Monday, April 16, 2012

Word To The Would-Be Wise, Blonder-Tongue Division

I was going to quote from it, but engineer Ben H. Tongue would rather I not do so without his permission; still, the wording of the "For The Man In A Hurry" section, advising careful study of the entire document before proceeding, struck me as especially apt--

I'm not quite saying it might be a nice pre-preamble for the U. S. Constitution -- but, much like the lads at Blonder-Tongue figured about the instructions for their clever UHF converter (PDF!), it couldn't hurt.*

(The eternal struggle between engineers and lawyers: the one strives for clarity while the other seeks loopholes. And every once in awhile -- ask DeForest or better still, Armstrong -- it's the other way around. But not this time!)
* While I take it as a given that a preponderance, probably a huge majority of our elected, appointed and wandered-in-from-the-rain Federal officials are likely, upon reading the document, to draw quite differing conclusions from mine, at least they will have read the thing. Anymore, I doubt most of 'em even really grasp the loopholes they so blithely invoke -- "Commerce Clause!" "General Welfare!" "Them guys over there said so and here's a big bag of cash to prove it!" Oh, dear. Where did I put Mr. Mencken's black flag?


Ed Skinner said...

Then again, 30 seconds searching the schematic elicited a "that's it? A single tunnel diode? They aren't kidding about a 'strong signal area'."

Rule of thumb: verbosity and utility are inversely related.

Rob said...

I remember Tongue was one of the goto guys back when I got the xtal-set bug 73 R

Bubblehead Les. said...

ZOMG! That was written back in 1965!

Remember, those were the days when people were supposed to open their TV Sets, reach in and pull and replace Tubes, then tap on them to make sure they were glowing. And if that didn't work, swap out another, all while the High Voltage Transformer was humming away!

Yeah, I go back that far. I know what the Edison Effect is!

Eck! said...

Yep that old too. Know the box and
the era well. TV was Emerson with it's infamous series string heaters.

FYI the UHF converter worked very well even 40 miles out from NYC were all the broadcasts came from..


Roberta X said...

Which is why it was clever. --Plus with the battery having just that tunnel diode to keep tunneling, it had to have decent run-time between changes.

A UHF converter with one (1) active device! Wicked smart.

Unknown said...

Oh wow. That's the first time I've seen a tunnel diode being used IRL.

Still doesn't mean I know how they work.