baltimore electronics museum
- 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.
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))
> 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
> 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,
> "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
> 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."
> 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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