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NEW TOPIC: Barrie Gilbert. WAS: Tek 576 Curve Tracer USB port to a cpu ... ?

 

Hi Jim,
I stopped by Barrie's office at the facility Analog Devices built just for him in Beaverton (he refused to move to ADs east coast headquarters) in October to give him a very unusual six-gun CRT for his collection. On his desk there are two plaques. The first plaque has a list of 100 patent numbers for his inventions. I assume these are just the ones relating to Analog Devices. The second plaque contained a list of about 40 more patent numbers he had received since the first plaque was given to him.

I don't have any patents. How do you think I feel when I am in his presence? Yet none of this has gone to his head. At lunch it was clear he was just one of the guys sitting around the table.

He is in the process of retiring from AD. He is gradually spending less time in the office. He and his wife are building a new home. I was in his present home a few times. It is the only home I have ever been in with an elevator. The lab is accessed via the elevator. It has multiple sections or areas. The smallest part is the actual electronics lab itself. The largest part is an absolutely stunning custom built set of bookshelves for his library. Then there is the area with the synthesizers he composes music on. There is also an area devoted to his collection of unusual CRTs and old oscilloscopes he has collected. He also loves to collect Mechanno sets which he played with when he was growing up.

I first read about this genius in 1969 when Tek announced the patent for the Current Gain Cell (AKA "Gilbert Cell") which Barrie developed. It is a precision analog four-quadrant multiplier with sub-nanosecond response that is independent of the beta of the transistors. It was an astounding design. I was still in college at the time but I memorized the unusual spelling of his first name. Little did I know that I would meet him 25 years later?

The Gilbert Cell is the 2nd most cited paper in Solid State Physics.

I placed a fascinating article about his life in our archives. It is at
https://groups.io/g/TekScopes/files/Barrie%20Gilbert%20Biography%20IEEE%20SSCN%20News%20Fall%202007.pdf

Dennis Tillman W7PF

P.S. I once asked him how he got his unusual first name. He replied that he was named after the author of "Peter Pan", James Matthew Barrie

-----Original Message-----
From: TekScopes@groups.io [mailto:TekScopes@groups.io] On Behalf Of Jim Ford
Sent: Friday, January 10, 2020 5:47 PM
Subject: Re: [TekScopes] Tek 576 Curve Tracer USB port to a cpu ... ?

Hi, Dennis and others. I had the good fortune to meet Barrie Gilbert at a talk several years ago. He told the story about the fiber optic readout and how that is the reason for the 4 holes in the plastic tabs. Sure as shootin' I found them there on my 7A26.Professor Asad Abidi of UCLA introduced Barrie saying something like, "How many people do you know with no college degree whatsoever but with multiple honorary PhDs? Such is Barrie Gilbert." I later saw Barrie's home lab in an online photo, complete with multiple synthesizers, both of the RF and musical instrument type. Truly drool -worthy! Jim Ford Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone
-------- Original message --------From: Dennis Tillman W7PF <@Dennis_Tillman_W7PF> Date: 1/10/20 10:06 AM (GMT-08:00) To: TekScopes@groups.io Subject: Re: [TekScopes] Tek 576 Curve Tracer USB port to a cpu ... ? Hi Christian,The 7CT1N has no readout capability so it was irrelevant that the DSA602 couldn't display readout information.The 7CT1N should also work in the 11403 and 11403A. I should actually give this a try to see what it looks like.But you reminded me of another important point to mention: Many 7K plugins work in the 11K series of scopes. There is a simple mechanical change you need to make to the rear of the 7K plugin before they will fit. The 4 holes that extend out at the top of the plastic rear connector cover of the 7K plugins will need to be cut off first or the plugin won't go in far enough to make contact with the backplane of the 11K scope. The 11K scopes have no use for the fiber optic bundles that were going to go through those holes to display the readout information in the original design concept of the 7K scopes. Picture the fiber-optic readout on the side of the 576 curve tracer to get an idea of what might have been.This fiber-optic readout idea would have been a disaster to make work with plugins. It was an idea proposed by a senior engineer at Tek. Along comes a young, brash, new hire, who hears about this and tells enough people that this is a dumb idea. Fortunately Tek management challenges him to come up with a better way to do it. That was Barrie Gilbert. His solution was to write the plugin's settings on the CRT screen itself. This was a brilliant idea but it had never been done. They wanted to know how this could be done. Barrie knew how he would do it and he gave a demonstration using Teledeltos paper to management that showed them the principle it was based on and how it would be implemented in a CRT. The rest is history.-----Original Message-----From: santa0123456Sent: Thursday, January 09, 2020 1:35 PMSubject: Re: [TekScopes] Tek 576 Curve Tracer USB port to a cpu ... ?Hi to all,In 2011, I used the partial compatibility between 7K and 11K families modules to insert my 7CT1N in my DSA602A.Pictures in the folder 7CT1N-DSA602A.Of course, the current/voltage range is nowhere near the 576 and the 7CT1N selector positions are unknown to the DSA, so the display units are either meaningless or arbitrary (indicated by a U).But this is better than nothing since it doesn't need any modification for small transistor testing and pairing.Christian-- Dennis Tillman W7PFTekScopes Moderator





