Welcome to Thermionic Emissions
The Strange Website Name
First an explanation, for the uninitiated, of the website name. The term "thermionic emissions", refers to the manner in which vacuum tube-type electronic devices manipulate electron flow to achieve a desired result. Specifically, the vacuum electron tube uses an heated filament, by itself or in conjunction with a metal plate called a cathode, to radiate a stream of electrons within (usually) a glass bulb. The bulb itself, whether glass or metal, generally has all gases evacuated, hence a vacuum.
This stream is then manipulated or altered by one or more screens, (think of a screen door) placed within the stream to produce the desired effect, usually amplification. Thus, "thermionic" refers to electron excitation by means of heat, and "emissions", refers to that flow. ALL vacuum tube type electronics operate on this principle. The above line drawing illustrates the principle of electron emission very well. The tube in the photo is known as a beam power amplifier due to the way in which the deflector plates, or "beam confining electrodes", directs the flow of electrons into a narrow path. Outside of the deflector plates, most all other tubes operate exactly as the beam-power tube.
Simple! Now that you know about the name, the question naturally arises as to why I gave this site such an esoteric moniker. The reason is that ALL of the electronic gear I collect is of the tube type. The unique, and elegant manner that tubes function has fascinated me since I first learned the underlying theory and principles when I was a lad of 19. "Solid State" (transistors and chips) in my book, can not compete with "Hollow State".
The purpose of this site is to showcase my private collection of vintage radio and radio related gear that I have amassed over the past twenty plus years. But that is not all. I also wanted to provide a venue to help other collectors by publishing data and information that may be useful to those in the antique radio and electronics hobby. As the title implies, this is MOSTLY a site devoted to tube-based electronic devices. But collecting, like most human endeavors, can be an evolving one. Such has happened to me. Over the past five years or so, I have become quite passionate about test equipment built during the 1950 to 1970 period by Tektronix Inc. The quality built into their oscilloscopes, generators, and other equipment during that time frame was cutting edge and world-leading. I have now amassed a respectable collection of devices from this company. While most of the gear I have from Tek is tube-based, several pieces are partially solid state, and a few are completely devoid of tubes. So, while most of the devices you find on these pages have tubes, a few won't.