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Does anybody still make Germanium transistors?

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Joerg, Sep 8, 2004.

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  1. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello All,

    Hold the tomatoes, just curious. Sometimes it is really important to,
    for example, continuously watch a current in a very low voltage
    application. With any kind of modern transistor that will eat 0.6V or
    more. Germanium was happy with 0.2V. Much better when there is only 1.5V
    supply to begin with. Chips such as LV rail-to-rail are often totally
    cost prohibitive.

    So, is there a low cost source of new Germanium transistors? Kind of
    like the Russian factory Svetlana that still makes tubes?
  2. Leon Heller

    Leon Heller Guest

    I remember seeing adverts for an outfit that still made them a few years
    ago. They featured a bearded individual who owned the company.

  3. Mullard? Whatever happened to them?
  4. Phil Hobbs

    Phil Hobbs Guest

    Nah, it was 'Oliver Germanium' of Germanium Power Devices. Their ads were a
    bit like the old Data Translation ads--showing the boss dressed up in stupid


    Phil Hobbs
  5. Mike Page

    Mike Page Guest

    Some of the retro guitar pedal sites might have some leads (duh, that
    should be "links"). I have a friend who won't accept anything else, but
    I think he buys them on ebay.
  6. Jon Yaeger

    Jon Yaeger Guest
  7. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    I don't know if Ollie is still running the show, but they *do* still
    make Ge tunnel diodes! TDs used possibly the most bizarre
    semiconductor fabrication technique ever.

  8. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. Like Victor Kyam (sp?) the Remington shaver guy.
    Well, a kipper tie looks dead daft nowadays anyway.
  9. Jeff

    Jeff Guest

  10. legg

    legg Guest

    You mean Germanium Power Devices Corp.
    4 York St.
    Andover, Mass 01810.
    tel 617-475-5982

    featuring 'Oliver Germanium'
    Last catalog I have is dated 1984.

    now GPD Optoelectronics
    7 Manor Parkway
    Salem, NH 03079 USA

    I guess this means no power germanium devices from them, but you could

  11. Leon Heller

    Leon Heller Guest

    That was it! Wasn't it someone called Fred Molinari in the other ads? I
    suppose he shuffled off this mortal coil some years ago.


  12. Leon Heller

    Leon Heller Guest

    Mullard became part of Philips many years ago.

  13. Leon Heller

    Leon Heller Guest

    Ge-Si is used in very high frequency devices.

  14. Seems not, though the picture from Test & Measurement World (yes, I
    subscribe) looks like it might be from ca. 1973.

    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
  15. Marc H.Popek

    Marc H.Popek Guest


    I have a few box loads of Ge transistors. let m eknow what aplication and
    we can match up some candidates!

  16. Tim Shoppa

    Tim Shoppa Guest

    NTE certainly sells/distributes them (they list like 20 different
    Germanium transistors in their current product line), but I don't think
    NTE makes anything. Presumably these are either old stock, sitting on
    shelves since the factory shut down, or there is a factory really making
    them as necessary and then NTE labels them so you don't know who is
    really still making them :).

  17. Bob Stephens

    Bob Stephens Guest

    Actually it was "Fred Molinari, President" - I always assumed that his
    mother must have been very proud of him.

    And don't forget "I.R. Aloser" from Prem

    and Chet Ju from ???

  18. Bob Stephens

    Bob Stephens Guest

    We had a guy with a small fab in Orange County, Ca. up to the '90's who
    made custom Ge power transistors for us. His name was Archie Dillard -
    can't remember his company name and don't know if he's still at it.

  19. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hi Tim,
    That's my question as well. But I am going to ask them since you can't
    really develop a product when the stock is kind of finite. The amazing
    thing is they have invested in creating datasheets and I found a type
    that appears to be similar to one of my ol' favorites (AF126, they have
    the NTE160). You could make single cell UHF oscillators with these but
    my supply is down to just a few.

    Anyway, I'd like to say thanks to Jon and Jeff for pointing out this
    source. At least now we all know where to get some old Germaniums when
    in dire need.

    Regards, Joerg
  20. When I looked in response to similar query a month or two ago, CPC in
    UK had OA90 at 1.26 UKP (plus VAT) per pack of 5 - say 17 cents each.
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