--
Dennis Tillman W7PF
TekScopes Moderator

Mlynch001
 

Dennis,

That is indeed a fascinating article. I read it carefully and can only barely understand parts of the various devices which he is describing. I will need to do more reading on the subjects of the article. Mr. Gilbert is one of those few unique people, one whose genius comes not from a text book or a university, but from a supernatural source. This type of person is far too rare in today's world. Being a student of history, I was able to appreciate the enormous contributions that many of those mentioned in the article made to mankind. Thanks for offering this reminder to us all.

--
Michael Lynch
Dardanelle, AR

Jim Ford
 

Nice that you got to go to his house!I myself identify more with the Barrie Gilberts, Bob Peases, and Jim Williams of the world rather than with the Asad Abidis or Henry Samuelis.  That is, the experimentalists vs. the academics.  I guess because I only ever got my BSEE. Dropped out of the MSEE program in 1991.  I just wanted to build stuff, not analyze it to death!Yep, that Gilbert cell is a genius invention alright!  I was working at Broadcom when I went to Barrie's talk, and I was fortunate enough to get 5 patents to my name there.  Just applied for another one at Raytheon where I work now.  Many engineers at Broadcom had many, many patents.  A brother and sister team there had over 800 together!  They left when Avago bought BRCM and are now doing a start-up called Movandi.  The Movandi website says over 1000 patents now!  But they are more of academics than me.Anyway, I will definitely check out the article on Barrie.Thanks for the link.JimSent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

