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 Post subject: Re: 1920's "B" Battery Eliminator History
PostPosted: Feb Tue 11, 2014 7:06 am 
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Posts: 494
Location: Wayne, NJ 07470
There is a rather interesting article in the February, 1926 issue of QST by Robert S. Kruse entitled "Battery Substitutes".

This highly readable and well-illustrated review “…is based on 6 months of painstaking comparison of different battery substitutes with a standard consisting of Burgess dry cells for the plate and a Willard storage battery for the filament circuit.” It’s not Consumer’s Reports of the flapper era, but should be good reading for anyone following this thread. Here’s what Kruse covers nicely:
There is a practical discussion of the technologies available in mid-1925 including A and B battery substitutes and combined units. “…These rectifiers are of three types, that is to say, electrolytic, Kenotron or gaseous rectifier tubes. Leaving out the ones that have now gone off the market, the division of the ones tested was as follows:
Gaseous tubes (such as the Epom, Raytheon, etc.) Four.
Electrolytic Five.
Kenotron plus gas tube Six.
Completely sealed but probably electrolytic One. …”


A brief discussion of each follows, along with treatment of filter circuits and trade-offs, simple schematics, etc. This is fun stuff!
Notably the Western Electric 6025B Amplifier is used as an example of an integrated socket-power unit (WE205' tennis-ball as a rectifier serving another 205' as the gain stage.) . This is followed by discussion of commercial units using UV-201As as rectifiers, with intimation of UX-112 and ( astonishingly) UX-120 also in this service. “…still better is the UX-210… Recently, special tubes have been designed exactly for this purpose, notably the UX-213, which is in itself a full wave rectifier, having two filaments and one plate in the same bulb. …”
In addition to powering several types of receivers ( ~ a regen + 2AFs, a GR superhet, Mu-Rad TRF, and Zenith sets) in their testing, a small transmitter using a UX-210 was also powered by the various “battery substitutes”. Sadly, none of the radio apparatus is pictured.

The Dubilier “Super-Ducon” using a double filament Kenotron is illustrated and briefly discussed. The tube is NOT shown at all; only the closed unit with all its clothes on is depicted.

APCO, Acme, Exide, Fansteel, Rhamstine, Philco products are shown and discussed, as is the WE’25A amplifier already mentioned.

This article runs 9-1/2 double-column pages, and seems too large for me to scan and put here on ARF, but it can be done if appropriate. ARRL members can find this piece at the League’s website, but non-members are blocked. I'm unsure if ARRL's 1926 copyright is enforceable and have been unsuccessful in locating any open-source for ARFers to view directly.
Full reproduction here should constitute “scholarly use”, but I’ll not beg ARRL’s permission for 88 year old intellectual property. Comments are encouraged and welcomed.


ARF threads like this one by Rick Hirsh really help our hobby, and I again thank Alan and the Moderators for making all of this possible, instantly accessible, and at the very best price of all.

73,

OTH

ps -Imagine being in that lab with Kruse and his fellow hams, running these state-of the-art tests on and off for months ! /john


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 Post subject: Re: 1920's "B" Battery Eliminator History
PostPosted: Feb Tue 11, 2014 2:21 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 25381
Location: Pocasset, Cape Cod, MA
Thanks, I'd forgotten about that article.
Quote:
-Imagine being in that lab with Kruse and his fellow hams
The "lab" was Kruse's barn in West Hartford. He supported himself as a consulting engineer. The story I heard from Jim Millen: his system for keeping track of jobs was a series of papers tacked to the wall of his barn. The one nearest to the door got worked on first.


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 Post subject: Re: 1920's "B" Battery Eliminator History
PostPosted: Feb Wed 12, 2014 11:31 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 26, 2012 6:56 pm
Posts: 96
OTH wrote:
" Some B batteries were, indeed, rechargeable... "

Hi John,

"Thanks" for the wonderful information that you had given to this thread, regarding the rechargeable radio set's "B" batteries and chargers that were used during 1920's. And also for the information on the battery eliminator "substitutes" article, that was in Feb 1926 issue of QST.


You are indeed correct, that there were rechargeable "B" batteries and chargers for radio receiving sets during the 1920's. In fact, in early 1922, Westinghouse Electric and Willard Storage Battery Co. had started to produce "rechargeable" lead-acid 11-12 cell storage (22-24 volt) batteries (each cell=2 volts), for vacuum tube radio receiving set applications. And later in 1922, they also starting producing 24 cell storage (48 volt) batteries.


