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


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.


2017-01-12 Big Chop  
Posted by AnubisTTP  

We have added a new panaplex display to the Gas Discharge Displays section of the site; the Babcock SP-101. The SP-101 is the largest of the Sperry 'bathtub'-style panaplex displays, and was used so frequently in outdoor applications that it is commonly seen paired with heater coils to prevent freezing in cold weather. Even Arctic prospectors need the warm embrace of ionized neon.

Other recent additions include an unusual Lucent T7102A protocol controller and two new variants of the 27C256 leadless EPROM. While also made of silicon, they are unlikely to keep you warm at night.


2012-12-15 Heavy Mineral Deposits  
Posted by AnubisTTP  

In Victorian steampunk times, lightbulbs were seen as a legitimate form of entertainment. We have recently acquired an early Crookes mineral tube which exists only to fulfill this need. The tube contains a cubical block of calcite, which glows red under the influence of high voltage in a vacuum due to its phosphorescent properties. In our not too distant past, electricity was still considered a form of magic.

We have also added a few other new items, including a J.H. Bunnel Telegraph Sounder in the Communication Equipment section, an unusual surface mount green Soviet LED display in the Solid State Displays section, and an assortment of General Electric 2N43 transistors to the Discrete Semiconductors section.


2012-10-07 The Polish Ambassador  
Posted by AnubisTTP  

How does one control an electric street lamp automatically in a time before semiconductors? If you are the City of New York, you decide to install a phalanx of General Electric 3T18SOL2 Astronomic Time Switches on every street. We have recently added one of these mechanically intensive devices to the Clocks, Timers & Counters section, and it is worth looking at a reminder of how difficult electronics used to be before Shockley's transistor invasion. Other new items added to the site in recent history include a Reflector P789 three color 'Jumbotron'-style display to the Vacuum Fluorescent Displays section, a Raytheon 2K33 reflex klystron to the Microwave Amplifier & Oscillator Tubes section, and a quite hilarious big bubble Litronix display to the Solid State Displays section.

In other news, a visitor to our site, Zygmunt Flisak, has identified the unidentified 'Eastern Bloc' green metal can LED we added to the Solid State Indicators section several months ago. It is a CEMI CQYP 32A, and has the distinction of being the first Polish-made electronic component added to the website. We very much doubt that it will be the last.


2012-08-11 Prince Albert in a Can  
Posted by AnubisTTP  

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

* Solid State Displays: A very rare military variant of the 2416, the MDL2416, which is packaged in a hermetic metal can enclosure.
* Clocks, Timers & Counters: A Sargent & Greenleaf Type L time lock movement, worthy of appearing in a steampunk fantasy.
* Solid State Indicators: The elusive Fairchild FLV101, a failed attempt by Fairchild to convert it's FLV100 fiber optic transmitter into a useful LED indicator device.
* Variable Indicator Tubes: A Tune A Lite 'tuneon' style linear neon tuning indicator, in an advanced state of cathode-disintegrating torment.


2012-06-16 Dot Communist  
Posted by AnubisTTP  

We have added a few new items to the Electronics Museum, including an unusual device, the Soviet IV-29 dot indicator. Never before has the humble lamp been lavished with such over-engineering; the IV-29 is an entire hot cathode VFD tube built to display a single round dot. Large numbers of IV-29s would be soldered into matrices and segments, allowing characters and numbers to be displayed in pixel-assembled form.

We have added several items from Hamvention to the site as well, including an EMI 9826B photomultiplier to the Detection Tubes section and a Central Electric CVS-1 high vacuum switch to the Spark, Trigger, and Passive Tubes section. Our somewhat anemic Aerospace Components section has also received a new item, a Northrop 09641001 voice recorder magazine. This reel-to-reel recorder takes the tape deck to new heights of military over-engineering.


2012-04-29 Pork Chops  
Posted by AnubisTTP  

Dayton Hamvention is once again rapidly approaching, and we will again be occupying flea market booth numbers FE3038, FE3039 and FE3040. We will have our full online inventory available, including kit versions of all our Yilane products, as well as thousands of heavy bulky electronic and industrial items designed to entice equal portions of lust and chiropractic care. If you are one of those unfortunate souls that has never experienced Hamvention, feel free to check out this 57-minute long video of Hamvention 2011, filmed by our motley crew of electronics enthusiasts. Could there possibly be a better place to ride out the 2012 global apocalypse?

In non-Hamvention news, we have also added a few new items to the Electronics Museum between the busy work of Hamvention preparation; a mysterious green Eastern Bloc LED to the Solid State Indicators section, and a hilarious Wamco KW104S-DP filamentary decimal point indicator to the Filament Displays section.


2012-04-06 Going Geissler  
Posted by AnubisTTP  

We have recently added another obscure item to the site, the Soviet IEL-0-VI electroluminescent display. These unusual devices, which have recently flooded the Ebay surplus market after years of absence, work on the same principle as the Chinese electroluminescent wire that has choked the blogosphere ever since the new Tron movie was released. In absence of an appropriate section in which to insert such an unusual device, we have added the entry for the IEL-0-VI to the Vacuum Fluorescent Displays section. Emails pointing out the poor reasons for this choice will be cheerfully ignored.

We have also added a vintage spiral Geissler tube to the Gas Discharge Tubes section. A Geissler tube is a functionally useless decorative cold cathode lamp, and were mass produced from the 1880's onward; a time when staring at a decorative lamp was considered a legitimate form of entertainment. Other recent additions include an IEE Aurora FFD12 minitron display to the Filament Displays section, and an unknown Monsanto straight-pin LED to the Solid State Indicators section.


2012-02-28 High School Physics Musical  
Posted by AnubisTTP  

We have taken a trip off the beaten path to add an article to the Electronics Museum covering an esoteric piece of philosophical equipment, a De La Rive Apparatus. This formidable device combines a low pressure electron tube with an external magnetic coil to demonstrate the effect of magnetic fields upon an electron stream, typically to an audience of stiff-collared Victorians or bored high school physics students. It is a difficult to obtain device, and we are glad to finally add one to our Gas Discharge Tubes section.

We have also acquired some new items of a more traditional fare, including a Phillips Z550 neon filled pixie tube and a Philco 1N82 point contact diode. A new entry has also been added to the Glow Transfer Counting Tubes page to cover rare transitional forms of the GC10B, which are filled with helium instead of the neon gas the GC10B typically contains.


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