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Thread: Tube tester

  1. #1

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    Default Tube tester

    Saw this on CL this morning not sure if this is something you tube guys would be interested in, I just thought I would post it.

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    tests, at best, emissions and filament continuity.
    Tube checkers like this were sales tools for the stores that had them :-)
    It's marginally useful at best. It's way overpriced at 130 clams.
    all the best,
    mrh

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    I remember the various tube testers that used to be in a lot of the stores back in the day. Even the 7-11 stores had them and sold tubes. Of course Radio Shack stores had(maybe still do?) similar testers also. Tube equipment was what everyone had way back then,lol. I could see the CL item selling as a novelty item, I'm sure the seller will be glad to get anything for it, offer him $40.00 bucks... Just curious, are there any good tube testers out there these days that can be recommended?

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    Hickok is a solid brand- getting serious $$$ any more to buy though.
    "The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." --Thomas Jefferson

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    I think (i.e., I suspect) he was asking whether there were any new production testers that add any value. There are some made for matching (guitar amp) power tubes that may be decent if one is using a type of tubes that they support. I cannot remember the brand name at the moment... but it should be easy to find via Gurgle. The usefulness of such a tester is very limited compared to a Hickok or even a little Sencore serviceperson's tester.

    The Hickok mutual conductance testers are superb but expensive and elderly - they require service and calibration (i.e., it's best for most of us to bite the bullet and buy a rehabilitated one from someone who knows what he or she is doing).
    all the best,
    mrh

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    I think I have seen some of those guitar amp tube testers in GC or Musician's Friend catalog. My Fender Bassman 100 uses the 6L6GC and 12AX7 tubes I believe. Just like anything, to get good quality, you have to for it:).

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    FWIW, I have (and use) my father's Sencore Mighty-Mite emissions tester (mid-late 1960s variety, I think it's a Mighty-Mite V).
    It only tests emissions, grid leakage and shorts, but it is small, rugged, easy to use and offers a very reliable and sensitive grid leakage test. It's utterly useless for matching tubes and it doesn't test power tubes under load... but it can diagnose a short quickly and easily, and the grid-leakage test can be useful for finding tired output tubes (just let 'em cook on the tester for a few minutes and watch the grid leakage creep up). The other thing one can do with an emission tester is a "life test", test the emission at the nominal filament voltage, and then turn the filament voltage down one notch and check emissions again. If the tube still tests "good", it's got lots of life left in it :-)

    Most of the above are not "21st Century Tube Snob Approved" techniques, but they served several generations of radio-TV service people well and they do still have their place! :-)

    EDIT: Well, it looks like Bruce Rozenblit had a modern tube tester kit... but it's between revs at the moment, apparently:
    http://www.transcendentsound.com/Tra..._Analyzer.html
    Last edited by mhardy6647; 07-01-2013 at 02:07 PM.
    all the best,
    mrh

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    I like how portable the Sencore unit you have mhardy. That transcendentsound unit is nice!

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    th
    Quote Originally Posted by mhardy6647 View Post
    FWIW, I have (and use) my father's Sencore Mighty-Mite emissions tester (mid-late 1960s variety, I think it's a Mighty-Mite V).
    It only tests emissions, grid leakage and shorts, but it is small, rugged, easy to use and offers a very reliable and sensitive grid leakage test. It's utterly useless for matching tubes and it doesn't test power tubes under load... but it can diagnose a short quickly and easily, and the grid-leakage test can be useful for finding tired output tubes (just let 'em cook on the tester for a few minutes and watch the grid leakage creep up). The other thing one can do with an emission tester is a "life test", test the emission at the nominal filament voltage, and then turn the filament voltage down one notch and check emissions again. If the tube still tests "good", it's got lots of life left in it :-)

    Most of the above are not "21st Century Tube Snob Approved" techniques, but they served several generations of radio-TV service people well and they do still have their place! :-)

    EDIT: Well, it looks like Bruce Rozenblit had a modern tube tester kit... but it's between revs at the moment, apparently:
    http://www.transcendentsound.com/Tra..._Analyzer.html
    It was your advise that got me to buy one of the Mighty Mites and have not regretted it. It has saved me several times with detecting shorted tubes which allowed proof that resulted in full refunds.
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    Weird, just this morning I was thinking about my dad's Hickok tube tester, which he still has, and remembering when drug stores used to have tube testers. Imagine Joe Blow opening up his TV, yanking out tubes amid charged high voltage caps , running them to RiteAid to test and popping in new ones.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skrol View Post
    Weird, just this morning I was thinking about my dad's Hickok tube tester, which he still has, and remembering when drug stores used to have tube testers. Imagine Joe Blow opening up his TV, yanking out tubes amid charged high voltage caps , running them to RiteAid to test and popping in new ones.
    That's a good tester there.......
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  13. #13
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    This little device looks interesting:
    https://www.orangeamps.com/products/...gement/vt1000/
    Maybe 10 or so CP guys could get together, buy one and pass it around?
    Ken

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    mmm - it does look interesting.
    I could be talked into a 10% share - unless the MSRP for that gizmo is, say $10,000... (I didn't dig too deep, i.e., to find a price)
    all the best,
    mrh

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