...Image

Image

Image

And in 1922, Westinghouse Electric "Rectigon" and General Electric "Tungar" had also produced a battery charger, to charge both "A" and "B" storage batteries, using a Tungar Bulb (Argon gas) rectifier.


Image

...Image


Finally, I noticed that you had made the following statement ....

" ... the UX-213, which is in itself a full wave rectifier, having two filaments and one plate in the same bulb."


Did the 1926 Feb issue of QST magazine make this statement, for I believe the GE UX-213 full-wave rectifier tube, which was marketed by RCA and announced in September 1925, had used two separate anode plates with a heated thoriated tungsten filament cathode ??


Thanks again for all your contributions-Rick


Last edited by Rick Hirsh on Feb Thu 13, 2014 2:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 1920's "B" Battery Eliminator History
PostPosted: Feb Thu 13, 2014 2:06 am 
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Location: Dayton Ohio
Here are a couple scans from the remains of the B`Liminator I have.

-Steve


Attachments:
timmons-bliminator2.jpg
timmons-bliminator2.jpg [ 59.13 KiB | Viewed 7445 times ]
timmons-bliminator1.jpg
timmons-bliminator1.jpg [ 76.77 KiB | Viewed 7445 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: 1920's "B" Battery Eliminator History
PostPosted: Feb Thu 13, 2014 4:22 am 
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Joined: Apr Tue 19, 2011 6:24 am
Posts: 494
Location: Wayne, NJ 07470
Rick Hirsh posted

"...Finally, I noticed that you had made the following statement ....

' ... the UX-213, which is in itself a full wave rectifier, having two filaments and one plate in the same bulb (sic) .'
..."

Rick,

Yes, that's exactly what Mr. Kruse wrote. You are correct to question his words, for surely he was thinking of the earlier Westinghouse UV-196. The GE UX-213 was introduced in 1925, the year that Kruse did his work on these supplies. As Technical Editor of QST, it seems likely that he received the latest technical bulletins from the Radio Corp. and may well have conflated the two rectifiers back then.

The italicised words in my post above are direct quotes from the cited article. I tried to type them exactly as laid out in QST, but ARFs text-editor rearranged what I'd composed off-line in Word and then pasted in.

If you'll PM me a postal mailing address, I'd be happy to send you a best-effort photocopy of that article from my well-worn original. I posted the highlights, but there is plenty more to enjoy. Please allow few days, as dealing with the weather here may preoccupy me.

Again, many thanks for starting this excellent thread and passing so much of your good knowledge along.


John, aka "OTH"

(edited to clarify re UV-196 and UX-213 / oth)


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 Post subject: Re: 1920's "B" Battery Eliminator History
PostPosted: Feb Thu 13, 2014 8:06 am 
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Joined: Apr Tue 19, 2011 6:24 am
Posts: 494
Location: Wayne, NJ 07470
In late January, the Tube Collectors Association released to its members TCA Special Publication No.23 entitled "The Story of Electronics Development at the General Electric Company".

Some of its 73 pages are most relevant to this thread and make good reading indeed. Rectifier developments both small and large, the history of the Tungar bulb, glow-discharge VR tubes and other work as described by the man who directed such projects are interesting enough. Taken with insightful discussions of Langmuir's and his colleagues' theoretical and practical researches, the development of the thoriated tungsten emitter, and associated efforts in the 1912-1925 era, one gets a good sense of where some battery eliminator devices and topologies came from. The Smith (Raytheon) ionization rectifier tube isn't discussed, but, hey, White's team were heavy-duty Thermionics guys, after all.

This work is a painstakingly reconstructed copy of W.C. White's history of tube development at GE (and, as relevant, at competitors' labs also) from 1912 through post-WW II years. White was Department Head of Tube Research and Development, and also held offices in the IRE. This group provided the prototypes of RCA's earliest tubes, and, in RCA-mandated coordination with arch-rival Westinghouse, pushed out to the public a wide range range of transmitting and receiving tubes that dominated radio for decades. Good reading, indeed that spans developments from Edison's diode through tetrodes, magnetrons, and disc-seal tubes and much else.


