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Why aren't these guys dead by the end of the video? - Open Magnetron Tube

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  • #16
    I, too, put a hitch in the USN 50 years ago. I was an ETR-2. A 2nd class petty officer who worked on radars.
    My radar was an AN/SPS-29C. An air search radar that put out 250KW peak. The plate voltage on the output tube was greater than 20KV. The power supply for this tube had 2 each 18 inch tall thyratron tubes that glowed a weird purple and buzzed quite loudly. The pwr. supply cabinet had warning signs about limiting exposure that were ignored. Hmmm, I don't have children either.
    The output tube was silver plated to reduce resistance at skin effect frequencies. The tube tarnished and had to be cleaned. The final step was wiping down with sick bay 190 proof grain alcohol that didn't leave any residue. I drew the alky from sick bay and was returning to my space via a passageway when I encountered an old BM-2(boatswain mate). He asked to see what I was carrying and I handed it to him. Some how he had recognized the nondescript can for what it was. Looking around and seeing no one, he quickly unscrewed the cap and knocked
    back a couple without making a face. He probably was less than 45 years old but the booze, cigarettes, relentless sun and weather had did a number on him. He looked worse then than I do now at 70 and I'm no fountain of youth.
    My brother was 18 months older and had joined the navy 4 months before me. He was an Aviation Electronics Technician. 1965 found him serving on ships of the line off the coast of Vietnam. He was temporarily assigned to fly drones for ships gunnery practice. While close ashore he was exposed to agent orange that had drifted seaward after being sprayed on coastal jungle. Move the clock forward 24 years and my brother has non Hodgkins lymphoma. Coincidentally, it's the same lymphoma found by the Defense Dept. at elevated levels among those exposed to agent orange. Of course our government denied all responsibility. Move the clock forward 10 years and my brother is dead. My brother fought for 8 years for his rightful benefits and finally won. The disease was more relentless than the VA.
    Isn't it odd that present circumstances closely emulate those of times past. "Actions" that were enabled by falsehoods-The Gulf of Tonkin Incident and the Weapons of Mass Destruction. The extraordinary powers granted Johnson and Bush that resulted in debacle and tragedy. All for nothing.
    It's a good life but you got to be strong.
    Larry on Lake Superior

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    • #17
      50kv is at the low end of what it takes to generate xrays. Microwave ovens run at under 5kv. Xrays form a very small part of the total energy consumed in a vacuum tube - on the order of 1%. The commercial marine radars I worked on were 25 and 60kw with plate voltages quite a bit under that required to create xrays. Because of the PRF (pulse frequency) and short pulse length the average power was quite low. The pulse width is measured in microseconds and has be be less than the round trip speed of light to the closest desired target. The pulse energy for 3 miles is far less than for 60 miles. Marine surface scanning radar antennas have a very narrow beam in the horizontal plane but are quite wide on the vertical plane. This allows a ship to pitch and roll while maintaining a target. The degree of fanning reduces the energy/square foot and that energy fall off quickly with distance.

      Xrays cannot be directed by the antenna feed be it coaxial or waveguide. None of the radars I worked with were ever placarded for xray radiation hazard. The only radar I ever worked on was on a Russian ship that had the transceiver in the wheel house and the antenna was feed by wave guide. It was a dual system capable of S-band and X-band frequencies. The x-band was fed by a waveguide that also served as the inner conductor of a coaxial transmission line for the S-band radar. It was inside an outer sheath that formed the shield for the coaxial line that fed the S-band scanner. With two magnetrons, two thyratrons, and two klystrons it was the densest cluster of VHV gear I'd ever worked on. It also had two vacuum tube IF amplifier strips. I had the distinct feeling the S-band radar was also an air-search unit. They're normally used to penetrate weather at sea that will block x-band frequencies, but this bugger was capable of far more power than the 25kw we normally see.

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      • #18
        Had a babysitter once who tried to light our gas oven. Took awhile to get it lit- gas flowing all the time- suddenly- POOF! She kind of got blown out of it, burned her hair. Dangerous bloody things- I'll stick to cooking CDs in microwave ovens.
        I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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        • #19
          And you trusted her with your kids?


          Originally posted by darryl View Post
          Had a babysitter once who tried to light our gas oven. Took awhile to get it lit- gas flowing all the time- suddenly- POOF! She kind of got blown out of it, burned her hair. Dangerous bloody things- I'll stick to cooking CDs in microwave ovens.
          Paul A.
          SE Texas

          Make it fit.
          You can't win and there IS a penalty for trying!

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          • #20
            I was one of the kids- I tried to tell her how to light it, but she didn't do it right-
            I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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