Sunday, February 13, 2011

The technology of yesterday today!

Been working hard in the heat today. Whew. Thought I'd finish a day of writing by doing some more writing on my blog. 

Over the holidays I've been amassing some goodies. For you my few regular viewers you'll know I've been exploring some old technology to use in my clocks. So I've become a bit of a tubehead. Vacuum tubes were once the state of art in electronic awesomeness. 

Vacuum tubes were critical to the development of electronic technology, which drove the expansion and commercialization of radio broadcasting, television, radar, sound reproduction, large telephone networks, analog and digital computers, and industrial process control. 

It was a time when we had to wait for our radios, stereos and amps to warm up. They hummed and they glowed and they crackled with magic that was pure dangerous high voltage. 

Then along came the tiny transistor and everything changed. The vacuum tubes were dinosaurs but some people still clung to them because, at the end of the day, tubes gave a better sound. That's why you'll still see tubes in a lot of high-end (and highly expensive) modern amps.

Back in the day there was a culture that surrounded these tubes. The servicemen who fixed these units would carry around tube testers. I've been lucky enough to find a couple of these beauties for sale and I naturally snatched them up.  These babies are so wonderfully analogue. No digital computerized readouts here. Instead you'll find a meter that says Good or Bad. 

Now feast your eyes on this piece of electronic gorgeousness...

The Spartan Radio one is truly a thing of beauty. Makes me wish we still built tools like these. It's raw, wooden and crafted. I'm sure fans of steampunk can see the appeal of this. Those meters are worth the price of admission alone. 

And finally here's something else I discovered.  It's called a Wayne Kerr Waveform Analyser. The name appealed the the schoolboy in me. Wayne Kerr obviously sounds like "Wanker" which made me chuckle. 

There's just one small problem with this piece of kit. I have no idea what it does. Apart from analysing waveforms. Still it will be interesting finding out what makes this thing tick. 

1 comment:

  1. Those have a fantastic steam punk style. I love anything to do with old time radio. Thanks again for posting something unique as always.