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baltimore electronics museum

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  • doug humphrey
    I used to work in the building next to this place - part of Airport Square - well, next to where it USED to be when it was being given space by Westinghouse
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 19, 2007
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      I used to work in the building next to this place - part of Airport
      Square - well, next to where it USED to be when it was being
      given space by Westinghouse Defense Electronics - it has
      moved a block or two since.

      If you are into it, this place is very one of a kind. Books, that you
      can sit down and read, actual parts and systems of old radars,
      receivers and transmitters, some sigint gear from yesterday, and
      staffed at the time I was there by ex-Westinghouse guys who
      worked on lots of it.

      I once had an obscure question about ALQ-131 (jammer) stuff,
      nobody working for W knew, but the retired W guys had it all in
      their heads. In fact, I spent the whole day there with them and
      got a weeks worth of research done, easy. (it was an obscure
      manufacturing oriented question - not a capabilities question)

      so super highly recommended - not really for normal people,
      more for old crows or just those into the tech, or the history
      of the tech.

      doug

      p.s. the NSA museum is nearby too - so you can easily hit them
      both - the both have funny hours though, so make sure that you
      check to avoid disappointment.







      > 3. Historical Electronics Museum
      > Posted by: "P Rosa" prosa@... bluemoon25425
      > Date: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:56 am ((PST))
      >
      >
      > http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/bal-
      > md.radar19nov19,0,840465.story
      >
      > baltimoresun.com
      > German radar lands in Linthicum
      > Captured World War II antenna ends long journey at Electronics Museum
      > By Frank D. Roylance
      >
      > Sun reporter
      >
      > November 19, 2007
      >
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      > A 22-foot German radar antenna, once used by Nazi forces to track
      > Allied bombers in Europe during World War II, found a new home
      > yesterday in Linthicum, the latest exhibit at the Historical
      > Electronics Museum.
      >
      > In a cold breeze, a handful of museum members and staff grinned and
      > snapped pictures as a crew of four professional aircraft movers
      > unloaded sections of the "Wurzburg Riese" (Giant Wurzburg) dish
      > antenna from two flatbed trailers after a two-day drive from Omaha,
      > Neb.
      >
      > "It's in good shape," said Ralph Strong, a 1991 Westinghouse
      > retiree and former president of the museum's board of directors.
      > "It's got a couple of dings in it, but the metal itself has come
      > through extremely well."
      >
      > Most of the aluminum-magnesium alloy antenna still shows its
      > original green paint, with a few painted German letters and numbers
      > visible. A modern coat of red has nearly washed away. "Hopefully it
      > will survive as well in Maryland's humidity," Strong said.
      >
      > The move ended with one unexpected hitch.
      >
      > Unable to maneuver their trucks close enough to the 20-foot stand
      > the museum had prepared on a side lawn, the movers had to lower the
      > three dish sections onto a gravel bed near the museum's main
      > entrance. In 45 minutes, it rested near several other early radar
      > antennas, including a Baltimore-built SCR-270 like the one that
      > spotted Japanese planes approaching Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.
      >
      > The Giant Wurzburg dish will stay put until the museum can hire
      > riggers to reassemble and hoist it onto its stand, said museum
      > director Mike Simons.
      >
      > The nonprofit Historical Electronics Museum, at 1745 W. Nursery
      > Road, is little-known beyond the fraternity of electronics
      > engineers and former employees of Baltimore's defense electronics
      > industry, including Westinghouse and its successor, Northrop Grumman.
      >
      > It was founded in 1980 by Robert Dwight, a former manager of
      > administration at the Westinghouse plant, with grants from the
      > Maryland Historic Trust, the Institute of Electrical and
      > Electronics Engineers and others. Its mission is to preserve the
      > industry's heritage of invention and ingenuity.
      >
      > Dwight, 85, was on hand with his camera yesterday for the arrival
      > of the Giant Wurzburg antenna. "Westinghouse and Northrop Grumman
      > probably built more radars than anyone else in the world," he said.
      >
      > The museum receives 25,000 visitors a year. "There's no place else
      > in the country where you can see this stuff," said Simons.
      >
      > Displays range from early radio sets to World War II-era naval,
      > airborne and ground-mobile radar units, jamming devices and modern
      > phased-array radar antennas. It's all housed in 22,000 square feet
      > of display and meeting space leased from Northrop Grumman.
      >
      > The Giant Wurzburg antenna was developed by the Telefunken Co. and
      > demonstrated for Adolf Hitler in 1939. Hundreds were subsequently
      > built for the Nazis by the Zeppelin Co., with the same technology
      > of lightweight riveted supports used in Germany's dirigibles.
      >
      > The Giant Wurzburg 44-mile effective range was almost double the 28-
      > mile range of its smaller predecessor. It was used along the
      > occupied coast from France to Norway to track incoming Allied
      > bombers. Each was paired with a second Wurzburg dish that tracked
      > and guided German fighters.
      >
      > Some Allied planes carried radar jammers effective in blinding the
      > Wurzburg radar, Strong said.
      >
      > Simons has been unable to learn where the museum's unit was
      > captured. But it was brought to the United States in the late
      > 1940s. It became the red member of a red, white and blue trio used
      > in Sterling, Va., by the Bureau of Standards to conduct solar
      > research.
      >
      > In 1952, the antenna was shipped to Table Mountain in Colorado,
      > where scientists hoped a quieter radio environment would benefit
      > their research. But the dish was abandoned a few years later and
      > became a nesting site for Steller's jays.
      >
      > Last year the Department of Commerce agreed to donate the dish to
      > the Historical Electronics Museum. It was moved from Colorado to
      > Omaha by Worldwide Aircraft Recovery Ltd., to await the fundraising
      > and local permits needed to bring it to Baltimore - at a cost of
      > nearly $30,000.
      >
      > Worldwide's driver, Marty Batura, said the odd-looking cargo
      > attracted plenty of attention from fellow truckers.
      >
      > "Where you taking that big mosquito net?" one driver asked him via
      > CB radio. "One other fella thought that it was something out of
      > Star Wars." Told that it was an old Nazi radar antenna, the trucker
      > replied, "I'll be damned."
      >
      >
      > frank.roylance@...
      >
      > The Historical Electronics Museum is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
      > weekdays, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. Admission is free. For
      > more information: www.hem-usa.org.
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
      >
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