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Author Topic: DIY Vacuum tubes  (Read 9583 times)

Edvard

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DIY Vacuum tubes
« on: August 03, 2009, 06:15:49 PM »
I could watch this for days...

Quote
Check out this absolutely mesmerizing (17 minute!) video of a French amateur radio operator who rolls his own vacuum tube triodes! I love the ease with which he performs these rather high-end skills (like glass forming), the gestural flourishes (like it's hand magic), and the Zelig-esque soundtrack.


Not only does he make his own vacuum tubes, it looks like much of his equipment is hand-made as well.
Mesmerizing.
The win... you can smell it.

from Make via Electronics Lab who got it from http://paillard.claude.free.fr/
« Last Edit: August 05, 2009, 10:10:12 AM by Edvard »

Ehtyar

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Re: DIY Vacuum tubes
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2009, 06:33:58 PM »
Holy cow Edvard, that was epic. Thanks :Thmbsup: :Thmbsup:

Ehtyar.

mouser

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Re: DIY Vacuum tubes
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2009, 06:36:51 PM »
mesmerizing was the perfect word to describe it.. great.

40hz

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Re: DIY Vacuum tubes
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2009, 10:36:53 PM »
I could watch this for days...

Je suis d'accord! So much so that I downloaded the HQ video.

Epic catch indeed. Thanks for sharing it. :Thmbsup:


Edvard

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Re: DIY Vacuum tubes
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2009, 10:26:32 AM »
moi aussi mon ami, moi aussi... I'm going to show it to my son when we have a night of free time.
It's only 17 minutes, but as with all informational media, he's got a ton of questions afterwards which I'm all too glad to answer until he runs out of them.
Ah, the joys of home-schooling.  :Thmbsup:
« Last Edit: August 05, 2009, 10:30:49 AM by Edvard »

Gothi[c]

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Re: DIY Vacuum tubes
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2009, 03:02:08 PM »
Awesome. If you find more stuff like that, please post! :)

Daleus

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Re: DIY Vacuum tubes
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2009, 01:18:43 PM »
There is some quite interesting stuff available through MAKE magazine. I've often thought of getting a subscription.

I saw this about a year ago and it really struck my heart.  My grandfather who passed away a few years ago, was a Amateur Radio Operator (VE3OJ) and used to tell me stories of how in his early years, he and his radio friends who were on the cutting edge of it all, rolled their own capacitors by hand using paper and wax to hold it all together.

When I was wee, he still had a lot of radio gear that ran on vacuum tubes.  I used to thrill over the tubes lighting up and lending a beautiful glow to the corner of the basement that was his "radio shack". He even had a few of those units that used a modulated glowing green display on the rounded end of the tube to help you tune in a signal.. These type of tubes have an actual name, which completely escapes me now. Depending on how close you were to the signal, a pair of opposing green wedges, on a phosphorescent disc in the end of the tube (like a primitive crt), would expand or contract.

This is a video I think he would have been fascinated with, and I'm glad to have been fascinated in his stead.
Daleus, Curmudgeon-at-Large

40hz

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Re: DIY Vacuum tubes
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2009, 02:56:30 PM »
He even had a few of those units that used a modulated glowing green display on the rounded end of the tube to help you tune in a signal.. These type of tubes have an actual name, which completely escapes me now. Depending on how close you were to the signal, a pair of opposing green wedges, on a phosphorescent disc in the end of the tube (like a primitive crt), would expand or contract.

Ahh...that awesome little bit of electronic bling from back in my father's day! I have one of those on a surplus WWII receiver he and I rebuilt when I was a kid. They're called Cat-Eye (or sometimes Magic Eye) tubes. I say "are called" rather than "were called" because they're still around today. Unfortunately, they're mostly used for eye-candy on very expensive boutique radio receivers.

So who 'woulda thunk' retro-tech could be so cutting edge? ;D

CATSEYE.GIF
More images and article: http://www005.upp.so..._kondo/MAGICEYE2.HTM

CateyeStatic.jpg
Circuit description and additional info at:
http://www.allaboutc...ol_3/chpt_13/10.html

 :Thmbsup:


(P.S. I also miss that unique "smell" composed of ozone, hot insulation, and gently roasting bakelite that used to come off those old radio boxes when they were cranking out signals that went half way around the world. Some of my happiest moments were spent with my Dad and my Uncle Bob up in Bob's super-deluxe radio shack over his garage breathing in that carcinogenic aroma. Hearing them "talk shop" with some guy in Australia seemed like magic to my 8-year old ears. Still does, now that I think about it! >:D )
« Last Edit: August 06, 2009, 04:02:57 PM by 40hz »

Edvard

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Re: DIY Vacuum tubes
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2009, 03:19:13 PM »
Far out! So that's the green thingamabobby on my capacitor tester!

(I have a Knight KG-670 and still don't know how to use it... for shame!)

kg670_1.jpgDIY Vacuum tubes

40hz

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Re: DIY Vacuum tubes
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2009, 03:59:22 PM »
(I have a Knight KG-670 and still don't know how to use it... for shame!)

Manuals are available for most of that old gear if you don't have your own copy. There's a dozen or so sites that will sell you one. Most cost between $8 and $25 depending. Shop around since prices will vary widely even though it's for the same manual.

You can also probably score a copy for free if you have full 'alt' newsgroup access.

Check alt.binaries.e-book.technical and its variants (alt.binaries.ebook.technical, etc.). Post a request if you don't see what you're looking for and somebody will usually put it up within a few days.

 :Thmbsup:

« Last Edit: August 06, 2009, 04:02:02 PM by 40hz »

Daleus

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Re: DIY Vacuum tubes
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2009, 11:31:37 AM »
SWeet 40hz!

Magic Eye was what I was looking for - I believe that was an actual commercial name.

Daleus, Curmudgeon-at-Large