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Thread: Soviet Tube Survey 1950

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    Soviet Tube Survey 1950

    I found it interesting, it got released just a few years ago.

    https://www.cia.gov/library/readingr...00330961-8.pdf

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    Supporting Member eschertron's Avatar
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    haven't made it past the executive summary, but I thought it ironic that the authors - in 1950, a handful of months after Bell Labs began the transistor age - thought it likely that their classification be "valid for a long time" to meet the needs of "modern equipment". I'm guessing they didn't get Popular Science in the Soviet Union?

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    I like how it says the document has been sanitized for release. I tried posting it at diyaudio.com but I made a mistake. I put the CIA finally got to releasing this document and I got a week suspension and a permanent black mark against me for posting political content. I guess it could have been a political document 65 years ago, now days I would call it tube history.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eschertron View Post
    haven't made it past the executive summary, but I thought it ironic that the authors - in 1950, a handful of months after Bell Labs began the transistor age - thought it likely that their classification be "valid for a long time" to meet the needs of "modern equipment". I'm guessing they didn't get Popular Science in the Soviet Union?
    Well, the very first sentence does say "Our vacuum tube industry is manufacturing hundreds of types of radio tubes, many of which are obsolete." So the writer(s) were aware that not all the valves they were describing were state of the art.

    I wonder when news of Bardeen & Brattain's work on the transistor reached countries behind the Iron Curtain? The secret was definitely out by 1956, when they got the Nobel Prize, but that was nine years after their first laboratory success in 1947.

    It amazes me that valves are still in use today (albeit in niche products), more than a hundred years after the invention of the vacuum triode. Wikipedia says the 6V6 and 6L6 were introduced in 1936, eighty two years ago!

    -Gnobuddy

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    The first transistor I remember was the CK722, which came out in 1953. Magazines like Popular Electronics had little projects based on them. So I doubt the iron curtain countries were unaware of transistors. The CK722 was a junction transistor rather than the point contact types they made in 1947.

    There were a lot of entrenched technologies based on tubes, especially in the USSR. Just because a tube was obsolete didn't mean no one needed them.

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    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
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    Soviets were well aware of the transistor and all other advances, but at the beginning they were thought of as a Lab curiosity or sort of toy for grownups and in any case nobody thought they coukld handle real **power**

    Hey, even *today* radar transmitters, large Radio and TV transmitters, industrial heating stuff and lots other high power, high frequency needs are still tube powered, and simply there is no SS replacement for them.

    I remember reading a SF novel, (can´t remember the name now), written by one of the important Authors, think Alfred Bester or one similar range, where they are inside a Nuclear submarine and suspect somebody hid a homing transmitter to follow them, so they start pulling *octal* metal tubes (I bet the Author served in the Navy and got Electronics training there) and weigh them, comparing that to a printed table, and the dialog goes similar to: " 6AK6 , 23 grams ... check ...." on and on and one of them tells the other: "remember when everybody thought Transistors would replace Tubes? ... what a fiasco they were ..."
    The novel was written around 1956/58 .

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    Juan Manuel Fahey

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    Can we add that transistors were very prone to failure and specs were necessarily very loose...

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    Quote Originally Posted by J M Fahey View Post
    Hey, even *today* radar transmitters, large Radio and TV transmitters, industrial heating stuff and lots other high power, high frequency needs are still tube powered, and simply there is no SS replacement for them.
    A couple of years ago, I found out for the first time about the Warsaw Radio Mast, which was the worlds tallest structure for many decades ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warsaw_radio_mast ).

    The gigantic antenna was driven by two million watts of transmitter power in the long-wave band around 220 kHz, and supposedly provided coverage over the entire earth; Polish expats all over the world relied on this station to keep abreast of what was happening "back home".

    An electrical sub-station was built near the mast, specifically to provide power for the two one-megawatt transmitters.

    I haven't been able to find out much more about those transmitters - obviously they were based on valves, and at one time I knew the name of the manufacturer, but that's all I could find out.

    But it is interesting to find that in Internet discussions these days, that we guitar players seem to consider 200 watts the pinnacle of valve amplifier power, while in fact two million watts was achieved in 1974, nearly forty five years ago.

    -Gnobuddy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnobuddy View Post
    But it is interesting to find that in Internet discussions these days, that we guitar players seem to consider 200 watts the pinnacle of valve amplifier power, while in fact two million watts was achieved in 1974, nearly forty five years ago.
    Well, we found the solution to all the bass players' problems...

    Justin

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    Supporting Member Jazz P Bass's Avatar
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    Then again, you would need 10,000 volts for the B+.
    -1000 volts bias.
    A circulating water cooler.
    And they weigh 135 ibs each.
    5831.pdf

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    There were, and maybe still are, some of the super high power transmitting tubes that had access panels. They could release the vacuum, do actual repairs inside the tube, close it up, and re-evacuate the tube.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazz P Bass View Post
    Then again, you would need 10,000 volts for the B+.
    -1000 volts bias.
    A circulating water cooler.
    And they weigh 135 ibs each.
    5831.pdf
    I fail to see a difference between that and a modern bass amp...
    I'm just kidding, only sorta...

    Justin

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    "... If an older Boogie and classic Marshall had a (clearly illegitimate) child and you baked it in an oven set to clown shit crazy." - Chuck H. -
    "When receiving a shock I emit a strange loud high pitched girlish squeak." - Alex R -
    "All I ever managed to do with that amp was... kill small rodents within a 50 yard radius of my practice building." - Tone Meister -

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    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Thomas View Post
    I fail to see a difference between that and a modern bass amp...
    Nowadays the amp weighs 3 lbs, makes 1000 watts, and is the size of an ice-cube. But the speaker/cab is still the size of a 'fridge and weighs 200 lbs...

    -Gnobuddy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnobuddy View Post
    Nowadays the amp weighs 3 lbs, makes 1000 watts, and is the size of an ice-cube. But the speaker/cab is still the size of a 'fridge and weighs 200 lbs...

    -Gnobuddy
    And sounds like a 200lb piece of plastic & rubber, too...

    Justin

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    "... If an older Boogie and classic Marshall had a (clearly illegitimate) child and you baked it in an oven set to clown shit crazy." - Chuck H. -
    "When receiving a shock I emit a strange loud high pitched girlish squeak." - Alex R -
    "All I ever managed to do with that amp was... kill small rodents within a 50 yard radius of my practice building." - Tone Meister -

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