Semiconductor Document Library


Here's a PDF image scan of the historic Sylvania products booklet, 28 Uses for Junction Transistors.  This little booklet, from 1955, introduced amateurs and hobbyists to the famous 2N35, 2N34, and 2N68 junction transistors.  It is hard for us today to appreciate how revolutionary was the introduction of the transistor to the hobby world.

54 pages, 1.7 MB

Simple Crystal Diode Circuits is an undated publication from Sylvania Electric Products.  This is a 34-page booklet that contains some simple but rather advanced introductory circuits.  Examples are: peak-to-peak television voltmeter probe, low frequency multiplier, FM-TV discriminator, bridged T-phase modulator, and germanium triode power supply; 40 projects in all.  

38 pages, 6.9 MB

Sylvania's Electronic Shortcuts for Hobbyists: 24 Simplified Crystal Diode Applications for the Home Hobbyists, Experimenter and Model Maker is a 1951 publication presenting germanium diode projects using 1N34, 1N55, and 1N56 components.  Projects include timer, polarity checker, AC measurement adapter, inductive-kick quencher, charger, relay, door chime, photocell, crystal radio, metronome, power supply, and others. 

42 pages, 1.4 MB

In 1952, Sylvania published a little booklet entitled Crystal Diode Circuit Kinks: More New Uses for Germanium Diodes.  The little 36-page booklet is filled with simple circuits using 1N34, 1N35, 1N54, 1N56, and 1N58 germanium diodes.  Some of the published circuits are of more than historical interest.  They could be put to ready use on my workbench today!

25 pages, 1.4 MB

Here is the Sylvania booklet, 40 Uses for Germanium Diodes.  This may have preceded the above titles although the booklet itself carries no date anywhere.  The circuits described in this publication are not your ordinary hobby-demonstration circuits.  They include schematics for such things as "Compact Series-Shunt Impulse Noise Limiter," "Low-Voltage Bias Supply," and an "External Modulator for Signal Generators."

25 pages, 886 KB

Sylvania published quite a few small booklets for electronic hobbyists.  Here is another from 1958: Performance-tested TRANSISTOR Circuits, containing 36 typical circuits - light meter, tachometer, burglar alarm, metronome, electronic organ, etc.

65 pages, 7.9 MB

Sylvania's Transistor Circuit Handbook for the Hobbyist: 30 Useful Battery-Powered Transistor Circuits, published in 1960, has 30 projects developed by Sylvania Semiconductor Applications Engineering Group along with United Engineers, Inc.  Projects include the usual crystal receiver, audio amp, and model train horn along with novel items like a transistor beta checker, grid dip meter, theremin, modulator, and phase inverter. 

71 pages, 955 KB


This is a 1951 reprint of a Sylvania publication by Bernards of London.  It sold originally for "Two Shillings and Sixpence."  The Constructors Handbook of Germanium Circuits really shows the revolutionary impact of semiconductors on electronic hobbyists of the time. 

22 pages, 10 MB

Raytheon got into the act too, introducing their transistors, especially the CK722, to the hobbyist market with the publication, Raytheon Transistor Applications, More than 50 Practical Circuits using Raytheon CK722 Transistors.  This 120 page document is an 8.8 MB download.  The booklet doesn't have a publication date but I believe this is from 1955. 

120 pages, 8.8 MB

Whereas the first Raytheon publication was mostly a collection of reprints from electronic magazines their second effort in 1957 was a much more considered and deliberate text,  Raytheon Transistor Applications Volume II.  As it says on the cover, "All New Circuits with complete how-to-do-it instructions."  Volume II makes it apparent that the first volume was just thrown together.  For instance, the first 17 pages of Volume II cover transistor basics and a section on Practical Circuit Design with subsections on Amplifiers, Breadboarding & Bias Measurement, Interstage Coupling, DC Stabilization, Distortion, Oscillators, Transistor Installation, Etched Circuit Boards, Testing Transistors, and Power Supplies for transistor circuits.   It also uses other transistors besides the CK722.

62 pages, 2.9 MB

Here is a Raytheon reprint of an April 1952, article by John A. Doremus of Motorola originally appearing in the Radio-Electronic Engineering section of Radio & Electronic News.  The article, "Point-Contact and Junction Transistors," is an introductory piece presenting the physics and potential of the new devices.  Doremus predicts a bright future for the little components now that "five manufacturers are already 'in the business.'  These are Western Electric, General Electric, Raytheon, Sylvania, and RCA."  In the reprint, Raytheon added data sheets for the CK721 and CK722 transistors. 

