3” Image Orthicon










             Developed at RCA in the early and mid-forties, by Albert Rose, Paul Weiner and Harold Law, initially for military use, the Image Orthicon entered the civilian television market in 1946, and, with its great sensitivity mainly due to its five stage photo-multiplier, and its very good definition it was soon universally adopted as the standard pick-up tube in black and white TV cameras and stayed in use until the late sixties when it was progressively replaced by the less bulky Vidicon and Plumbicon tubes.


             With the high demand, soon Image Orthicon tubes were built, sometimes with slightly different specifications and construction details, by several manufacturers on both sides of the Atlantic.


              The Image Orthicon, which boasted being able to take good pictures even in candle light, was often referred to as the “I.O.”. It cost then some $1500, and its useful life was about 600 hours.


               Note, in the x-ray view, the “empty” space in the middle part of the tube. That’s where the electron flow is controlled by the surrounding coils.


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