I have 9 very odd transistors (as I think) that I got from a surprise electronic package from the electronic goldmine. The packaging is the oval metal cases with 2 wires sticking out and the case is the ground (I think). I did a datasheet search and found nothing so I am wondering if anybody has any info on these. I am also wondering if there is any cool circuit I can build with it, and if any are power MOSFETS I could use for a flyback driver (using my 555 PWM generator) Here is the list of what the labels say. 

1. Motorola logo










4 Motorola








Some are repeats, so that's why there is only 5.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Those parts are pretty old, there may not be online datasheets for them. Back in the day datasheets used to come in book format like this wps.com/J/solid-state-datasheets/Motorola/1961-catalog/images/… :) That was in the before time though. Motorola's transistor division was spun off as onsemi.com years ago. I did not find those parts listed there though. Maybe someone else can do better. \$\endgroup\$ – Some Hardware Guy Oct 17 '12 at 4:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ Can't help you, but if you can think of it, someone collects it. Try here? cpu-world.com/forum/… \$\endgroup\$ – Tony Ennis Oct 20 '12 at 3:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ Just want to add that it's really cool that you're into this stuff at the age of 14. I'm only a few years older, but old enough. Keep it up, the world needs people like you. \$\endgroup\$ – capcom Oct 20 '12 at 3:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ Having any luck with my specs? If you need new power transistors, next time look up the 2N3055(NPN), MJ2955(PNP). en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2N3055 these are inexpensive and have survived the decades and still used. You can still use the ones you got which are similar but like dinosaurs are extinct, whereas the ones I listed are also elephants and still popular. \$\endgroup\$ – Tony Stewart Sunnyskyguy EE75 Oct 23 '12 at 17:45

The last 4 digit code is the datecode in YYWW format ( year, week#) Late 80's rock N Roll transistors. Way past obsolete status, and once upon a time chased by "Shlockers" who sell hard to find parts at crazy prices for military spare parts. Probably broker surplus "dead inventory".

  • A8W is a Motorola NPN TO-3, 4A 70V
  • 1587538-1 is a Fairchild NPN TO-3 30A 60V 200W with an Allied Signal PN
  • HY386 is a Hyperion audio NPN TO-3. low gain high current 15A 60V 115W
  • 3007838-00 another power transistor like above.

Unfortunately these are not much use except if you have big heat sinks as an active load. The huge power ratings needed huge heatsinks.

Suggestion This specsheet is similar to all the above parts. You might be able to use them as LED light dimmers using DC strings of high power DC LED's or a voltage controlled power resistor. But don't waste too much time with them.

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The transistors found in any "grab-bag" package are nearly always discarded overstock from product manufacturers. They might even be parts that failed acceptance tests, meaning that they didn't meet their original specs (whatever they were) or are in fact completely nonfunctional.

Product manufacturers often have the semiconductor manufacturer mark the parts with a proprietary "house number" instead of the standard datasheet part number, partly to assist their own inventory control, and partly to obfuscate the circuit design (to prevent copying).

The numbers you have listed look like house numbers, and it's unlikely that you will find the corresponding datasheets anywhere.

What you can do is use an ohmmeter to identify what type (NPN or PNP) they are, and this will also tell you which pin is the base connection. If you can borrow or get access to a transistor curve tracer, you can get some idea of whether they're at all functional and what their low-frequency characteristics might be. But in general, you're going to have to use them as very generic parts, without assuming any special characteristics, unless you test specifically for those characteristics first.

At some point, you're going to have to make a decision as to whether using these transistors is worth the time and effort it takes to characterize them vs. just going out and purchasing a transistor for which you can get the datasheet.

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