Newmarket Transistors Ltd., usually referred to as NKT, and located in the Suffolk town famous for its race courses, was one of the more idiosyncratic, and therefore interesting, small UK manufacturers of germanium transistors in the 1950's and 1960's. There used to be a Web site that described the company history, but it has gone. It stated that originally 'The Transistor Development Company' was formed in December 1953 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Pye Ltd., to manufacture small signal low frequency germanium transistors for use in portable radios. In 1957 the company name was changed to 'The Newmarket Transistor Company' and in 1958, it was changed again to 'Newmarket Transistors Ltd'. I don't know if this is accurate.
Newmarket did not make any point-contact transistors, their first commercial products were junction types released in about 1956. Intriguingly, they were true to their name and, to my knowledge, never made a single diode (although they sold one diode by shorting two leads on a transistor, see NKT155 below). Their logo seems to have changed a few times, possibly with the name changes, although they never printed a stylised logo on their transistors, the earliest types having no branding at all, and the later ones using the 'NKT' prefix.
Newmarket seem to have been quite successful in the germanium transistor business, judging by the number of different types that they manufactured. Their earliest devices are the V-series, then they changed over to the NKT series, and finally they made a number of Pro Electron and other registered types in various series, including silicon types and FETs (although these may have been sourced elsewhere). They also made packaged circuit boards and even custom hybrid microcircuits in DIL and TO-99 packaging.
Unlike most UK germanium transistor manufacturers, NKT did survive the transition into the world of modern electronics, albeit at the cost of losing its original identity. Its survived as GE Aviation Newmarket until 2016, when the original 1950s site was closed. It was finally demolished in 2019.
If you know anything about Newmarket Transistors, or have other information about NKT's early semiconductors, please
I do not possess all the transistors below, in fact I am seeking many of them. It is noted in the text where I am seeking examples of any particular type: if you have some for sale or exchange, please Conversely, I am happy to help anyone looking for information on these devices. I have an extensive collection of original data sheets and books, and can provide characteristic data on almost all Newmarket germanium types.
The details of Newmarket's first transistors are slightly uncertain. I have original data sheets dated June 1956 for the following types:
These early transistors seem to be all painted: the V6 types are red as shown. However, my image of green V10 types shows ones without the A and B suffixes; are these earlier than my data sheets? I do have a green-painted V10/50B dated 1958. The V6 and V10 transistors are normally unbranded, however I have a few that are printed 'PYE'; again, are these very early examples?
These types are occasionally found in paper envelopes as shown, with handwritten characteristics. Presumably these were prepared at the factory as specially-selected devices for critical applications. If anyone knows more about this, please
These transistors are of particular historic interest because they were used in the Pam 710, the first British transistor radio. However, it had one oddity: it also used a red V6/R3, a type that is not mentioned in any contemporary data book. If anyone knows more about this, or has such a transistor, please
It seems that the limited performance of the early V6 types was of concern, because in about 1958 Newmarket issued unpainted versions with a higher maximum power dissipation,shown in my image. The modified V6 types are distinguished by reversing the two characters of the gain banding, creating types V6/2R, V6/4R and V6/8R.
Unpainted versions of the V10 triplet, plus a type V10/50A, also exist but with unchanged numbering. I'm unsure of the chronology; I presume that they are later than the green-painted ones.
According to Newmarket literature, the improved V6 and V10 types were also available in a cylindrical outline, with a further suffix C added, but I have never come across any transistors of this shape. If you have some, please
Like other manufacturers, Newmarket sold their out-of-spec low-power AF devices to the hobbyist market at reduced prices. This image shows a 'Spoton brand' transistor, marked as a 'yellow/green' type. I am unsure how much use these would have been of to anyone, they must have either had very low gain or else very high noise.
Newmarket's V series power AF types use a large 'stud' outline with a bolt on the bottom and two pins for the other leads. Their part numbers indicate the maximum collector voltage and current gain of the transistor. They come in three varieties: the earliest examples are simply black with a white part number and a date code, the majority have black/gold colouration, and late examples are unpainted with NEWMARKET usually printed on them. All usually have a date code, although several different formats were used.
The black body with gold painted/labelled top is significant: Newmarket adopted the branding 'Goltop' for its V series transistors. If anyone can explain the commercial reasoning behind this, please
I have 1956 data sheets for:
and the 1959 Newmarket 'Semiconductor Device Data' booklet contains:
I have some V-type power transistors for which I have no data. The images show:
In 1959 Newmarket claimed to be first to release an 'intermediate power' type of transistor. The IP types use a medium-sized circular domed outline with a wide flange. In NOS condition they come with a mounting washer that clamps over the top and has two lugs with holes so that the transistor can be bolted to a heatsink. They come in three colourings: all black (possibly the earliest), Goltop black and gold, and unpainted metal.
