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The traveling wave tube inside HP 493A is radioactive

Posted on Monday, January 22nd, 2018 in Teardowns by DP

p-493AInt (1)-600

Kerry Wong writes, “In my previous video featured on EEVBlog I did a teardown of an HP 493A microwave amplifier along with the traveling wave tube inside. I actually had done a teardown of an identical unit a while ago but this time I managed to take a peek at the traveling wave tube inside.”

More details on his blog here.

Check out the video after the breaks.

This entry was posted on Monday, January 22nd, 2018 at 11:47 pm and is filed under Teardowns. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

One Response to “The traveling wave tube inside HP 493A is radioactive”

  1. Drone says:

    Gee, just the sight of one of these HP493A TWT laboratory amps brings back decades-old memories. There are four models covering 1-12.4 GHz in steps with 1Watt output (-1dB compression?) I remember using a stack of these things to (for-example) experiment with adaptive TWT pre-distortion linearization methods that may be applied to high power TWT amplifiers. These were work-horse devices in the lab back then.

    As for “radioactive”: That’s a bit of a stretch in the click-bait post title DP used here (as borne out by findings in Kerry Wong’s article). But it may be possible there are some parts containing Beryllium Oxide (BeO) in the tube; but probably not. These were low power TWT’s. Be careful with high power TWT’s though. BeO is a known carcinogen with exposure that may result in chronic Berylliosis, a nasty lung disease. There are other dangers that come with exposure to Beryllium (links below).

    And here are the usual Wikipedia links – which will probably go for days here on the DP Blog awaiting “Moderation”. (But that’s OK – unless you can find a better way DP?):

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traveling-wave_tube
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berylliosis
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acute_beryllium_poisoning

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