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Questions tagged [history]

For questions on the history of electricity and electronics.

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1answer
106 views

Why was the term electromotive “force” used instead of voltage or potential difference in original Faraday's law? [closed]

Faraday's law is always given as: ' I always wondered why a phenomenon which is totally "electrical" and electromagnetic has anything to do with a terminology from mechanics like "force". If there ...
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3answers
145 views

Were there any non microscopic integrated circuits?

There is something about history of computer hardware and ICs that confuses me - a jump from wardrobe dimensions of last generation of transistor computers to ICs which were so small as "the size of a ...
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4answers
128 views

Why could early displays not show white colours? [closed]

They were usually seen using green or orange text, but apparently because white was not possible for some reason?
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1answer
444 views

Who Discovered “Electric Potential”? [closed]

Who was the first person to appreciate the value and usefulness of normalizing electric potential energy to each charge carrier (i.e. electric potential)?
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1answer
51 views

Rationale for commonly occurring DC voltage magnitudes in electronics [duplicate]

Is there some rationale behind the frequently occurring voltage magnitudes in circuitry and sensors, such as 3.3V, 5V, 12V, etc.
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1answer
117 views

History of choice of 'Z' to represent high impedance?

I'm curious to know why 'Z' was chosen to represent high impedance state for types such as used in VHDL and VHDL-AMS's std_logic_1164 logic system: (image of page 789 of The System Designer's Guide ...
25
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3answers
8k views

Why are chip designers called “triangle pushers”?

I heard chip designers being described as "triangle pushers," the idea being that somehow the logic on the chip was formulated by arranging triangles on the silicon in certain ways. How does this work?...
3
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3answers
140 views

What device/component from the early 1940's can listen to only a specific narrow range of acoustic frequencies?

This website briefly describes the development of the first active acoustic homing torpedo of the US Navy: Investigation of the use of echo-ranging equipment or an "active" homing torpedo system ...
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4answers
4k views

Why don't ICs include bypass capacitors? [duplicate]

I'm a newbie to electronics, so apart from the obvious physical size issues there may be a clear reason as to why this is a dumb question, but if the general rule of thumb is to use a bypass capacitor ...
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3answers
1k views

Were mask ROMs with stock contents ever sold? or why not?

To clarify: did any of the mask ROM or discrete IC vendors make and sell ROMS (or effective ROMs optimized by giant Karnaugh map) with fixed non-proprietary contents that could be used in building a ...
6
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1answer
7k views

Joule–Lenz Law.. Forgotten history? [closed]

We are all, or should be, extremely familiar with this graphic. It is course the magic triangle used to represent Ohm's Law. We should all also be very familiar with the similar power triangle. ...
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6answers
5k views

How did old WW2-era radars accurately measure time delay and integrate this into an oscilloscope?

The speed of light is about 300,000 km per second. An error of just 1 ms would result in being off by about 300 km, which is far too much error for a radar. I would guess it needs accuracy on the ...
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1answer
377 views

AM Detector Peak Vs Average

The Envelope detector is over 100 years old .In its classic form it is a simple half wave diode that peak detects the carrier with the load resister and load capacitor time constant chosen to allow ...
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5answers
7k views

How did people realize they could do logic with electronics? [closed]

How did people realize they could do logic with electronics? Are there anecdotes or records of the first realizations? I'm wondering about the first "eureka" moments.
2
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1answer
331 views

history of edge-triggered D flip-flop design using three S-R latches

I'm interested in the history of the logic design for the edge-triggered D flip-flop, as used in the SN7474. The design is composed of three set-reset latches (six NAND gates total) per flip-flop. ...
25
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5answers
5k views

How were schematics drawn before CAD?