-------- Original message --------From: Dennis Tillman W7PF <@Dennis_Tillman_W7PF> Date: 1/11/20 10:46 AM (GMT-08:00) To: TekScopes@groups.io Subject: [TekScopes] NEW TOPIC: Barrie Gilbert. WAS: Tek 576 Curve Tracer USB port to a cpu ... ? Hi Jim,I stopped by Barrie's office at the facility Analog Devices built just for him in Beaverton (he refused to move to ADs east coast headquarters) in October to give him a very unusual six-gun CRT for his collection. On his desk there are two plaques. The first plaque has a list of 100 patent numbers for his inventions. I assume these are just the ones relating to Analog Devices. The second plaque contained a list of about 40 more patent numbers he had received since the first plaque was given to him.I don't have any patents. How do you think I feel when I am in his presence? Yet none of this has gone to his head. At lunch it was clear he was just one of the guys sitting around the table.He is in the process of retiring from AD. He is gradually spending less time in the office. He and his wife are building a new home. I was in his present home a few times. It is the only home I have ever been in with an elevator. The lab is accessed via the elevator. It has multiple sections or areas. The smallest part is the actual electronics lab itself. The largest part is an absolutely stunning custom built set of bookshelves for his library. Then there is the area with the synthesizers he composes music on. There is also an area devoted to his collection of unusual CRTs and old oscilloscopes he has collected. He also loves to collect Mechanno sets which he played with when he was growing up. I first read about this genius in 1969 when Tek announced the patent for the Current Gain Cell (AKA "Gilbert Cell") which Barrie developed. It is a precision analog four-quadrant multiplier with sub-nanosecond response that is independent of the beta of the transistors. It was an astounding design. I was still in college at the time but I memorized the unusual spelling of his first name. Little did I know that I would meet him 25 years later? The Gilbert Cell is the 2nd most cited paper in Solid State Physics. I placed a fascinating article about his life in our archives. It is at https://groups.io/g/TekScopes/files/Barrie%20Gilbert%20Biography%20IEEE%20SSCN%20News%20Fall%202007.pdf Dennis Tillman W7PFP.S. I once asked him how he got his unusual first name. He replied that he was named after the author of "Peter Pan", James Matthew Barrie-----Original Message-----From: TekScopes@groups.io [mailto:TekScopes@groups.io] On Behalf Of Jim FordSent: Friday, January 10, 2020 5:47 PMSubject: Re: [TekScopes] Tek 576 Curve Tracer USB port to a cpu ... ?Hi, Dennis and others. I had the good fortune to meet Barrie Gilbert at a talk several years ago.  He told the story about the fiber optic readout and how that is the reason for the 4 holes in the plastic tabs.  Sure as shootin' I found them there on my 7A26.Professor Asad Abidi of UCLA introduced Barrie saying something like, "How many people do you know with no college degree whatsoever but with multiple honorary PhDs?  Such is Barrie Gilbert."  I later saw Barrie's home lab in an online photo, complete with multiple synthesizers, both of the RF and musical instrument type.  Truly drool -worthy! Jim Ford Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone-------- Original message --------From: Dennis Tillman W7PF <@Dennis_Tillman_W7PF> Date: 1/10/20  10:06 AM  (GMT-08:00) To: TekScopes@groups.io Subject: Re: [TekScopes] Tek 576 Curve Tracer USB port to a cpu ... ? Hi Christian,The 7CT1N has no readout capability so it was irrelevant that the DSA602 couldn't display readout information.The 7CT1N should also work in the 11403 and 11403A. I should actually give this a try to see what it looks like.But you reminded me of another important point to mention: Many 7K plugins work in the 11K series of scopes. There is a simple mechanical change you need to make to the rear of the 7K plugin before they will fit. The 4 holes that extend out at the top of the plastic rear connector cover of the 7K plugins will need to be cut off first or the plugin won't go in far enough to make contact with the backplane of the 11K scope. The 11K scopes have no use for the fiber optic bundles that were going to go through those holes to display the readout information in the original design concept of the 7K scopes. Picture the fiber-optic readout on the side of the 576 curve tracer to get an idea of what might have been.This fiber-optic readout idea would have been a disaster to make work with plugins. It was an idea proposed by a senior engineer at Tek. Along comes a young, brash, new hire, who hears about this and tells enough people that this is a dumb idea. Fortunately Tek management challenges him to come up with a better way to do it. That was Barrie Gilbert. His solution was to write the plugin's settings on the CRT screen itself. This was a brilliant idea but it had never been done. They wanted to know how this could be done. Barrie knew how he would do it and he gave a demonstration using Teledeltos paper to management that showed them the principle it was based on and how it would be implemented in a CRT. The rest is history.-----Original Message-----From: santa0123456Sent: Thursday, January 09, 2020 1:35 PMSubject: Re: [TekScopes] Tek 576 Curve Tracer USB port to a cpu ... ?Hi to all,In 2011, I used the partial compatibility between 7K and 11K families modules to insert my 7CT1N in my DSA602A.Pictures in the folder 7CT1N-DSA602A.Of course, the current/voltage range is nowhere near the 576 and the 7CT1N selector positions are unknown to the DSA, so the display units are either meaningless or arbitrary (indicated by a U).But this is better than nothing since it doesn't need any modification for small transistor testing and pairing.Christian-- Dennis Tillman W7PFTekScopes Moderator-- Dennis Tillman W7PFTekScopes Moderator