Astatic Corporation

Astatic Corporation

The Astatic Corporation is a commercial audio products manufacturer located in Solon, Ohio USA.


In 1930, two amateur radio operators, C.M. Chorpening, W8WR (later W8MJM) and F.H. Woodworth, W8AHW began experimenting with different types of microphones for their "ham' stations. Their mutual friend, Charles Semple, worked for Brush Development Company where he had been experimenting with Rochelle Salts crystals. When Semple demonstrated some crystal pick-ups that Brush was working with, Chorpening and Woodworth recognized that a crystal microphone would provide excellent service in their ham transmitters. As a result, Chorpening and Woodworth founded The Astatic Microphone Laboratory, Inc. in Youngstown, Ohio in 1933. Semple was brought into the company as general manager to manufacture and market the company's model D-104 Crystal Microphone. They were soon able to branch out with a line of crystal microphones, crystal phonograph pickups and recording heads for manufacturers and radio jobbers. [ Astatic company history]

In 1944, Astatic moved operations to Conneaut, Ohio. In addition to quantities of microphones, pickups and crystal cartridges supplied to the Armed Forces and essential industries during the World War II period, Astatic designed, perfected and manufactured many other types of electronic equipment. Included were a number of under-water sound detection or Sonar devices. Astatic soon became a producer of Hydrophones for the U.S. Navy under direct contract, and for other manufacturers of Sonar equipment on a subcontract basis. For Army and Navy bomber and fighter planes, Astatic perfected and produced a Static Discharger for dissipating static electricity which accumulated, due to friction in flight, on wing surfaces, fuselage and tail assemblies. A further contribution was made by Astatic in the design and manufacture of coaxial cable connectors used exclusively by both the US Army and US Navy for Radio, Radar and Sonar hookups and installations. During this period the company shipped in one month a total of over 650,000 units. [ Astatic company history]

After WWII, Astatic Microphone Laboratory became The Astatic Corporation. Currently, the company is located in Solon, Ohio and offers microphones and audio accessories to the professional, commercial, and installation audio industries. [ Astatic company]

D-104 microphone

Introduced in 1933, the Astatic model D-104 was popular for its high frequency response which resulted in very intelligible audio. Its high output voltage was characteristic of crystal elements and its high impedance allowed for direct grid input. The early D-104 mikes used a 1" thick case and have a large ID tag along with tapped holes for "ring & spring" mounts. The case thickness was reduced in April 1937 and smaller tags were then used and the ring holes eliminated. The "grip" switch stand ("G" Stand) was introduced in January 1938 but didn't become popular until much later. The early "G" stand bases were gloss black with metal ID tag.

The D-104 continued in production with little change until the 1960s when a solid-state amplifier was added to the "G" stand. In 1976, an eagle and shield was added to the rear cover to commemorate the US Bicentennial. Other variations appeared from time to time until 2001, when production ceased, 68 years after the first D-104 was offered. [ Western Historic Radio Museum]

The D-104 is often used by CB radio hobbyists and vintage amateur radio enthusiasts as part of their operating activities. [ ARRL News: Vintage AM radio at Dayton]


ee also

*Vintage amateur radio

External links

* [ Company website]
* [ Astatic schematics]

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