I encourage interested ARFers to obtain a copy of this publication. A recent discussion with Lud Sibley, TCA President (& editor, et al.) confirmed that additional copies would soon be made available at a nominal price (TBD at this writing.)

You might want to join TCA, but even if you don't, White's nice history should be available from Ludwell Sibley at the TCA: tubelore (at) jeffnet.org.The TCA's own website is http://www.tubecollectors.org


OTH


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 Post subject: Re: 1920's "B" Battery Eliminator History
PostPosted: Feb Mon 17, 2014 4:41 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 26, 2012 6:56 pm
Posts: 96
Alan Douglas wrote:

...."That's a significant ad you found since it does mention that the tube (UV196 made by Westinghouse) was finally available. It's a fair assumption then, that the Super-Ducon was not actually shipped until 1925" ....


Image



Here is additional interesting information that I have recently found.... Below is another 1925 advertisement that I found in my archive files. It is the very first ad that I found, which actually mentions Dubilier Condenser and Radio Corp's Super-Ducon "U.V. 196" dual-filament full wave rectifier tube, that was ultimately produced by Westinghouse Electric and marketed by RCA.


Image

Rick


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 Post subject: Re: 1920's "B" Battery Eliminator History
PostPosted: Feb Mon 17, 2014 9:20 am 
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Joined: Apr Tue 19, 2011 6:24 am
Posts: 494
Location: Wayne, NJ 07470
Rick,

That Popular Radio ad is interesting. Any idea of which month in 1925 it was first published?
Given short newspaper production lead times, I'd expect that Feb 15th newspaper ad above it was ordered and approved within the month. The ad copy and cut might have been prepared weeks earlier. That could push the UV-196/Super-Ducon planned release back to the very end of 1924. If manufacturing or other problems arose, perhaps Dubilier had just missed the Christmas selling season. Bringing such a pioneering technology to market may have been fraught with delays.

Further digging into periodicals might help, but Dubilier's marketing records, if available, would definitively resolve this matter.


John


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 Post subject: Re: 1920's "B" Battery Eliminator History
PostPosted: Feb Tue 18, 2014 3:58 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 26, 2012 6:56 pm
Posts: 96
Hi OTH - John,

"Thanks" for your comments and information. I had also checked my research notes, for the 1925 Popular Radio magazine ad of the Dubilier Super-Ducon (RCA UV-196 rectifier tube), and it shows the month of February.

Rick


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 Post subject: Re: 1920's "B" Battery Eliminator History
PostPosted: Feb Tue 18, 2014 6:27 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 26, 2012 6:56 pm
Posts: 96
Hello everyone,

Here is some more interesting and exciting information on "early" B-Battery Eliminators, that I had recently found in my research files....

Below are two magazine "sales ads" from Radio News and Popular Radio, that shows a "B" Battery Eliminator that was being advertised with a selling price of $60.00. It is called the Mu-Rad "Rectro-Filter" and was made by the Mu-Rad Laboratories Inc., the same company who had made fine vacuum tube radio receiving sets. Both of these "sales ads" are from October 1924 and precedes the Dubilier Super-Ducon "B" Battery eliminators "sales ads" (Nov 23, 1924-NY Herald Tribune, Dec 1924-Wireless Age), that Alan Douglas had previously uploaded.


....................Image

Image

Finally ...

1) Did anyone ever hear of this particular "B" Battery eliminator ?

2) Does anyone have any additional information on this particular item ?


Thanks Rick


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 Post subject: Re: 1920's "B" Battery Eliminator History
PostPosted: Feb Tue 18, 2014 7:00 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 25381
Location: Pocasset, Cape Cod, MA
I used the same ad in my Mu-Rad chapter, but I've never seen or heard of one, or an MA-20 receiver for that matter.


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 Post subject: Re: 1920's "B" Battery Eliminator History
PostPosted: Feb Thu 20, 2014 3:28 am 
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Joined: Apr Tue 19, 2011 6:24 am
Posts: 494
Location: Wayne, NJ 07470
Kruse's Feb. 1926 QST article "Battery Substitutes", mentioned above was scanned and recently sent to Rick.
It is too large to post here and makes interesting reading, at least for some of us. This file is about 10.7MB in grayscale .PDF format.

If you'd like a copy, please PM me with an e-mail address that can accept such an attachment.
The work covers several types of B-eliminators, and is survey of the state of the art in late 1925.

