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Combining time-tested techniques with modern electronic components, an inexpensive ionosonde producing high quality records and capable of unattended automatic operation for extended periods has been designed. Four instruments were built at a cost in 1967, exclusive of labor, of $2000 apiece. Three have been operated continuously for five years at a rate of one ionogram every two minutes, being attended but once a week to change the film. One of these ran 23 months with no maintenance whatsoever.