Mechanical equivalents of electronic things?

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Frenemy90210

Only recently, just 2-3 years ago, I discovered Mechanical TV, Mechanical amplifier. I was pleasantly surprised. Mechanical TV was invented by Beard. Mechanical amplifier uses air pump to amplify the sound, completely avoiding any electronics. Also, it seems there exists mechanical frequency filters such as low-pass filters or band pass filters. Edison's phonograph was a mechanical equivalent of today's audio-recording and player machine. Music box that employs camshaft also may be thought of as a mechanical equivalent of an music producing machine from ROM.
I was wondering are there any other such Mechanical equivalents of electronic devices ?
 

.Scott

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jim hardy

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I remember an article about 1966 written by two engineers at GE.
The had built an "Electronic Digital Slide Rule" with Nixie tube readout .
It was awfully big by today's standards - they mounted it in a fishing tackle box which it filled completely.
It did four function arithmetic and transcendentals using rate multipliers which are electronic equivalent of gears.. So it was halfway between binary and analog computing.
They predicted it would be shirt pocket size within a decade. Seemed mighty far fetched at the time.
This is i believe their patent

upload_2017-10-11_23-20-8.png


Sure enough, by 1972 they were on the market.
 
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Google up 'fluid logic' or 'fluidics' and 'MONIAC'.
 

davenn

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I remember an article about 1966 written by two engineers at GE.
The had built an "Electronic Digital Slide Rule" with Nixie tube readout .
It was awfully big by today's standards - they mounted it in a fishing tackle box which it filled completely.
It did four function arithmetic and transcendentals using rate multipliers which are electronic equivalent of gears.. So it was halfway between binary and analog computing.
They predicted it would be shirt pocket size within a decade. Seemed mighty far fetched at the time.
This is i believe their patent....................
.
and the Chinese still like using an abacus :)
 
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Frenemy90210

and the Chinese still like using an abacus :)
Even in the banks, in Japan, they still use Abacus instead of calculators.
 

anorlunda

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TINCAN_PHONE04.png

speaking-tube.jpg

d8345825c755a12f446664118ba6048d.jpg



Below, semaphore telegraph
220px-Rees%27s_Cyclopaedia_Chappe_telegraph.png


shadow-box-puppet.jpg

8_inch_glass_thermometer.jpg

This is fun. I could go on all day.

The OP should just ask, "What could civilization do before electronics?"
 

.Scott

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Here's a replacement for the digital piano keyboard and a way of storing your piano music for automatic playback.
pianos-new-player.jpg
 
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The WW II Norden bomb sight employed a mechanical integrator to project the ground impact point for release at any particular moment. IIRC, this was a ball and disk integrator.
 

jim hardy

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I'd call those two "Capacitor" and "Insulation failure" :wideeyed:
 

tech99

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Only recently, just 2-3 years ago, I discovered Mechanical TV, Mechanical amplifier. I was pleasantly surprised. Mechanical TV was invented by Beard. Mechanical amplifier uses air pump to amplify the sound, completely avoiding any electronics. Also, it seems there exists mechanical frequency filters such as low-pass filters or band pass filters. Edison's phonograph was a mechanical equivalent of today's audio-recording and player machine. Music box that employs camshaft also may be thought of as a mechanical equivalent of an music producing machine from ROM.
I was wondering are there any other such Mechanical equivalents of electronic devices ?
An interesting example is the generation of radio waves using an alternator. One such is still in existence at Grimeton, Sweden, and can deliver 200kW at 40kHz. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varberg_Radio_Station
By the way, the correct name for the TV person is Baird. I met the man who built the first receiving unit for Baird.
 

tech99

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And that reminds me, what about the video recording which was done on 78rpm records? And how about the mechanical miracle of the video cassette recorder? And the teleprinter? Or the high definition, large screen TV display using an incredibly high speed mechanical scan made by Scophony in about 1938. It used an acoustic light modulator. And then there is the mechanical bombsight computer.
 
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In the event of an EMP attack, all would do well to recall these "primitive technologies." They would still work after an EMP, but most of our electronic gadgets will be toast.
 

sophiecentaur

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An interesting example is the generation of radio waves using an alternator. One such is still in existence at Grimeton, Sweden, and can deliver 200kW at 40kHz. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varberg_Radio_Station
By the way, the correct name for the TV person is Baird. I met the man who built the first receiving unit for Baird.
To he honest, apart from the fact that the mechanical scanning system was good for describing the principles, the Baird system was hopeless as a broadcasting system. It needed an intermediate film stage and a further scanning of the developed film image. I think it was only xenophobia that forced the BBC to use it in parallel with the Marconi System when Marconi should have been used exclusively from the start.
 

anorlunda

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In the event of an EMP attack, all would do well to recall these "primitive technologies." They would still work after an EMP, but most of our electronic gadgets will be toast.
It doesn't have to be an attack. Lightning will do the job. EMP from a lightning strike once wiped out all the electronics on my sailboat.

That is why my self-steering uses this mechanical beast rather than the electronic autopilot shown below.
m24.jpg
ST2000%20Autopilot.jpg
 

sophiecentaur

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That is why my self-steering uses this mechanical beast rather than the electronic autopilot shown below.
Mechanical beats electronic at sea whenever possible. A wind generator won't supply enough to run an tiller pilot when you are running down wind for hours on end. Your mechanical system will always work if the sails will.
 
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Ah, the problem is even closer at hand than I had thought!!
 

tech99

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It doesn't have to be an attack. Lightning will do the job. EMP from a lightning strike once wiped out all the electronics on my sailboat.

That is why my self-steering uses this mechanical beast rather than the electronic autopilot shown below.
View attachment 212929 View attachment 212930
And of course, the sextant allows navigation using Nature's "satellites" (just one really, the Moon, together with the Sun and 58 navigational stars).
Regarding Baird and television, he did demonstrate the first working system displaying half tones to Royal Society members in 1926, and broadcasts were made to the public by the BBC using the low definition 30 line system on borrowed AM transmitters from 1929 to 1932. Of course, later implementation was different, but so it is in many fields of innovation - Polio vaccination does not use the killed viruses of the original Salk vaccine, and we communicate without the sparks and coherers of Marconi. For a long time everyone's criticism was that Baird did not use a CRT, and a camera tube, but these are no longer part of television as we know it.
 
In the event of an EMP attack, all would do well to recall these "primitive technologies." They would still work after an EMP, but most of our electronic gadgets will be toast.
Actually if you read evidence based sources, EMP effects are pretty limited in degree and/or area. Since it's an inverse squared deal and requires a high altitude air burst to maximize coverage area, you don't actually get much bang for the buck (yes, I'm going to hell for that pun) out of EMP attacks.

It gets hyped by political fear mongers who routinely trot out the Hollywood exaggerations, but basically if the electronic device in question can withstand a nearby lightning strike, it's not likely to be phased by an EMP weapon.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_pulse_in_popular_culture

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/01/15/no-you-dont-really-need-to-worry-about-an-emp-attack/?utm_term=.ab268da1958c
 

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