John, aka "OTH"


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 Post subject: Re: 1920's "B" Battery Eliminator History
PostPosted: Feb Thu 20, 2014 2:37 pm 
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Joined: Sep Thu 06, 2012 6:00 pm
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Location: Kokomo, Indiana 46902
azenithnut....You said "the remains of the B-Liminator" so I assume yours is not working, but would you have a clue as to the part number or value of the bottom pot, or a possible sub? Mine basically disintegrated when I opened it up to clean/inspect it. I really haven't had time to dig further into it yet. Thanks for any possible info.


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 Post subject: Re: 1920's "B" Battery Eliminator History
PostPosted: Mar Sat 08, 2014 5:51 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 26, 2012 6:56 pm
Posts: 96
Hello Everyone,

.... I had found some more interesting information that was in my research archive files, which is a "late" December 28, 1924 article on the Dubilier Super-Ducon's patented Dual Filament Full-Wave rectifier tube (UV-196), that was developed by its chief engineer Harry Houck. Westinghouse Electric/RCA had started to manufacture this (UV-196) rectifier tube for the Dubilier Condenser and Radio Corporation, at the very end of 1924 (Dec) or early 1925. One interesting fact that is not mentioned in this article, is that the tube's brass shell was used as a 5th connection for the plate (anode) connection, for the 4 bottom pins were used for the two separate filament (cathode) connections.


Image


Below is a photo of Dubilier's engineering staff in 1924, and its chief engineer
Harry Houck is pictured in the center, wearing eyeglasses and has his arms folded.


Image


Note: Correction was made to above, with spelling of name for "Harry Houck" - chief engineer of Dubilier. (Thanks to Alan Douglas for notifying me of my spelling error)



Thanks Rick


Last edited by Rick Hirsh on Mar Sun 09, 2014 12:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 1920's "B" Battery Eliminator History
PostPosted: Mar Sat 08, 2014 6:11 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 6696
Location: Bossier City, Louisiana
This is my earliest B eliminator. It also has lead acid A-battery. It automatically charges the A battery when the set is turned off. It has a current sensing relay and it works quite well.

Image

Image

Image

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http://pages.suddenlink.net/davesradios/


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 Post subject: Re: 1920's "B" Battery Eliminator History
PostPosted: Mar Sun 09, 2014 6:07 am 
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part of David Sarnoff An open Road in Radio, New York September, 1924.

Image


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 Post subject: Re: 1920's "B" Battery Eliminator History
PostPosted: Mar Sat 15, 2014 4:26 am 
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Posts: 96
Hi Dave,

"Thanks" for uploading and sharing your 1920's Willard "A-B" battery eliminator photos with all of us.


I have also found some additional information on this particular model, in my research archive files.....


The Willard Storage Battery Company, located in Cleveland Ohio, was a manufacturer of Lead-Acid storage batteries for cars and also "A" and "B" radio batteries. Willard started to produced "A" and "B" battery eliminator models in 1926, which was called "Power Units". And in 1927, Willlard had produced another model (3301), which was an "A-B" Power Unit. Willard had essentially used its separate "A" and "B" Power Units, and built them into one complete unit package.


Image


Image


The Willard "A-B" Power Unit had used a separate built-in 6V Lead-Acid storage battery, which was three 2.0v rectangular glass cells wired in series, and was used to supply the radio tube's filament (cathode) voltage/current supply. It also had a built-in General Electric "Tungar" battery charger and 2 Amp rectifier bulb (# 277465), which would charge its internal "A" storage battery at either a 1/2 Amp trickle charge or 2 Amp booster rate, when the radio was off.


Image

Note: Some of the Willard "A-B" model (3301) Power Units, had used a Westinghouse Rectigon charger and 2 Amp rectifier bulb)


Image


The Willard "A-B" Power Unit had also used four "wet" electrolytic glass jar rectifiers were hooked up as a rectifier bridge, and would give a full-wave D.C. output B+ voltage, for the radio tube's plate (anode) supply. Each of the "wet" electrolytic glass jar rectifiers, contains two dissimilar metal plate rods inside, which one of them was made out of iron and the other one was aluminum. And inside each one of these glass jars, are filled with an electrolyte salt solution of Ammonium Phosphate or Sodium Borate(Borax). When AC input voltage is initially passed thru these "wet" electrolytic glass jars, a dielectric oxide layer will form on the aluminum plates, which will then only allow a rectified DC voltage output to occur.


