The home lab of Barrie Gilbert
Paul Rako - November 17, 2011
Analog Devices fellow Barrie Gilbert sent an email out that had a PowerPoint of his home lab. I doubt our web server would let us host a PowerPoint, so I just broke it up into HTML text and the pictures. Barrie looks pretty well set up there in the Portland Oregon forest. I want to post it in this blog so I can point to it in a post about Barrie’s rant to Bob Pease years ago. Oh, those were the days, when I would try to make peace between Barrie and Bob. That other post, actually a couple, since it is at 3000 words already, will appear in my other blog, Anablog, in a day or two.
I hope to publish Jim Williams home lab next on this blog, along with a few friends’ labs and maybe even my own. All comments with a bullet are Barrie’s. So without further adieu here is Barrie Gilbert’s home lab.
- This set of drawers beneath a couple of Western Electric relays and the ringer is full of tubes of special and nostalgic merit. They’re the ones I used to build my earliest radio sets and oscilloscopes. The open drawer is but a small sample. I love ‘em all, and tell ‘em so.
Ho-ho! here’s a tester to their rescue;
plug ‘em in and first they’ll glow, then
purr like tiger cubs, as the minuscule
& indivisible electrons begin to flow.
After they’ve confessed their low
gee-em they’ll ask you, sweating:
“OKAY… So, where’s the Show?”
These ancient guys are ever fretting;
ever at the ready, just to glow & GO!
- (Note this old-timer is a Du Mont ’scope on the far right. I have about two dozen scopes around the place.)
- Just by the door of the lab is this venerable Ballistic Galvanometer. I plan to illuminate its mirror with a small laser on the other side of the lab, and teach visiting kids about ‘charge’ the old-fashioned way. There’s a split-anode magnetron up on the shelf.
- In this first section, panning anti-clockwise around the lab, is a Tek 576, a Fluke high-voltage supply (to 5kV) another Fluke supply (dual ±900V), an HP microwave signal generator and spectrum analyzer, a Fluke 931 RMS voltmeter and some Tek 7000-series plug-ins.
- Still panning anti-clockwise around the lab, there is a nice old US Navy signal generator (tubes, of course), an HP RF Power Meter, an HP DMM, another HP spectrum analyser, and a Tek scope. I am working on the Khron-Hite LP/HP filter (in the front, open) whose power supply seems to have gone south.
- Round we go. Another cluster of useful stuff. Three slide-rules visible in this corner (1,2,3).
- The thinking station. ,Eight dozen javelin-sharp pencils. Gridded pad. My trusty ARISTO slide-rule. Genuine 18th-century eye-glasses. No computer…
- Et cetera. A Tek 545 and a 575 Curve Tracer, more HP stuff more power supplies and an IC probing platform. Everything in this microlab works - including the dozen or so venerable slide rules!
- Alicia’s ham shack - to use the vernacular. The main piece of radio equipment she uses is a Kenwood transceiver, but you can also see - toward the left of the desk - an ex-RAF R1155. This used to be my window on the world. There is also an old Tek Model 31 calculator, out of storage to show a visitor, with a view to donating it to a museum being developed for Tek oldies. The rest of the stuff stored on the shelves includes several old vacuum-tube voltmeters.
- In all, there are seven keyboards and another sixteen rack-mounted synths, including a Moog Voyager (here, at this level in the rack), plus two of Ray Kurzweil K-2000’s, two Yamaha Motifs, and many other music toys. One floor up, there is a MIDI-ed Yamaha grand, plus a spare one in the master bedroom.
- That’s a 10″ Revox recorder. It works beautifully, if tape is your thing (I still like it). There are several high-end cassette recorders, DATs, etc. The scores in the shelves are all of classical music, which I like to rearrange for synths.
Barrie could not resist the double-entendre of noting that was a Gilbert Mixer to the right of his chair. Barrie is well known for inventing the Gilbert cell signal mixer, an integrated transistor version of tube mixer circuits.