The 1959 Newmarket 'Semiconductor Device Data' booklet contains V15/20IP and V30/20IP. A Newmarket advertisement in 'Wireless World' January 1960 adds V60/20IP.
I also have an anomalous V30/100IP for which I don't have data.
The bulk of the types in the V series are AF transistors, with the V6 IF/RF types being exceptional. In 1959 Newmarket announced two low-power switching types in the same oval SO-4 outline: the V10/1S and V10/2S, also available in the cylindrical outline with suffix SC. The oval V10/1S was used in the Ferranti Argus series of British process-control computers. I am seeking examples of the V10/1SC and the V10/2SC. If you have any, please
In 1959 Newmarket isued some of the high-power V-series types in the standard TO-3 'diamond' outline. For some strange reason, they initially gave them the suffix NP for 'noodle power' (yes, really, this is documented in their data books). If anyone can explain this unusual choice of characterisation, please They seem to have changed this later to 'PD', but I have no data books that include these.
I have a 1959 'noodle power tentative data sheet' that includes:
and I have examples of the (undocumented) types:
My image shows a V15/30 in Goltop colours with a handwritten suffix NP (difficult to see on the small image). I have a number like that.
Newmarket's second series of transistors, the NKT series, became available in 1961 and developed into a very broad range of devices. I have several reference sources for these:
Several people, mainly guitar effects pedals builders, have asked me for pages from the Products Portfolio and so I have scanned it and created a separate page for it.
The devices NKT1 to NKT99 are classified in the Products Portfolio as germanium alloy PNP RF transistors with low maximum collector-base voltage. The Portfolio only lists a small number of types in a standard TO-1 outline:
The Aide Memoire lists considerably more, some in SO12B outline and some in SO3/TO5:
My image shows an NKT15 so the above is incomplete!
The Products Portfolio describes the range NKT100 - NKT199 as germanium alloy PNP RF transistors with medium maximum collector-base voltage and again lists only a handful of types, this time in TO-5 cases:
Again the Aide Memoire lists considerably more, some in SO3/TO5 outline and some in SO4/TO22:
I also have a data sheet that includes NKT151 and NKT155 in a group with NKT152-154.
The Transistors Data booklet also includes:
I only have examples of a few of these many types, including some with handwritten part numbers. The image shows a uniquely black-painted NKT102, an NKT104, and a handwritten NKT152.
Newmarket Transistors did not manufacture any diodes. However, they needed a detector diode in order to be able to sell a complete set of active devices to transistor radio manufacturers. They did this by shorting together the base and collector of the NKT155 transistor. This part was not sold as a normal transistor.
The range NKT200 - NKT299 is described in the Products Portfolio as comprising germanium alloy PNP AF transistors, in TO-1 and TO-5 packaging:
The Aide Memoire includes more, some in SO3/TO5 outline and some in SO4/TO22:
The Transistors Data booklet also includes:
In the NKT300 range we break out into germanium PNP intermediate power types:
These use the domed TO-8 outline with screw-down washer, but with pins rather than the group of wires of the V/IP types. However I have one example marked just '362' that does use the V/IP case.
The range NKT400 - NKT499 contains germanium PNP high-power types in TO-3 outline, both switching and audio devices. They are unusual for TO-3 devices in that the diamond-shaped flange is not a solid integral part of the domed body but is a separate piece of thin metal cold-welded around the dome with a brass (or sometimes plastic) former underneath, as shown here. This construction is unique to Newmarket, and one of their PC-series of amplifier cards uses NKT453 transistors without the diamond flange.
The group starts with NKT401 and NKT402, germanium PNP high-power switching transistors, rated at 10 Amps maximum collector current.
Then come NKT403 to NKT406, germanium PNP high-power amplifier transistors, rated at 10 Amps maximum collector current except for NKT405 which is rated at 5 Amps. The four have different gain values.
I am seeking the NKT406. If you know where I might obtain any, please
Then come NKT415 and NKT416, medium-voltage, medium-gain amplifier types. Next is NKT420, a germanium PNP high-voltage high-power amplifier transistor, rated at 120V maximum collector-base voltage and 5 Amps maximum collector current.
I am seeking the NKT415, NKT416, and NKT420 transistors. If you know where I might obtain any, please
Finally come NKT450 to NKT453, germanium PNP high-power amplifier transistors, rated at 3 Amps maximum collector current.