8 pages, 207 KB

General Electric

Here is a marvelous little publication on the brand new technology of Tunnel Diodes.  Published by General Electric Research Laboratory in  November, 1959, this concise 24-page booklet carried monographs by Dr. Malcolm H. Hebb, Dr. Jerome J. Tiemann, and H. B. Fancher describing the quantum physics behind the tunnel diode along with applications for this technology.  Many thanks go to Dave Schoepf, W2GHZ, for making this document available. 

27 pages, 2.6 MB

This 2nd edition of the GE Transistor Manual: Circuits, Applications, Specifications is a treasure of detail on the early GE transistors.  It begins with an introduction to semiconductor physics and follows with basic circuit components that are well explained.  It proceeds with detail specs on the individual transistors including form-factor diagrams of even the pinched-top devices.  Finally, it has circuit diagrams for projects such as a vest pocket radio, amplifiers, flasher, flip-flop, phonograph amplifiers, pre-amp, power supply, and receivers.

115 pages, 2.3 MB

New NPN Junction Transistors for the Entertainment Market: Types 2N168, 2N169A, 2N169

New NPN Junction Transistors for the Entertainment Market: Type 2N168A

NPN Junction Transistor: Type 2N170

These appear to be page inserts in a 3-ring binder.  Click the image to download the PDF document. 

New PNP Junction Transistors for the Entertainment Market: Types 2N186, 2N186A, 2N187, 2N187A, 2N188, 2N188A, 2N189, 2N190, 2N191, 2N192


This tiny undated 8-page document from General Electric is clearly from the earliest introduction of the 2N107 transistor: Type 2N107 TRANSISTOR CIRCUITS For EXPERIMENTERS AMATEURS.   The publication shows six very basic circuits, although one, the "TV Antenna Orientation Meter" is interesting in that it connects to the TV chassis ground and the picture tube grid in order to help the experimenter find their TV stations!  Some of the diagram labels are hand-written.

This is the one-page specification sheet for General Electric's 2N170 NPN junction transistor.  The listing includes an example circuit configuration for using the transistor as an amplifier along with physical outlines & dimensions of the transistor in a pinched-top form factor. 

RCA  -  Radio Corporation of America
The RCA Transistors and Semiconductor Diodes brochure from 1957 contains an introduction on semiconductor physics along with detailed specifications on Germanium PNP transistors and a few semiconductor diodes (1N34-A, 1N38-A, 1N54-A, and 1N58-A), dimensional outlines, an interchangeability directory, and example circuits.  You'll find two-, four-, five-, and six-transistor broadcast radio receivers, audio amplifiers, phonograph amplifiers, 455-Kc IF amps, microphone preamplifier, signal tracer probe, telephone pickup, grid-dip meter, code practice oscillator, power supply, and a hearing aid. 

32 pages, 1 MB

The RCA Semiconductor Products brochure from 1960 contains detailed specifications on dozens of RCA silicon rectifiers, diodes, germanium transistors, and silicon transistors, together with dimensional outlines, an interchangeability directory and, most importantly, example circuits.  You'll find two-, four-, five-, and six- transistor radio circuits plus RF amplifiers, oscillators, preamps, a 25-watt high-fidelity amplifier, digital circuits, and the typical hobby projects like a flasher, signal tracer, thermostat, code practice oscillator, grid-dip meter, and telephone pickup amplifier.  This is an update to the 1957 publication listed above. 

40 pages, 2.11 MB.   

This RCA Semiconductor Product Guide, dating from 1963, is much smaller than the above guide.  It contains product specifications for dozens of components including:
  • Power Switching Transistors
  • VHF Amplifier Transistors
  • RF/IF small-signal & large-signal amplifiers
  • Computer Switching Transistors
  • Thyristors
  • Digital Microcircuits
  • Tunnel  Diodes
  • Tunnel Rectifiers
  • Ferrite Cores
  • Transfluxors
  • Ferrite Memory Planes
  • Memory Systems
  • Silicon Diffused-Junction Rectifiers
  • Silicon Controlled Rectifiers
  • Military Spec Transistors & Rectifiers
  • Compensating Diodes
  • Photoconductive, Photojunction, & Photovoltaic Cells
  • Varactors
  • Micromodules

But, alas, no example circuits. 

12 pages, 1.9 MB

This little pamphlet introduces transistors to the technicians who service RCA radio and television products.  The RCA Transistors Introduction to Theory-Circuits compares transistors with tubes, covers the atomic theory, and outlines the principles of basic transistor circuits.

16 pages, 1.4 MB

Allied Radio

Understanding Transistors: Allied's Handbook of Transistor Fundamentals is not so much a project book as it is a tutorial on transistor physics and elementary circuits.   It does cover a collection of Knight-Kit projects including schematic diagrams and text explanations for each kit. 

66 pages, 1.45 MB



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