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Erector Radar Models Through the Years

KaBOOM Radar System
KaBOOM Radar System Space Monitoring

Hi folks, Doc here. In this pictorial we'll look at a group of related models that began to appear frequently in Erector How to Make 'Em manuals during the 1950s. During this period, the use of radar was becoming widespread in both civilian and military applications, so much so that most Americans were becoming familar with hearing and reading about it on a fairly regular basis. This provided Gilbert and his engineers with an opportunity to add new, modern model designs to Erector manuals. As with other Erector model types, these radar-themed models ranged in size and complexity from small and simple to large and elaborate. Most of them were motorized, and in these the motor was typically used to rotate the radar dish assembly. In some cases, like the Satellite Tracker shown below, the dish also pivoted up and down as it rotated. This model along with many of the other radar dish models shown below are featured in the Model Gallery here at Girders & Gears--be sure to check them out. You can also download instructions for the models shown below: CLICK HERE or visit our Downloads page.

Generic Weather Radar Diagram

Radar (Radio Detection and Ranging) was developed primarily during World War II and the years just preceding. It is a system that detects and determines the distance and speed of a variety of different objects, both mobile and stationary, using radio waves. All radar systems consist of a radio wave transmitter and antenna, a receiving antenna (may be one and the same), and a receiver and processor. The transmitted radio waves reflect off the object(s) being observed and return to the receiver, providing the location and speed information of the object(s). These transmitting/receiving antennas typically took the form of shallow "dishes" such as those in the photos of actual antennas shown on this page. They could vary in shape from round to oval or oblong to rectangular. Gilbert's designers and engineers made use of all of these shapes in the wide variety of Erector models they created.

DEW Line Radar
DEW Line Radar

Long Range Radar Scanner
Long Range Radar Scanner

Satellite Tracker
Satellite Tracker

Amusement Park Set Radar Scanner

Texas Tower Science Station

Radar Scanning Tower

Coastal Radar

Miscellaneous Radar Scanners

Satellite Space Station and Rocket Launcher