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  1. #1

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    Default Zoom Tube Toy Wanted (dead or alive)

    I ask about a Zoom Tube @ every indy Toy Store I come across. A young woman in a Lawrence toy shop actually had seen one as kid.

    ~ 1985, we gave a Zoom Tube as a XMAS gift to my wife's nephew's 5YO son. He has no recollection (I'm guessing his dad confiscated it ASAP.

    Imagine a cardboard shipping tube, ~ 3" in diameter & 3' long. Wrapped in some psychedelic paper. Inside I hypothesize there was a metal spring, free on one end to vibrate. As soon as you move the tube, the spring vibrates a wavelengh of sound which travels the length of the tube & reflects back to the point of origin. This goes on for an eternity, until some adult latches onto the tube & holds it still (likely for an eternity).

    IF I'm asked to describe the sound, I say that it's like the time your Uncle Ed got on top of the chickenhouse with a sledgehammer & did a rhythmic beat on the tin roof while you were inside.

    We got the original Zoom Tube at a gift shop in some science museum. I strongly believe it was the product of an inventor who also marketed them & was never picked up by a mainstream toy co. Google has been of no help in my exhaustive searches. I'm guessing the inventor has passed away. Patent? I don't know.

    Here's another one for audiophiles:

    Take a lo pipe. Drill holes at X mm intervals. Attach a speaker to one end; a lab gas jet to the other. Hook your speaker up to an amp (should be one tonyb would term "musical") & play a full-spectrum song (Also sprach Zarathustra comes to mind, with those initial 20Hz frequencies). The gas in the pipe is forced out the small apertures, & once lit forms a blue flame graphic wave rising above the pipe in correlation with the frequencies & amplitudes of the music.

    The Google examples so far don't do justice to what I've observed. Flames are mostly yellow (insufficient air for complete combustion), rather than blue.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpCquUWqaYw

    Here's a more scientific video. I suggest having Calculus before viewing; ~ 4'45" is the best part IMHO:

    http://www.che.utah.edu/outreach/module#vide

    NOTE: I've never had kids. I assume no liability for irresponsible parents. I once showed my 8th graders an electric chair for a large dill pickle, speared on nails at each end. You then plug the chair into 120V. What do you suppose the pickle does in your darkened classroom? Why does it eventually NOT do that any longer? The first correct response came from a mainstreamed special ed student; and he named the correct element.

    The next day, 2 mainstreamed students came to class, excited to tell me that the electric chair also makes toast, IF you unplug it fast enough (BIG SMILES ON FACES).

  2. #2

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    Didn't it have a solo cup in each end with the spring connected to each cup.
    AVR: Onkyo Tx-NR808
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  3. #3

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    I think I have one of those here in a closet. I think it's called a Zoob Tube.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by jbooker82 View Post
    Didn't it have a solo cup in each end with the spring connected to each cup.
    Perhaps you saw an early prototype? One toy shop clerk though the "Inventor" was from Iowa. My best guess is that we purchased it @ The Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, KS. http://www.cosmo.org/

    Ten - you had me all atwitter, until I Googled:

    "ZOOB is a building set with a difference, the pieces move after kids put them together. Little ones can play with their creations for hours."
    Zoob Tube(s) evidently refer to the container. That 2nd sentence told me instantly that it was not the Uncle Ed version.

    http://www.infinitoy.com/zoob/zoobcreations.shtml

  5. #5

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    Here by the sea and sand nothing ever goes as planned.

    McIntosh MC 7270 ~ Rogue Audio Métis Preamplifier ~ Rogue Stealth Phono Pre ~ Denon 5910 ~ Vandersteen 3A ~ VPI HW19 Mk III with upgraded platter, SME tonearm and Ortofon Kontrapunkt A cartridge

  6. #6

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    Yeh, I was wrong- it's a ZUBE Tube, not a ZOOB Tube.

    http://zubetube.com/

  7. #7

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    THANX & YEAH, I SCORED!

    2 Zube Tubes are on the way. Amazon also had a smaller Space Sound Gravity Tube, 16", but I went for the 37" Zube Tube. The mfgr. "Hog Wild," appears to have adapted the design, as I don't recall a fingerhole for plucking the internal coil spring, which runs from end to end. I'm also pretty sure the one we purchased had plastic caps more durable than solo cups. I believe this has DIY feasibility. I'm sure my Tollers will soon be trying to take one away from me, and I'll see its innards . . .

  8. #8

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    Yep that is the one I was thinking of. I could have sworn that they had a pair of solo cups in the end with the spring attached. We would give it a good shake then yell and talk in to one end of the tube for it to change the tone of your voice.
    AVR: Onkyo Tx-NR808
    Amplifier: Carver A-753x 250 watts x 3
    Fronts: Polk RTI A7 (modded by Trey VR3)
    Center: CSI A4 (modded by Trey VR3)
    Rear: FXI A4
    Sub: Polk DSW Pro 660wi
    TV: LG Infinia 50PX950 3D
    Speaker Cable: AudioQuest Type 8
    IC: AudioQuest Black Mamba II

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by jbooker82 View Post
    Yep that is the one I was thinking of. I could have sworn that they had a pair of solo cups in the end with the spring attached. We would give it a good shake then yell and talk in to one end of the tube for it to change the tone of your voice.
    I think your memory is AOK. One of the Amazon reviewers spoke about the solo cups cracking over time, such that it might not last long with rowdies thumping an end on the ground &/or roughhousing! My wife says our gift tube had something tougher than a solo cup & no fingerpluckin' hole.

    I'm thinking the orinigal 80s' version could well have been an actual mailing tube. IMHO, that pluckin' hole = an outlet for the sound waves to escape over time, which might make it more "adult tolerable."

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