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The 'B' rectifier and the birth of Raytheon

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Forum » Manufacturer's / brands history » Tube manufacturers » The 'B' rectifier and the birth of Raytheon
           
Emilio Ciardiello
Emilio Ciardiello
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09.Sep.18 12:25

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The B rectifier was one of the very early cold-cathode gaseous types, introduced by American Appliance Company in 1925. It was intended to be used in B+ battery eliminators. Early productions were run by Champion Lamp Works in Peabody, Massachusetts.

Its operating principles took origins from studies made years before by C.G. Smith on the spectrum of a bright blue star, Zeta Puppis, showing the presence of ionized helium. In 1922 Smith, who had conducted subsequent experiments on low-pressure helium, succeeded in developing at AMRAD the first cold-cathode helium-filled rectifier, the S-tube. When AMRAD went out of business, American Appliances Company hired Smith to continue the development of gas rectifiers. The result was a full-wave type, intended as B+ battery eliminator in radio sets. The most attractive name proposed for the new tube was Raytheon, a euphonic neologism for ‘light of gods’, referring to the helium light rays from Zeta Puppis. Since another firm from Indiana was claiming its priority in the name American Appliances Company, on 25 October 1925 the name just proposed for the new tube was extended to the company.

So we have at one time the birth of Raytheon and of the very early electron tube of its impressive history, the ‘B’ full wave rectifier. Not needing a separate filament winding, the ‘B’ rectifier was very successful and was soon followed by improved variants, ‘BH’ and ‘BA’ with increased voltage and current ratings. The BH appeared as soon as RCA introduced its UX171, designed to handle its 180 V plate voltage. Below one of the Raytheon ads of 1927, with the company name between the two halves of a radiating star.

Source: Otto J. Scott, The Creative Ordeal, the Story of Raytheon

 

Dietmar Rudolph
Dietmar Rudolph
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09.Sep.18 13:35

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Information about the "German Raytheon Tube" is found on the model page RGN1500.

Further information on the function of the RGN1500 glow rectifier can be found under "RGN1500 (RGN1500): Replacement circuit ".

The post is in German. For translation into English the translator DeepL can be recommended.

Regards, Dietmar

This article was edited 09.Sep.18 15:08 by Ernst Erb .

Emilio Ciardiello
Emilio Ciardiello
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10.Sep.18 16:11

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Many thanks Prof. Rudolph for your kind note. Unfortunately I am not able to appreciate every details: the translator only works for the text of your articles and not for the original articles reprinted there. Just looking at the images, I can guess that the RGN1500 was similar if not fully equivalent to Raytheon BH. If this was the German version of BH, likely it was produced under a license agreement.

Anyway the name Raytheon was used just for the Type B rectifier made by American Appliance Co. in November 1925. By December Raytheon was the new name of American Appliance and their rectifiers name changed to B, followed by BA and BH. Did Telefunken made other types from this rectifier line? Worth to know more on this exchange of products across the pond.

By the way, here are the two successive ads, from November and December 1925 Radio News. The first one for the first time announces the 'Raytheon' tube by American Appliance. Even an article on the tube is in that issue. The second one, only one month later, shows a B tube from Raytheon Mfg. Co., formerly American Appliances.

Emilio

 

 

  
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