Weekend tech reading: Genesis of the transistor, Valve VR tech demoed by Garry's mod creator


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The very first transistor -- the foundational building block which almost all of modern civilization was built from -- was created at AT&T's Bell Labs on December 23 1947. As you can see above, this first transistor was huge and...

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At the bottom of the posted valve VR review, theres another one that made me understand the experience better.
And if its as good as the reviewer said it was, thats scary.


Posts: 16,302   +5,089
You've Come a Long Way, Baby........!

Here's a picture of one of RCA's original transistor radios.

Called the "Transistor Six"", because, (rather obviously), it had a whopping compliment of 6 whole transistors!

My father was kind enough to give me a broken one of these, when I was about ten. (perhaps, he was priming me to grow and be a drunken TV repairman, such as was he).

In any event, when they worked, these were a huge step forward in battery life. (OK, "battery life" was sort of an oxymoron in those times, as all there were available were carbon zinc , and lead-acid storage types. Alkaline didn't come along til later in the 60's!

Anyway, before transistor portables, there were vacuum tube portables!

These carried a 90 volt (!) zinc-carbon battery, to satisfy the B+ needs, along with another 6 volt battery, which was used to power the heaters of the tubes.
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Just the names of those battery types sound incredible unhealthy. xD
Well, in truth alkaline batteries were more (silently) hazardous, containing mercury.

Zinc-carbon is used to this day, in cheapo dry cell applications.

Lead-acid, is what powers the family minivan's electrical system.

These things are hazardous for sure, and that's why more refined middle class gentle-people leave battery problems in the hands of either AAA, or the grease monkey at the corner gas station....

But in truth, the very same sulfuric acid that is in automotive batteries, is also in the cleaners for electric coffee pots....:eek:


Posts: 2,613   +1,907
Cool video.
I remember as a kid in the late 60's, to the 70's, making crystal radio sets, and even made a
cat whisker radio. Spent a lot of time at Radio Shack when they had their "P-Box" kits.
Thanks for the video! Great 15 minute watch.