It was not all
that long ago when virtually everything you bought was NOT designed to be thrown
away when it broke. Back when integrated circuits (ICs), resistors, and capacitors
had wire leads and cases were held together with straight-slot and Phillips head
screws rather than the microminiature 'security' type screws, it was possible for
the able and willing repairman to troubleshoot and repair a device or appliance.
Now, in a world that bombards us with admonitions against not being green, practically
everything is meant to be thrown away after use - from cellphones and televisions
to clothing and the vast quantity of cardboard and Styrofoam packaging that contains
our disposable goods.
For those of us who lived during the aforementioned times and/or those who dabble
in vintage electronics either for hobby or for career necessity, access to data
books can sometimes mean the difference between repairing and reusing a piece of
equipment or relegating it to the same refuse mountain that modern goods inhabit.
Many such references can be found on eBay and various electronics forums, but prices
can be high.
Fortunately, there are good Samaritans like Arthur Missira who are on a mission
to make as many such resources available to the public at no charge (more than
1,500 volumes to date). Mr. Missira wrote to me recently (apologies to him for
taking so long to relay the news) saying he has been scanning and uploading reams
and reams of data book pages and technical text books onto the Archive.org website.
In order to avoid copyright issues, he has either received permission to replicate
the material or relied on copyright dated prior to 1978 having expired. I have not
attempted to interpret the laws of the United States Patent and Copyright Office
copyright law, but some legal beagle reading
this is welcome to chime in with an opinion or statement of fact. See also
Duration of Copyright
and Copyright Basics
for more information.
Unfortunately, catalogs for most of the very familiar microwave components companies
do not seem to be available yet at Archive.org, either because nobody has bothered
to upload them yet, or because for some reason the companies (or their new owners)
object to their copyrighted material being placed in the public domain. A few names
that come to mind from when I first entered the RF / microwave engineering realm
in the mid 1980s are Avantek (bought by HP, now Agilent), Anzac (bought by M/A-COM,
then AMP, now Tyco), Amplifonix (bought by Spectrum Microwave), Celeritek (bought
by Mimix), Cougar (bought by Teledyne), Continental Microwave (bought by Chelton,
now Cobham DES), FSY Microwave (bought by Spectrum Microwave), KDI/Triangle (bought
by Aeroflex), and Watkins Johnson (bought by Stellex, now TriQuint). This info was
found in the "Where Are They
Now?" article in the December 2011 Microwave & RF magazine. None of those
companies' catalogs are listed according to my search.
There are, however, plenty of catalogs and data books for analog and digital
components from companies like RCA, Philips, General Instrument, etc. Additionally,
there is a huge number of technical books, repair manuals, and other resources available.
The best thing to do is go to the Archive.org
website and try a few searches.
Here are a few of the thousands of examples:
Posted September 23, 2013