Synopses & Reviews
John Rider has produced one of the funniest and most thorough books ever written on the way vacuum tubes function. His first chapter on the electron is virtually a comic book. Fresh out of the U.S. Army in 1945, he wrote and published an impressive array of books on electronics and established his John F. Rider publishing company, which became a distinguished source of technical books for many years after.
After giving the reader a clear understanding of what electrons are and how they behave, he goes on to the topics of emission, the action within vacuum tubes, how these emissions of electrons move, space charges and current, and in Chapter 5, the characteristics of tubes. Next Rider takes up the diode, followed by three chapters on the triode generally, triodes static, and triodes dynamic. He then moves to the dynamic transfer characteristics, voltage amplification followed by tetrode and pentode tubes. The book's final three chapters deal with cathode circuits, power amplifiers, and a variety of tube types. A generous appendix includes plate voltage/plate current curves and letter symbol meanings.
The great thing about this book is its conversational style. Rider is a good teacher and has doubtless communicated his knowledge to many in the huge classes of students of electronics, which were conducted in the armed services during World War II. The reader has the feeling that he is part of a one-on-one discussion of a powerfully fascinating study of this submicroscopic world of electron action. Rider brings boundless enthusiasm to his task. His mastery of analogies common to most ordinary mortals to explain how tubes do their work is a vital key to his success as a teacher/ communicator.
The book is lavishly illustrated throughout by clever drawings from a talented artist, Baxter Rowe. Unfortunately three "3-D" drawings, viewable by use of dual-color cardboard framed cellophane glasses had to be omitted from this reprint, along with the glasses themselves, which were part of the original volume.
Rider's book will be a valuable learning and resource tool for anyone who wishes to be proficient in the use of vacuum tube electronics.