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1896 to
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Cathodeon Crystals Ltd - Company Profile
Company Name: Cathodeon Crystals Ltd
Pye Group Division: Industrial Components, Processes & Services Division
Site Location(s): Main site: Linton, Cambridge
  Feeder factory: Weasenham Lane, Wisbeach
First/Last Address: High Street, Linton, Cambridge
Date Formed/Acquired: Formed by Pye Ltd: 1953
Date Merged/Sold/Closed: Closed by CEI Ltd: 1989
Field of Activity: Electronic component manufacture: -
Quartz crystals
Crystal filters
Crystal oscillators
Markets/Customers Served: Radio communications
PMR (Private mobile radio)
Public Safety
Government Agencies
Fuel & Power Utilities
Petro-chemical & Mining
Business & Industry etc.
Military (HF and VHF tactical radio)
Diplomatic Wireless Service
  Scientific instruments
  Electronic process control
Products/Services Supplied: Quartz crystals for frequency reference
  Crystal filters for selectivity applications
  Packaged crystal oscillators
  Crystal ovens
  Pi Networks (minor, but important activity)
Key Products: Quartz crystals
Metal cans (solder-seal, cold weld, resistance weld)
Glass encapsulation (high precision)
  Crystal filters
Sideband filters for military & Diplomatic Wireless Service HF communications
Intermediate frequency 10.7, 11.5, 21.4 MHz filters etc for for mobile radio
Miniature filters
Used for the first generation of cellular radio mobiles (TACS, latterly, GSM)
Note: worked with the Vodafone design team who were temporarily working in Cincinatti prior to the 1982 network launch in the UK.
  Crystal Oscillators
OCXOs (Oven controlled crystal oscillators)
Mainly used for scientific instruments
TCXOs (Temperature compensated crystal oscillators)
Used as a frequency reference for radio communications fixed stations
SPXOs (Simple Packaged crystal oscillators)
Used for a variety of electronic applications which required better than average frequency control
Subsidiaries/Divisions/Departments: Main departments: -
Sales department
Crystal manufacture
Optical shop
Wisbech feeder factory
Electrical shop
Test department
Filter department
Oscillator department
Oven manufacture
Engineering department
Industrial Engineering
Plant Engineering
Accounts department
Company Statistics: Annual Sales Turnover: £2.8M (1985)
  Profit before tax etc: £165K (5.9%)
  Exports: 0.357
  Total Employees: ~ 520 (full-time corrected)
  Employees at main location: ~ 470
Known Managerial Staff: Chief Executives: -
Founder - Norman Rolfe (ex. STC)
Tony Mugford (ex. Magnetic Devices)
Bob Collins (ex. Mullard / Belling Lee)
Bill Metcalf (former Technical Director)
  Senior staff: -
Roy Brasher (Finance Director)
Stan Bainbridge (Production Manager)
Des Grimwood (Production Director)
Ed Robinson (Production Manager)
Ian Lines (Wisbeach Factory Manager)
Andy Finlayson (Sales Manager)
John Howe (Senior Sales Engineer)
Eric Kentley (Chief Engineer)
John Dowsett (Senior Crystal Engineer)
Tony Rogers (Senior Filter Engineer)
Derek Smith (Senior Oscillator Engineer)
Ed Chamberlain (Industrial Engineering Manager)
Gordon Hulyer (QA Manager)
Barry Reader (Electrical Shop Foreman)
Phillip Biggs (Electrical Shop Foreman)
Roy Butters (Optical Shop Foreman)
Derek Cox (Plant Manager)
Keith McCullum (Plant Manager)
Colin McLeish (Senior Accountant)
Ken Jacobs (Personnel Manager)
Roy Jackson (Personnel Manager)
Ken Curl (Personnel Manager)
Christine Moon (Personnel Manager)
Key Achievements or Milestones: 1953: Opened in Shepherd’s Hall, Linton
  1960: Moved to purpose-built factory
  1965: First 10.7 Mhz crystal filters
  1971: Extended factory to ~ 90,000 ft2
  1971: First SSB filters (1.4 MHz)
  1972: Introduced synthetic quartz
  1972: Set up oscillator production
  1976: Opened Wisbech factory
  1977: Introduced high precision (glass) glass crystal
  1978: TCX (temperature compensated crystals)
  1978: Bulk manufacture of 10.7 MHz crystals
  1983: Closed Wisbech factory
  1988: Closed main factory
  1989: Closed remaining operations
Other Information:
Company Time Line: 1960: Moved to purpose-built factory 1960
  1953: Founded 1953
  1960: Factory in Linton 1960
  1971: Major extension 1971
  1973: Opened Wisbeach feeder factory 1973
  1976: Pye purchased by Philips 1976
  1981: Transferred from Pye to CEI 1981
  1988: Closed main production 1988
  1989: Closed all operations* 1989
* For a short while there was a residue of operations within Newmarket Microsystems run by Ian Lines. Cathodeon Crystals Limited was dissolved in 1992 according to Companies House (Company No. 00525339).
Document Sources: Information supplied by Bill Metcalf, Ian Lines, Phillip Biggs & Anthony Jones
Document version: v1.1 Bill Metcalf (30 August 2014)
  v2 Modified by RJH for web site use (23 June 2015)
  Cathodeon Crystals Brochure