I was looking at the schematic of an old HP power supply I bought. It can be found here, around page 60-61. This schematic was drawn long before CAD was a tool used by engineers. Things were still ...
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1answer
74 views

Cost of early color monitor versus TV [closed]

Back in the seventies and eighties, an important design choice for a desktop computer was whether to use a television or a dedicated monitor for display. A monitor could give better resolution; on the ...
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2answers
1k views

The History of conventional current

I would like to ask why the first scientists choose the current flow from high voltage(High potential) to low voltage(Low potential) which we know that it's wrong.I had heard and read that they take a ...
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1answer
226 views

History and lineage of the MQ- series of MOS gas sensors? [closed]

MOS-type gas sensors (described below) have been around for almost a half-century. The original TGS-109 (Taguchi Gas Sensor 109) was introduced in about 1969! From http://www.figaro.co.jp/en/company/...
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1answer
676 views

The history of Electronic Knowledge [closed]

I am an Electronic Instructor. In each basic course I have to teach one chapter as " The History of Electronic Engineering " which does not take long. Nevertheless I have to give a short and clear-cut ...
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2answers
902 views

Why don't we say alternating voltage and direct voltage instead of AC and DC?

Considering that, usually, current is a consequence of a voltage over a load, why do we focus on current when talking about alternating or direct electrical quantities (i.e alternating current and ...
0
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2answers
245 views

Why it was not possible to use 256-QAM in the past

What is behind the progress of speed in digital communications? For example going from analog modems to high-speed DSL/DOCSIS on the same old metalic lines... Why wasn't for example 256-QAM possible ...
5
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2answers
702 views

When was the concept of the FPGA invented?

I've just finished reading Charles Petzold's book, Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software. In it Charles explains building relays into gates, gates into logic components, and ...
4
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1answer
335 views

How did bipolar IC density compare to MOS ICs?

Historically, how did the density of bipolar (e.g. TTL) chips compare with MOS? How complex could bipolar ICs get before they hit limits? Does anyone have a Moore's law-style graph for bipolar ...
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3answers
3k views

Why is it “Vactrols” are not commonly used?

I've been trying to get my hands on some Vactrols (opto-variable resistor) for a long time, unsuccesfull. Not even digikey has them. some examples: VTL5C2,VTL5C3,NSL32 Can't see them as "too ...
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3answers
4k views

How did scientists deal with electronics' problems before Kirchhoff and Ohm's laws?

Both physicists developed really powerful laws which still nowadays rule the electronic behavior of circuits. These help us every day to solve problems, calculate circuit variables… but how did ...
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5answers
657 views

What is the origin of the capacitance formula?

Everyone knows capacitance is defined as C = Q/V, but why? Sure I understand the utility of it and its use, but can someone provide a motivation or historical context for this definition? I'm unable ...
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3answers
866 views

Introduction dates of different 74xx or 40xx chips?

The 74xx family debuted in 1964 with the 7400 chip, and the 4000 family debuted in 1968, but not all chips with 74xx or 40xx part numbers debuted anywhere near that time. If one wanted to invent a ...
2
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1answer
96 views

What were gate length of early SSI circuits?

Just curious about early IC history. Wikipedia tells about IC nodes starting with 10 micron, but I'm curious what people produced before that, in 1960s.
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0answers
156 views

History of technology [closed]

Not sure this is the place for this question, but… I have an interest in the history of very early radio technology. There are plenty of sources on who did what when and where, but very little on ...
22
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1answer
3k views

Does anyone know the history of the earth ground symbol

I Googled for hours, asked every EE professor in my college, then checked every electrical engineering book in my university's library (hours), and have found nothing about the history of the ground ...
1
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1answer
82 views

Anyone remember a rotary dial adder project from the early 1980s? [closed]

When I was a kid in the early 80s in the US, I remember coming across a published electronics project that involved a rotary dial from a telephone and small lamps, which I think was a simple adder. I ...
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2answers
132 views

finding old datasheets

I am reverse engineering a old circuit board, probably from the late seventies (specifically an Enteron sk-1600-a industrial controller), And I am having trouble finding data sheets. Firstly I am ...
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4answers
5k views

Why was a capacitor called a condensor (condenser?) in the early days of electronics?

