What was your involvement
with the Flyable TRADIC?
Early in the design of the
TRADIC flyable model my supervisor told me that I was the "circuit
pack expert"! I didn't do the
original design, but as the project progressed it was my job to make
modifications as required to optimize circuit performance. I also made several emergency overnight
train trips to Greensboro,
NC to solve production
problems. The packs were
manufactured in the Western Electric plant in Greensboro.
Another of my
responsibilities was to install and tune resonant circuits in each
equipment cabinet to maintain the correct phase relationship among the four
phases of the one megahertz clock.
Point contact transistors
were somewhat unpredictable, not well understood, and didn't lend
themselves to detailed circuit analysis.
A jet of cold air was directed to each transistor in the system to
prevent lock-up. Transistor lockup
caused the pulse transformer to overheat, explode, and blow a hole in the
circuit pack. The packs were
encapsulated and could not be repaired except for transistor
replacement. Transistors were not
included in the encapsulation.
To Coonce Oral History, Pg 3