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Tube testers

Discussion in '"Boat Anchor" & Classic Equipment' started by N4KDF, May 25, 2021.

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  1. N4KDF

    N4KDF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm on the search for a tube tester and of of course there seem to be many vendors and pricing is all over the place. Do any of you know of a good source of information on testers? Manufacturers? Models from manufacturers? Sure would like to find a comprehensive source for all things tube tester.

  2. WA2CWA

    WA2CWA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Google tube testers
    The first page will provide links to tons of information.
  3. WA9FZB

    WA9FZB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Army surplus TV-7U?
  4. KN4SMF

    KN4SMF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just any will do. The secret is to just become familiar with it. Don't overthink it. BTDT
    KP4SX likes this.
  5. AB2YC

    AB2YC Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

  6. WA5VGO

    WA5VGO Ham Member QRZ Page

    A few years ago our vintage radio club ran a test. Everyone was invited to bring their tube tester and we would all test the same used tubes that were in various conditions. People showed up with everything from TV-7’s to inexpensive and very basic emission testers. Most of us were amazed with the results. EVERY tester correctly identified the bad tubes and identified the reason they were bad. It’s true the high dollar transconductance testers could deliver actual numbers, but the point is, the inexpensive testers did their job and did it well.
    WN2SQC likes this.
  7. KD0CAC

    KD0CAC Ham Member QRZ Page

    By that logic , the ZED should go away ;(

    Tube testers are going away , generally speaking , a couple of links I use to have do not exist anymore ;(
    Here's one left

    So searching google is less productive , and can lead to many higher priced music oriented soruces .
    So asking here should bring more RF related replies .
  8. KN4SMF

    KN4SMF Ham Member QRZ Page

    The world's supply of NOS tubes can't last forever. I'm surprised it has held up this long. If a tube works, I just put it back in and sort of look the other way. Weak or not, it's better than none at all, which is a day fast approaching. What else can I do? Buy some new Chinese tube? May as well have nothing at all than that.
  9. KI4ZNV

    KI4ZNV Ham Member QRZ Page

    The question: What do you want a tube tester for?

    A cheap emission tester will find a lot of bad tubes... low emission, open filaments.

    A transconductance tester will find a lot more possible failures and allow you to match tubes.

    But in most cases it's easier to find bad tubes from behaviour in-circuit than to use a tube tester.

    If you have a crate of random tubes and want to know which ones to keep and which ones to get rid of, buy or borrow a proper transconductance tester.
  10. WA5VGO

    WA5VGO Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don’t think it’s nearly this dire. ESRC vacuum tubes was one of the largest suppliers in the world. Before the owner Stan Winston passed away he told me that with the exception of large transmitting tubes and a few scarce receiving and audio tubes, he thought the world supply would last at least another one hundred years. He said he was still acquiring 10’s of thousands of NOS tubes almost monthly. Fortunately, his inventory has been purchased and will continue to be available.

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