Who's used slide rules, and do you have any left?

The_Roadie

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Nov 19, 2011
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Portland, OR
A college-vintage portrait - posed with a slide rule like Barney's team-picking photo on Mission Impossible.

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NewfieEnvoy

Member
Jan 25, 2012
525
One of my profs brought one in to class and showed us how to use it. We had a show down between his sliderule and one of the guys using a ti83, my prof won :smile:
 

meerschm

Member
Aug 26, 2012
1,079
I think I left mine at my ex's house. or was that hers? it was a nice K&E in a case on a belt holster.

had a simple one we used in High school, and similar ones in AF tech school

I also had a circular one (promotional Item from the air force recruiter), which I used to keep in my briefcase, which came in handy on a particular midterm I forgot was coming, when it was all I had. (calculator was at home) worked ok, if you only want a few sig figs.

it was a great way to really understand logs.
 

Mark20

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Dec 6, 2011
1,630
One thing I would love to learn how to use. But do they do decimal to hexadecimal conversions?
 

meerschm

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Aug 26, 2012
1,079
That is pretty funny.

I do remember a huge slide rule my HS had for class demos. must have been at least six feet long.
 
Dec 4, 2011
520
Mark20 said:
One thing I would love to learn how to use. But do they do decimal to hexadecimal conversions?

meerschm said:
That is pretty funny.

How about Metric to Imperial conversions LOL :thumbsup:
 

meerschm

Member
Aug 26, 2012
1,079
you could build scales which convert, and use the index to align values, but the slide part only works for multiplication (and various versions like squares, square roots, and the like) because logarithms let you turn multiplication into addition.

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the roadie said:
A college-vintage portrait - posed with a slide rule like Barney's team-picking photo on Mission Impossible.

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do you still have yours?
 

The_Roadie

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Nov 19, 2011
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meerschm said:
do you still have yours?
A couple are still in moving boxes I haven't opened in 12 years, but here's my favorite 4.

K&E Analon (#680 out of 1000, extremely rare)
K&E Decilon (composite - my main go-to rule in college, always on my belt)
Pickett N1010-ES (slim metal)
Pickett N4-ES (metal)



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The Analon isn't your traditional log rule although there were a couple of scales on it. It was meant to help in dimensional analysis, if you wanted to really be sure that your calculation of electrical charge (for instance) was made using the right input parameters. There is a huge history behind this item, intertwined with the Keuffel & Esser company's history. The plant that made these was in Conn just south of where I grew up, and my Mom was the optometrist for many of the plant workers including the manager, who engraved my name on the K&E units I had. Not sure if this makes them more rare or destroys the value.

Here's a closeup of the Analon.

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meerschm

Member
Aug 26, 2012
1,079
Very Nice!

I like the family connection and having it personalized adds to the value. tied to your professional history would increase the value as a family treasure.

thanks for the short detour down memory lane. and thanks for sharing.


now, do you have any smith charts laying around?

or some semi-log graph paper?
 

The_Roadie

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Nov 19, 2011
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meerschm said:
now, do you have any smith charts laying around?
or some semi-log graph paper?
Oh, you EVIL guy. :hissyfit: Of course I saved ONE example of each of those kinds of graph papers. Also made by K&E. They're in the geek artifact box with the missing slide rules, and my slide rule tie clip. Darn you, now I have to spend a couple of hours looking for them next time Mrs. Roadie gives me some time off the honey-do list. :mad:

:biggrin:
 

RayVoy

Member
Nov 20, 2011
939
Haha, the analog computer, I still have a couple, the one I cherish the most is an old Lawrence Engineering. My dad used it and gave it to me.
 

Chickenhawk

Member
Dec 6, 2011
781
What about an E6B? It's a circular slide rule, and on the other side is the world's first "touchscreen." It used this amazing new stylus touchscreen technology called a "pencil."
14731.jpg
 

Mark20

Member
Dec 6, 2011
1,630
Ah, an E6B, forgot about them. Yes a slide rule in circular format geared to aviation. Circular so a pilot could do a calculation and keep a hand on the controls. I think I still have a cardboard one hiding somewhere.

What would you suggest for a beginners slide rule? I'm sure I can find something on eBay.
 

meerschm

Member
Aug 26, 2012
1,079
Mark20 said:
Ah, an E6B, forgot about them. Yes a slide rule in circular format geared to aviation. Circular so a pilot could do a calculation and keep a hand on the controls. I think I still have a cardboard one hiding somewhere.

What would you suggest for a beginners slide rule? I'm sure I can find something on eBay.

K E Slide Rule Model 68 1210 with Book and Leather Case | eBay

includes a book (remember those?) but has a few extra scales.

Keuffel and Esser beginners slide rule 4058 w by Decortiques

has quite a few beginner models, with fewer scales. they will not be so precise, but to learn would be easier.

you also could just check this out:

Beginner Slide Rule
 

Bartonmd

Member
Nov 20, 2011
545
I've seen them, but never even learned how to use one. we went straight from long-hand on paper, graph paper, and log graph paper straight to "how to do this on the calculator/computer (Matlab)" and I honestly don't remember how to use Matlab any more. I had actually never even seen one until I saw my Dad's. Even in Engineering, I never even saw a prof use or show one off.

Mike
 

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