February 1960 Electronics World
Table of Contents
Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles
Electronics World, published May 1959
- December 1971. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.
The reflected-beam kinescope
(RBK) held high hopes for large video displays with shallow depths. A traditional cathode
ray tube (CRT) is as deep from front to back as the width of the display, which means,
as anyone who has owned a CRT television or computer monitor knows, a lot of space is
required to accommodate a large display. Evidently the RBK never panned out as a manufacturable
product. Its "inside-out" configuration resulted in a CRT that looks like someone reached
through the front, grabbed the tail end, and pulled it back through the front. If you
have access to the IEEE document database, a paper by H.B. Law and E.G. Ramberg titled,
Kinescope," covers the subject more thoroughly. In other 1960 news was a large photovoltaic
array, a high voltage ferroelectric converter for satellites, an electric power generator
that used rocket exhaust, and a magnified radar scope.
Recent Developments in Electronics
Inside-out Picture Tube
A radically new type of thin picture tube that promises increased brightness, detail,
and compactness in military and commercial radar systems is under development by RCA.
The experimental tube, known as a reflected-beam kinescope, has a viewing surface 21
inches in diameter and a total length of only 10 inches. The phosphor screen is over
the curved rear inner surface instead of at the tube face. The electron beam approaches
the transparent face of the tube, which acts as an "electron mirror" to reflect the beam
back to the phosphor. The new tube can display TV pictures but with only one-quarter
the efficiency of conventional TV picture tubes.
Electronic Security System
Detection devices shown here are used with the new integrated building protection
and security system introduced by Minneapolis-Honeywell. Included are fire and smoke
detector heads, tamper-proof magnetic switches to windows, electronic noise and motion
detectors, capacitance-type electronic fencing, and many others. Any of the devices can
be tied in with the new system's centralized control console. In all instances of alarm,
a guard at the console receives both an audible alarm (horn, buzzer, bell) and visual
warning (push-button switch lights up).
Largest Solar Energy Converter
The world's largest solar energy converter, "Big Bertha," converts sunlight into electricity
by means of over 7,800 silicon solar cells, similar to those used to power instruments
in U. S. earth satellites. "Big Bertha" was used recently for the first time to power
a door-opening device during the dedication of the new $2-million Hoffman Semiconductor
Center in El Monte, Calif. It has been installed permanently on the Center's roof to
provide electricity for the Center's solar energy exhibits. The solar cells are attached
to a 4- by 8-foot panel. An automatic tracking device keeps the panel faced toward the
sun for maximum efficiency. Ten individual panels in the array can be connected in various
combinations to provide 6 to 60 volts at currents from 0.5 to 5 amps.
High Voltage for Satellites
A ferroelectric converter, developed by ITT laboratories, can produce high voltages
directly from the warming power of the sun or other heat source. Unlike solar cells,
which depend on light to produce low-voltage d.c., the converter relies on temperature
changes alone to produce high-voltage a.c. by means of special ceramic coatings.
Advanced antennas which meet the extremely wide band requirements for electronic warfare
weapons are shown below. These were displayed at the formal opening of a major addition
to Sylvania's Electronic Defense Laboratories at Mountain View, Calif. Antennas having
a 30:1 bandwidth have been built here.
Aircraft Identification System
New General Instrument device permits air traffic controller to pick out on radar
screen anyone "blip" within 200 miles and identify it exactly without communicating with
plane's crew. Aircraft radar beacon sets up identifying numbers on indicator at right.
Power Generator Uses Rocket Exhaust
This electronic system with no moving parts converts the heat of a rocket exhaust
directly into electric power to run the steering controls and electronic equipment of
the missile. System consists of RCA thermionic generator tube in the shape of a hollow
cylinder which fits like a sleeve over the flame tube attached to a Thiokol solid-fuel
rocket motor in a special test mount. Heat from the burning fuel is converted directly
to electricity, which is carried through wire leads to measuring equipment used during
Posted June 20, 2018