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How NOT to Use Transistors
September 1959 Popular Electronics

September 1959 Popular Electronics

September 1959 Popular Electronics Cover - RF CafeTable of Contents

Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles from Popular Electronics, published October 1954 - April 1985. All copyrights are hereby acknowledged.

Transistors were still relatively new when these cartoons were published in the September 1959 issue of Popular Electronics magazine. Most people had never seen a transistor, much less handled one. Soldering irons used for working on the point-to-point wiring used on vacuum tube gear could also be used for soldering the old copper guttering and downspouts - at least the ones that got hot enough and had enough thermal inertia to melt solder on sheet steel chassis'. Does the guy in this General Transistor infomercial look a bit like Dilbert - or maybe I should ask does Dilbert look a bit like this guy? BTW, are you thinking what I'm thinking about the picture on the bottom left?

How NOT to Use Transistors

How Not to Use Transistors, September 1959 Popular Electronics - RF CafeCourtesy of General Transistor Corp.

We've all heard how sturdy and indestructible the transistor is ... but nothing is perfect. Any qualified engineer, equipped with the proper educational background can, with a little ingenuity, reduce the transistor to a midget jellyfish. The accompanying quips are by no means all-inclusive, but they will start you on your way to becoming a big transistor user.

 

  • Ignore the published ratings and exceed them. You'll have a real "hot" transistor - for a moment or two.

  • make contact is switched around. This may cause immediate ruin.
  • Twist and yank the leads excessively when you install the transistor. If you listen closely you will hear the snap.
  • If the transistor does not fit into the equipment properly, put a screwdriver on the case and hammer it into place.
  • Overheat the leads with a big soldering iron. Leads are going out of style anyway.
  • In order to burn out the transistor thoroughly, be sure there is leakage to the power line in the soldering iron.

 

 

Posted May 16, 2022
(updated from original post on 3/20/2012)

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