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 Post subject: Anyone still collecting/using vintage µ-wave tubes/eqpt ?
PostPosted: Jan Tue 30, 2018 11:14 pm 
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First I'm not sure it's the right category here to post about this topic. Mods, feel free to move it to a more appropriate caregory if needed.

Klystrons, Magnetrons, Travelling waves tubes, waveguides, bolometers,you name it... I allways thought it was a fascinating technology from the past and a very "hot" topic back in the WWII era and during the 50ies, going by the fact that nearly 25% of my old HP catalog is devoted to µ-wave and X-band equipment.
There are many tube-collectors historians and experimenters today building all kind of working gadgets and radio equipments using vintage parts but as soon as we venture higher in the RF spectrum I can see nothing. (I'm speaking about using vintage technology here, not the current solid-state modern gear). Is it because this technology is hard to master and/or calls for some mechanical (plumbering) skills ? Or is it because most people think microwaves are hazardous to work with ? (they aren't, except for high-power magnetrons used in radars an µ-wave ovens)
Outside from (military) Radar equipment collectors is there anybody experimenting with vintage microwave tube equipment ? It would be really nice (and historically interesting) to re-create a short distance µ-wave link to transmit audio or video signals. Would it be feasible and did someone actually tried it ?
If you're in this peculiar hobby I would be strongly interested hearing from you and your experiences in this field. Any useful weblinks about this topic would be appreciated too.
Thanks to all for reading this so far.


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone still collecting/using vintage µ-wave tubes/eqpt
PostPosted: Feb Fri 02, 2018 1:54 am 
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Joined: Nov Wed 30, 2016 7:35 pm
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Location: Sunbury, Ohio 43074
An interesting question. My guess would be that this area of electronics (personally I've always considered microwave, waveguide, and the like to be "magic") has not got too many people tinkering with it for a few reasons. The ones that come quickest to mind are things like .. the experimenter needs a lot more math skills, a lot more knowledge of physics, mechanical skills and precision far beyond lower frequency equipment, and test gear that is a lot more expensive and difficult to come by.

And of course, as you already know, a limited number of people in this area. Lower frequency (ham radio for instance) has thousands if not millions of participants. Double that for TV and radio.

I ran a C band uplink in some distant past life, and even that with all its esoteric "stuff" was simple compared to what you're considering :)

Hope you find people in this field to share with :)

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 Post subject: Re: Anyone still collecting/using vintage µ-wave tubes/eqpt
PostPosted: Feb Wed 07, 2018 3:16 pm 
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Joined: Jan Mon 28, 2013 9:35 pm
Posts: 1055
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Much of my career at HP was spent working on microwave equipment
so I also think some of this older stuff is fascinating. There are some
hams that enjoy building transmitter-receiver setups that they
use to set distance records, usually between mountain peaks.
But none are using tubes of any kind due to reliablilty and power
requirements. At least that I'm aware of.

I've saved a few things myself and will get more as I stumble across
them but most of it get tossed eventually by others.
Steve

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'cell phones and the internet are tools, not a lifestyle'


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone still collecting/using vintage µ-wave tubes/eqpt
PostPosted: Mar Thu 15, 2018 6:16 pm 
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In the 1890s, Jagadis Chandra Bose was performing experiments at frequencies near 60 GHz. He used miniature three-ball spark gaps to produce the signals. The detectors were made of two or more pieces of iron pressing against one another, with an adjustable pressure. See the link below for photos of some of Dr. Bose's surviving instruments.

https://www.cv.nrao.edu/~demerson/bose/bose.html

When I first learned about Dr. Bose, I was surprised that the research into microwave and millimeter wave technology had started much earlier than I had thought.


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone still collecting/using vintage µ-wave tubes/eqpt
PostPosted: Mar Fri 16, 2018 3:04 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Cambridge MN USA
I've got a couple of low power klystrons with the octal type base and the RF output probe for one of the pins. Would love to figure out a way to use them, so you're not alone in your interest. Of course the microwave bands are getting extremely congested with all the digital communications (wi-fi, Bluetooth, etc.) so keeping from accidentally stepping on someone may prove difficult unless you're in a rural area.

Scott


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