TRANSISTOR MUSEUM™     

Historic Transistor Photo Gallery   

 

Transistor Size (7/16” X 3/8”)

No Date Codes or Packaging

 

Top View of TA166 with Serial Number 3691

 

RCA TA166

 

TYPE

Germanium Point Contact Transistor

High Frequency Switching

 

USAGE

 Developmental/Experimental   

 

DATE INTRODUCED

1951/52

 

CASE STYLES

Amber Epoxy

 

AVAILABILITY

Rare (Limited Production)

 

 

 

HISTORIC NOTES

The TA166 is a historic point contact transistor, developed in the early 1950s at RCA’s Harrison NJ Tube Division.  At that time, RCA had established a program, managed by Bob Slade, with the purpose of producing developmental transistors which could be used  to demonstrate the commercial potential of this new technology.  The TA166 was designated a “high frequency RF amplifier” and performed with sufficient stability to be used in the front end circuitry of the first documented transistor television receiver. Technical aspects of the TA166 and the TV circuitry can be found in these TransistorMuseum Oral Histories: (Bob Slade, Fred Hunter, Norm Ditrick and Jerry Herzog).  The unique construction of these early RCA point contact transistors (including the lower performing TA165) is quite distinctive and easily recognized.  The case is an amber Araldite epoxy and clearly reveals the hand-made point contact leads pressing on the germanium die.  Each device is labeled with a hand written model and serial number.  Samples of these historic transistors are on display at the Smithsonian museum.        

 

 

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