Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Lab grown quartz crystals: How its done.

Following up on yesterdays post regarding the manufacture of radio crystals from natural quartz crystals, I was able to find this video from the AT&T archives showing the relatively new, at the time, method of growing quartz crystals in the laboratory.

The video, produced in 1962, shows first the frustrating failures and ultimately the ability of Bell Labs staff to reliably produce the invaluable quartz crystals.

Very little of the technology we value today would have been possible without the hard work and perseverance of these early pioneers.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Crystals Go to War - 1943

One of the things that always fascinated me about radio was the ability to take discrete components and craft something that could pluck invisible radio signals out of the air. Once I learned more about electronics, some of the magic was replaced by admiration for the many generations of engineers and experimenters that had developed the radio art. Until recently, the theory behind crystals had not solidified (crystallized?) in my mind and so they remained one of those "mysterious devices".

The following film, like most produced during WWII, is a thorough explanation of the history and technology behind radio crystals. It was produced at a period when crystals were instrumental in securing reliable communications between military units, saving lives and coordinating the moment of supplies, troops and equipment.

I hope you'll find it as interesting as I did.