I refurbish old tube type radios. I know when I was a child, my father referred to capacitors as condensors (condenser?). I see references to condenser in old manuals and parts lists. I know ...
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1answer
7k views

Why are there types A and B in ISO 14443?

I'd like to understand why the ISO 14443 standard describes two types of interfaces, type A and type B. This answer talks about competing technologies brought forward by two different companies: ...
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1answer
873 views

What does a black bar across transformer symbol designate?

What does a black bar across a transformer symbol designate? This appears in a power electronics context, and in particular in this case with substituting a DC transformer as an equivalent circuit ...
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1answer
1k views

History — Analog IC Family Trees — Any references showing evolution? [closed]

Take an ancient and honorable IC, say the 741 opamp, or the 555 timer, or the 193 comparator. My historical memory is faulty, but I believe they were the first of their kind. Designs are always ...
13
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2answers
967 views

What power limitations was chirped radar designed to overcome?

Chirped Pulse Amplification (CPA) is an optics technique, winner of the 2018 Nobel Prize in physics, which is used for producing short laser pulses at intensities which are high enough that the gain ...
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1answer
89 views

Cellular Modules Weird Voltage 3.8V [closed]

Does anyone know why cellular modules run at 3.8V instead of 5V or 3.3V? It seems weird that a different voltage was chosen to run them. I have seen some run at 1.8V and 2.8V. Thanks. Edit: To make ...
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2answers
257 views

When were 3-pin voltage regulators introduced?

I can't seem to find this answer anywhere, i'll feel pretty dumb if someone is able to find it doing a quick google search. But.... I've had not luck. When were the first 3 pin voltage regulator ICs ...
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1answer
3k views

Identify the manufacturer of these circuit boards?

At a surplus sale, a friend picked up a large number of old circuit boards, probably 30-40 in all. Here's the box: All the boards seem to be made by the same manufacturer and probably come from the ...
2
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2answers
377 views

First chip with 1000 or more transistors?

I am wondering what was the first chip ever with over 1000 transistors? I already am aware of the following: The Intel 4004 was the first commercially available single-chip microprocessor and it was ...
5
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2answers
221 views

How were Ben Franklins “positive” and “negative” assignments passed down through the years?

I've spent quite a lot of time now researching what I can find online about the story of how Ben Franklin assigned the terms positive and negative to what had previously been called vitreous and ...
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2answers
147 views

Historical electronic components used in computers

Early computers used vacuum tubes and relays as active components to process information. Later on, transistors replaced those as the main components used in computers development (transistorized ...
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1answer
75 views

Do new LCD TVs have TFT?

I am writing an essay about LCDs. None of the websites I've used mention anything about the dates and eras that newer technologies were used in LCDs, so wondering, does anyone know whether TFT is ...
7
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2answers
5k views

When and why did 5.8 GHz become an ISM band?

It's common knowledge that the 2.4 GHz band was set aside for industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM) purposes due to its use in microwave heating. From what I've found, the United States proposed ...
5
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1answer
156 views

Who sets “standard component” standards?

For example: the LM317. Wikipedia says it was invented by National Semiconductor employees in 1970 — but now if I search for "LM317 datasheet" the results include PDFs from Fairchild Semiconductor, ...
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3answers
2k views

What does the D stand for in “D Flip-Flop”?

I'm rather interested in the history of eletrical engineering, and I've seen some discussion here and there about the origin of the names of the various flip flop circuits. Some time ago I took part ...
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0answers
198 views

How much has the power density of electrical motors and generators changed in recent decades?

I would like to know how much lighter (if at all) a matched combination of an electrical motor and generator with a given power output would be today, compared to a similarly powerful combination ...
11
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1answer
1k views

History of the MSP430

This question crossed my mind today. What is the history of the MSP430? When did it start, what did it evolve from, why was it made (i.e. what goals was it trying to achieve/what technical ...