator
* Integrated Circuits: An unusual Amdahl 470A mainframe LSI in a distinctive air cooled package.
* Diodes & Triodes: A Raytheon CK6763 cold cathode half wave rectifier tube.

Additionally, we have added new photos to the Solid State Indicators section for the FLV100, FLV102, and General Instrument MMH-321V bare LED die.


2017-03-10 In Balance  
Posted by AnubisTTP  

We have added two time-related objects to the Technology Museum in recent weeks; a Wittnauer A7 aircraft clock, and a Siemens TF65 germanium transistor. Wittnauer's take on the A7 aircraft clock form factor is one of the more uncommon variants of this heavily manufactured clock type, and makes use of a fairly high-end LeCoultre 201M movement. The TF65 is an early germanium transistor installed in a small pill-shaped package, and is most well known for its use as the oscillator in Kundo electromagnetic clocks.

Sticking with the pilot gear theme, we have also added an ACR RT-10 ELT to the Communication Equipment section of the site. The RT-10 is one of the most well recognized models of military emergency transmitters and innumerable US pilots carried these devices during the Vietnam War.


2017-02-23 Plus One  
Posted by AnubisTTP  

Incandescent displays can be strange, and when talking about devices in the IND-1803 'Numerik Indicator' display family, things get very strange indeed. The IND-1818 Numerik Indicator is an overflow indicator of quite eye-catching design, which uses curved plates and incandescent bulbs to display shaped numbers. When combined with the complicated driver card designed to work with this display, a module is created which contains a shocking number of parts simply to display ones and zeros. Only in the world of incandescent displays could such complexity be lavished on a device to display a simple binary value.

Other recent additions include two unusual integrated circuits for the Monolithic Integrated Circuits section of the site; an OKI Intel M85C154 8-bit piggyback CPU, and a Cypress CYM1620 static ram module. Both of these ICs come in very unusual form factors that are quite different from the black plastic DIPs usually associated with integrated circuits


2017-02-10 Is That a Meter in Your Pocket?  
Posted by AnubisTTP  

We have gone a bit off the beaten path and added an Eveready Pocketwatch Meter to the Test Equipment section of the site. Pocket watch meters were a fixture of 1920s and 1930s electronics maintenance; a world that was suddenly awash in batteries desperately wanted a cheap way to measure voltage. A small analog needle movement fitted into a surplus pocketwatch case was a commercially successful solution, and a number of pocket watch meters were made during the 1920s and 1930s.

In a defiant violation of logic we have also added a Mullard ORP61 cadmium sulfide photocell to the site. The ORP61 is commonly mistaken as a photodiode due to it's package shape, and we have bowed to social convention and placed this non-semiconductor into the Transistors and Diodes section of the site.


2017-02-02 The Edge of Mystery  
Posted by AnubisTTP  

Sometimes we find things that defy identification. Stanley Readout is a manufacturer typically associated with 7 segment incandescent displays, but we have stumbled across a "Stanley Readout" that is something quite different. This unusual display is edge lit, does not display numbers or symbols, and is a complete mystery. Maybe a reader knows the answer?

We have also made a couple of somewhat less mysterious additions to the website, including a "Raytheon Blue" CK722 transistor on our Transistors and Diodes page. We have also dusted off an article written back in 2007, covering Apple's Macintosh Plus personal computer.


2017-01-23 Public Education  
Posted by AnubisTTP  

Back in the time before safety regulation, middle school students apparently did much more intense projects in science class. We have recently added a kit to the Cathode Ray Tubes section of the site that was provided to students as a science project to construct a fully functional cathode ray tube. Instead of glitter and glue-on macaroni, this childhood project involved high voltage power supplies, vacuum pumps, and the ever-present threat of accidental X-ray exposure. Apparently the students of the past were actually living in a Robert Heinlein science fiction novel.

We have also added an Elgin "gun camera" clock to the Clocks and Timers section of the site and a tiny Raytheon CK782 hearing aid transistor to the Transistors and Diodes section of the website.


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