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A.S.E. – Associazione Storia dell’Elettronica

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A.S.E. – Association on the History of Electronics

 Last updated Aug. 08, 2015


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This page is still in preparation. At the moment you can only access some articles and the English catalog of the personal collection of Emilio Ciardiello, ‘Edelpro Museum’.

Emilio Ciardiello devoted part of his life to the design of solid-state circuits and systems for industries and research laboratories. Among the others he designed 23 ASICs, both digital and mixed types, mostly for Alenia and for European Community projects. From the late nineties he started to collect vacuum tubes and old electronic equipment. He has given an important contribution to the historical reconstruction of the development of the first microwave tubes in the English radar. He is also member of Radiomuseum, ofA.I.S.I. -Associazione Italiana Storia dell’Ingegneria and of TCA, Tube Collectors Association. Recently honored with the 1916 TCA Stokes Award. 

A.S.E. in Italian is the acronym of ‘Associazione per la Storia dell’Elettronica’ or Electronics History Association. It was created to preserve the memory of relevant achievements of a discipline that grew basically in the twentieth century and led to a radical change in our customs and lifestyles. The name itself was derived from those particles, known as electrons, upon which electronic tubes operated in vacuum or in a rarefied atmosphere. Vacuum tubes are now gone, replaced by cold solid-state dices integrating complete systems. The knobs and tools that allowed the technicians in white smocks to monitor and adjust the proper functioning of the equipment have been replaced by built-in artificial intelligence, with touch-screens and ‘menus’, accessible by children and housewives. Today we live surrounded by ‘electronic’ useless gadgets of any kind, but among nanotechnologies, LEDs, optical fibers and so-called electronic cigarettes, nothing is left of traditional electronics and even the memory of the various conquests of so many pioneers, is quickly vanished.

A.S.E. wants to contribute to keep alive in the younger generations the memory of some of the conquests and of those men who devoted their lives to the progress of this discipline. We decided to show, explain and discuss some of the most significant and beautiful masterpieces among those made at a time when designs were inspired to the maximum efficiency and reliability and then assembled manually by skilled craftsmen.

A.S.E. starts with components, instrumentation and various equipment, collected and partially cataloged in recent years by Emilio Ciardiello. It is a collection of some hundreds electronic sets and of more than one thousand different types of electronic tubes, mostly special types. They allow visitors to appreciate the evolution in electronics by comparing different solutions and shapes occurred over the years in each sector. Most of the exhibits were completed with their original manuals or datasheets and sometimes with explicative or historical notes. A synthetic card contains photos and relevant features of each exhibit. Monographs that explain the principles of operation and evolution of little known families were added whenever available. The collection is still growing, including more recent equipment and components, dating around the transition to solid state, as long as they are of some interest to evaluate the evolution in the sunset years of vacuum tubes. Worth of mention is the collection of vacuum tubes intended for radar applications, with extremely rare or unique samples from England, America, Germany and Japan. Among them there are the first laboratory prototype of the E1189 cavity magnetron, some true Sutton klystrons and even some unique German magnetrons. Several rare tubes come from the today dispersed collections of the GEC Research Laboratories and of the late Rodney Burman, a well known British collector, The latter is described in the catalogs of some exhibitions: MM90, M94, MRF96.

Any contributions, information as well as donations, even in tubes, books and sets, are greatly appreciated.

A list of the major families of equipment and components in the collection is given below.

  1.     Home radio sets, including about 40 AM/FM German tube radios from 1950 to 1965.
  2.     Magnetic tape recorders, mainly reel-to-reel but even cassette.
  3.     Audio amplifiers and related sets, including turntables, cartridges and vinyl records.
  4.     Radio equipment, receivers, transmitters and transceivers.
  5.     Signal generators and frequency meters, AC bridges, spectrum analyzers.
  6.     Vacuum tube analog oscilloscopes, mostly Tek series 500, and related accessories.
  7.     Tube and transistor tester sets from Italy, GB and USA.
  8.     AC/DC voltmeters, multimeters, voltage standard references, DC bridges.
  9.     Early vacuum tubes, with samples from 1915 to 1930.
  10.   Transmitting tubes, including forced-air and water cooled types.
  11.   VHF and UHF tubes, all-glass and cermet.
  12.   Microwave velocity-modulated tubes, including Heil tubes, klystrons, TWTs.
  13.   A special overview is reserved to radar magnetrons with very early types
  14.   Special tubes for radar applications, including hard modulators, mixers, spark-gaps.
  15.   Sensors, including vacuum, magnetic fields, vibration and mass.
  16.   Counting tubes, dekatrons, trochotrons and other beam switches.
  17.   Special devices, including ‘phasitrons’ and lab demo tubes.
  18.   Cathode ray tubes for oscilloscopes and radar indicators.
  19.   Surveys dedicated to tubes made by REL and by ELSI / ELTEL.

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Contacts: info@ase-museoedelpro.org           Go to the virtual museum