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Accomplishments of James C. Newton

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(as listed by himself)


The following inventions were conceived, designed, and built by James C. Newton.

Automatic Masker for Hughes Aircraft in Newport Beach

This machine is used in the manufacture of semiconductors (transistors and diodes). It transports light sensitized fragile one inch diameter silicon slices of .016 thickness under a photographic mask, applies a pressure to ensure good contact between mask and slice, and optically exposes the slices to ultraviolet light. It is ten times faster then the same job done manually. It is controlled electronically using closed-loop feedbacks with vacuum (pneumatic) actuation of my own design.

Manual Alignment Fixture for Hughes Aircraft.

This device performs a similar job as above except manually. It costs $150 to manufacture and can do the same work as a $2000 machine.

Photoresist Spinner for Hughes Aircraft.

This machine holds silicon slices for coating with ultraviolet sensitive photoresist. It uses a vacuum that is fed into a rotating shaft. No seals are used and rotational speed is in excess of 10,000 rpm.

Motor Control using Light

This device controls a 1/10 hp electric motor driving a milling machine table leadscrew. A lever which is manually positioned to control table speed, is used to change the intensity of light, via a "flag" with a tapered slot, on a light dependent resistor (LDR) which modifies the triggering of the controlling silicon controlled rectifier (SCR). Very little force on the moveble lever is required as contrasted with other system of control.

Tapping Device

This attachment is used on a lathe with a reversible motor for tapping metal bar stock. It reverses a 1/2 hp electric motor driving the lathe headstock when the machine screw tap becomes clogged with metal chips, which prevent breaking the tap and facilitater quick and easy removal of the chips.

Diode Testing Transport Fixture Mechanism

This machine accepts electrical diodes and positions them such that they can be electrically tested, then sorts them on a go no-go basis. It utilizes dash-pot damping in conjunction with electrical solenoids.


The following machines were designed and built by James C. Newton.

Pipe Conveyor for Non-Destruction testing for Microwave Instruments, in Corona Dal Mar.

This machine, about two feet square, contains "V" rollers to support and transport a pipe up to 2" in diameter through a test coil housing to detect, mark, and sort flaws withing the pipe. The machine contains photocells and lamps, electronic pipe flaw detection amplifier and related control switches. The first was so successful that two additional machines were ordered and have been built.

Universal Transfer Machine for Mesamatics in Costa Mesa

This was an engineering application of a principle conceived by the customer. The machine is a prototype to sell the idea of flexible local automation on the Detroit automobile manufacturing assembly lines. It is programmed by recording on multiple discs coated with wax with a hot stylus so that pantographic arms would follow, with magnification through a servo-mechanism, the varying grooves. It used cloned-loop reset type off and on motor control.

Actuator for Boeing Aircraft

This precision mechanical actuator was part of a system to measure metal thickness using the reflection of microwaves to maintain a consistent distance between the sensing head and the work; this location or position was then sent digitally to an add or subtract counter, which was translated into thickness expressed in "mils".

Flux Pickoff Spinning Machine for Microwave Instruments

This machine detects flaws in ferrous pipe by a non-destructive method; a spinning ferrite probe diverts the magnetic flux pattern to a surrounding coil and as the pattern changes due to anomalies in the pipe this information is transferred to a computer (which I constructed) for readout.


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