Why talk about it now?

Mini project – Vacuum tube retro

Posted by aonomus on December 29, 2008

So I was browsing through Active Surplus (downtown Toronto on Queen St.) and saw (like any other trip there) these gigantic cardboard boxes full of vacuum tubes. Apparently they were $1 a piece, but I never asked before. I came home with 5 tubes and 5 matching sockets and went to home depot to buy a prime (read $2) piece of wood.

I drilled evenly spaced 1″ holes (just a hair under the size of the tube socket base) and mounted the sockets, then added ‘feet’ to give it more presence.

I plan to look up the datasheets on the tubes and find out the fillament voltages, with any luck they will all have matching filament voltages so I can power them all off a 6.3V or 12.6V power supply (perhaps just a LM317 set for an appropriate voltage) to get warm glowing tube goodness. A bench test with 6V and 12V shows that this does actually work.

Note for photographers: this was a super low light photo, I had to take 2 separate 15 second exposures at both 200 and 400 ISO and composite them to get a decent looking photo…. in real life the tubes are no where near as bright.

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