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Gold-Plated Wattmeter Benefits SETI

Gold-Plated Wattmeter Benefits SETI

Following up on a story we told you about this summer:
Unit No. 300,000 of the Model 43 Thruline Wattmeter was gold-plated.
Bird Electronic Corp. said it auctioned off the piece of equipment in a charity event. The winner wanted the proceeds to benefit The SETI League, a nonprofit that tries to search for extraterrestrial intelligence.
The anonymous winner requested the proceeds of the sale go to SETI and then donated the meter itself to the organization.
According to Bird, SETI League officials said they will use the test equipment to monitor the operation of a Lunar Reflective Calibration Beacon, which bounces microwave signals off the surface of the moon, to be received by radio astronomy facilities.
Also bidding was the son of one of the original Model 43 design engineers, Jim Widlar. His father Walt Widlar worked with J. Raymond Bird and the Model 43 design team in the early 1950s.