Below are photos (taken from ebay) of the internal construction of the 1926 Willard "B" Power Unit, and which also shows the four "wet" electrolytic glass jar rectifiers.


Image


Finally. Philco and Exide Storage Battery Companies, had also manufactured "A", "B", and "AB" battery eliminators, that were very similar to the Willard Power Units, and which had also used "wet" electrolytic glass jar rectifiers in its circuitry designs. Philco was one of first companies, to start using "wet" electrolytic glass jar rectifiers in its circuitry design (no rectifier vacuum tube used), for its "B" Socket Power battery eliminators. And Philco was the very first company to offer for sale, separate "A", "B", and "AB" Socket Power battery eliminator models, which they had announced and starting producing in August 1925.


Image


Revision Update: After further research, I have found that the the Balkite "B" Power Unit battery eliminator, was the very first company to start using "wet" electrolytic glass jar rectifiers (no rectifier vacuum tube ) in its circuitry. It was first advertised in January 1925, and was made by the Fansteel Products Company out of Chicago.


Rick


Last edited by Rick Hirsh on Mar Wed 19, 2014 10:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 1920's "B" Battery Eliminator History
PostPosted: Mar Sat 15, 2014 4:38 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 6696
Location: Bossier City, Louisiana
VERY informative Rick ! Thank you!

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http://pages.suddenlink.net/davesradios/


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 Post subject: Re: 1920's "B" Battery Eliminator History
PostPosted: Mar Wed 26, 2014 11:06 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 26, 2012 6:56 pm
Posts: 96
Hello Everyone,


Here is some more "interesting" information on the 1920's Battery Eliminators, that I found in my archive files ....


The Kellogg Switchboard & Supply Company (Chicago) had originated in 1897, and was a "major" manufacturer of telephone equipment and supplies. And during the 1920's, they were also manufacturing and selling radio supply parts, and radio receiving sets. The Kellogg Switchboard & Supply Company had over 150 patents to its name, and they had also purchased the manufacturing rights for the McCullough AC vacuum tubes in early January 1926, which was originally developed by Frederick McCullough in 1925.



Image


But here is the "interesting" information that I found .....

The Kellogg Switchboard and Supply Company had also manufactured and sold one of the earliest "B" Battery Eliminators, which was called the "Trans-B-Former" and sold for a price of $50.00. I have also found an August 23, 1924 of this particular item, in the Radio Digest magazine issue-page 16, which precedes the October 1924 advertised price of $60 for the Mu-rad Recto-Filter "B" Battery Eliminator and also for the December 1924 advertised price of $47.50 for the Dubilier Super-Ducon "B" Battery Eliminator.

I also had found a 1924 newspaper article clipping, of Kellogg's radio "Trans-B-Former" Battery Eliminator product announcement in my research archive files, but unfortunately this newspaper article clipping did not have the source or exact date marked on it.


Image

Image


I have also uploaded a couple of other newspaper advertisements, that are from October and November of 1924, which shows better photos of the inside and outside views, of the Kellogg "Trans-B-Former" Battery Eliminator.


Image

....................Image


Finally, the Kellogg's "Trans-B-Former" Battery Eliminator, will operate with either one or two standard UV-201A vacuum tubes. If two UV-201A tubes are used, then you will get a full-wave rectified DC voltage output, which was used for the radio receiving set's plate (anode) supply voltage. Note: The grid and plate elements were electrically tied together for the UV-201A vacuum tubes, and were used as a two-element rectifier diode vacuum tubes in its circuitry.


Below is a photo that I had found on ebay of this particular item ....

Image



Rick


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 Post subject: Re: 1920's "B" Battery Eliminator History
PostPosted: Mar Thu 27, 2014 12:44 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 25381
Location: Pocasset, Cape Cod, MA
So at least one exists. I wonder who bought it?

I just looked up the total emission of a UV201A and it was 45mA. You couldn't run one anywhere near that, with a high plate voltage, or ionic
bombardment would wipe out the thoriated cathode surface. I'm guessing that Kellogg found that out sooner than they expected.
The original UV213 rectifier had a rated output of 10mA but that was quickly increased and the final design of UX213 by the summer of 1924
had a total emission of 350mA. If Kellogg's eliminator was capable of 10mA, which seems likely, it would have been obsolete before it ever
reached the market.


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