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Strays - Doorknob Tubes
April 1946 QST

April 1946 QST

April 1946 QST Cover - RF CafeTable of Contents

Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles from QST, published December 1915 - present (visit ARRL for info). All copyrights hereby acknowledged.

368A UHF Door Knob Transmitting Triode Tube - RF CafeAt first I thought maybe this was intended to be an April Fools joke, being that it appeared in an April issue of QST magazine, but it is probably just a coincidence. One of the two topics refers to a "door knob for UHF," which in reality was a glass-encased vacuum tube that was shaped a lot like one of the old glass door knobs. The author penned a humorous take-off. On second thought, maybe this is a Fool's edition now that I have read the second item. All kidding aside, "Strays" concludes with a poem dedicated to those who became "Silent Keys" as a result of World War II.

Here are a few other electronics-themed poems: A Radioman's Nightmare, The Day Before Christmas, Sonnet of a Ham, Unpopular Electronics, Ode to a New Rig, Power Supply, More "Tower" to You, Requiem, Pre-Radio, What Is It?, Ravin


Strays, April 1946 QST - RF CafeHaving heard and read much about the famous "door knob" for u.h.f., we decided to try it. We removed the knob from our door and substituted it for the HY75 in our pet oscillator. Vast improvements were immediately noted, among which were:

1)  Remarkable lack of spurious radiations such as sidebands, parasitics, and harmonics.

2)  Stability under modulation.

3)  Constant power output and stability over the entire tuning range.

4)  No overheating of the doorknob even under heavy load.

5)  Circuit constants not critical for normal operation - therefore likely to give same results even for beginners.

Before you try it, however, make sure your power supply can take it, as the power consumption is rather excessive. The theory of operation is beyond the scope of this paper. Suffice it to say that by Judicious use of relativity theory, calculus of variations, and advanced buggering we became convinced that this apparatus was the most sensible way of going insane since the invention of the regenerative receiver.

- Victor Mayper, Jr.

- Fred Kann


Strays (2), April 1946 QST - RF CafeConnecting-wires in radio receivers are eliminated by a method announced recently. Bare metal sprayed into channels in a plastic chassis is the basis for the method which, it is said, speeds production, reduces operating costs, permits lower prices and improves performance of radio receivers. The process has been used in other countries, particularly Germany, where in wartime the spray method was used in the fabrication of radio coils.



How sweetly sleep the Silent Keys!

How proudly wear the Golden Star,

Who gave their lives beyond the seas

In the red hell of war.

They heard the challenge to the right

By which all free men seek to live;

They knew the cost to win the fight,

The price that they should give.

Yet went they forth from hill and plain,

From friendly cities of their birth,

To bring goodwill and peace again

To all the ravished earth.

And now they sleep in foreign fields

Beneath the crosses and the stars;

With memory's tears alone the yields,

And Silent Keys and Stars.


O soldiers, sailors, home again,

Prevent these endless wars

Where right survives by blood and pain,

By Silent Keys and Stars,

- Lt. Comdr. Robert D. Bass, W4CQG-W3JSI



Posted January 26, 2023
(updated from original post on 4/19/2016)

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