NKT501 to NKT504 are not included in the Products Portfolio, but the Aide Memoire lists them, and I have an original data sheet dated February 1962 for them. These are described as 'extra-high-current power transistors'. They are germanium PNP types in the JEDEC standard TO-36 outline.
I have never seen an example of any of these, If you know where I might find any, please
The NKT600 group comprises germanium PNP alloy-diffused transistors in TO-8 outline, for VHF applications. The 1962 Products portfolio lists:
While the 1964 'Transistors Data' booklet lists:
The NKT700 range contains all the NPN germanium transistors in the NKT series. All are low-power devices. The 1962 Products Portfolio lists:
The 1964 'Transistors Data' leaflet adds:
And I have a booklet 'NPN-PNP Circuits' by Newmarket dated May 1962 that lists
Newmarket sold groups of transistors as 'packs'. I'm unsure what the actual presentation was. The packs were:
The October 1964 issue of the magazine 'Wireless World' contains the following news article:
By careful choice of characteristics, Newmarket Transistors Ltd., of Exning Road, Newmarket, Suffolk, have put together a kit of fourteen transistors which they claim will enable any serviceman to repair virtually any entertainment type of transistor equipment. Known as the " Servikit," it contains four alloy diffused v.h.f., five alloy r.f., three p-n-p a.f., one n.p.n. a.f. and one power transistor. To help select a suitable replacement, the makers have included an index of British, continental Europe and Japanese types, which the range is designed to replace.
The two images show eight Servikit types and three more. They all bear a type number SERnn and are packaged in small plastic tubes that contain a label with some of the characteristics, including a line saying that the SER type is 'formerly a special selection' of a specified NKT type. I also have two other types loose without tubes. I'm unsure of the full set of SERnn numbers used, but I have no SER18, and I'm also missing the power transistor: I have seen one for sale as SER4, which is puzzling.
Rather bizarrely, images of the Servikit appear in three Italian magazines that are downloadable on the Web; the January 1967 issue of 'Costruire Diverte', the May 1967 issue of 'Radiorama' and the July 1967 issue of 'Tecnica Pratica'. All state that there are sixteen transistors in the set. This image from 'Tecnica Pratica' shows thirteen in the plastic tubes, two in small NKT boxes, and one visible power transistor. All have NKT part numbers, not a SER naming. The other two magazines show loose transistors without tubes or boxes.
The 'Costruire Diverte' article says the set contains 5 RF types, 4 VHF types, 2 AF types, a matched pair for Class B output, a matched pair for complementary NPN-PNP output, and one high power type.
If you know more about the SER types, please
Newmarket made packaged circuits types PC1 - PC10 and PC101 - PC106, which of course employed their own germanium transistors. All were relatively low power. The image shows the PC3 audio amplifier.
I have created a separate page that gives details of these.
Newmarket made an MC series of custom microcircuits, which are hybrids. They come in either a very small DIL outline, or else in a TO99-style round multi-lead can. I have some information on them, but no device data, as they are custom. Thanks to the excellent Silicon Ark I have one, shown here. It has nothing printed on it at all, but it did come with information stating that it is a Schmitt Trigger circuit. It has four leads (with four more cut off), so that is quite possible.
I also have this NMC809A. It looks a bit like a standard dual-inline package, but has 5 widely-spaced legs.
I don't have any information on an NMC series, but a correspondent sent me this data on the NMC809A. It does not say whether it is a hybrid or monolithic IC.
If you have data or examples of the MC or NMC microcircuits, please
Like most UK semiconductor manufacturers, Newmarket made CV equivalents of their devices. These are military-grade versions of commercial types, given a Common Valve type designation. I am interested in obtaining examples of the following CV types from the 1963 CV Register:
|CV5309 = V15/20P||CV5327 = V30/20IP||CV5330 = V10/15A||CV5791 = V30/20DP||CV5929 = V60/20IP||CV7011 = V30/30P|
|CV7012 = V60/30P||CV7086 (NKT only) = NKT403||CV7116 = V60/30DP||CV8004 = V30/20P||CV8386 = V15/20IP|
I assume that 'DP' should be 'PD'. If you know where I can find any of these, please
The Product Portfolio also lists other device numbers and types. These include NKT10419 - NKT20339 silicon industrial transistors in TO-18 outline; NKT80111 - NKT80216 junction FETs in TO-17 and TO-18 outline; junction transistors in the OC, ACY, BC, BCY, BDY, BFX, BFY, BSX and BSY series; junction transistors in the 2N series; and micro-miniature silicon active devices for direct attachment to film circuits. I do have a few of the junction transistors, but in general these types are not of great interest.