View Full Version : Modern day vacuum tube computing

Loose rivets
13th Dec 2006, 07:26
Thoes of us that like valves, will be pleased to here that they are coming back.


Mr Lexx
13th Dec 2006, 07:34
It's good to see that website makers still have a sense of humour :ok:

tony draper
13th Dec 2006, 07:36
One knew where one was wi valves.:rolleyes:

13th Dec 2006, 08:27
I just loved the 'aerial photo'. Aye, bring back the valves, I say: the old Marshall guitar amps made a great sound and helped keep the room warm as well. Cost a bleedin' fortune nowadays.

13th Dec 2006, 18:27
My home stereo system has valves aplenty and is routinely the subject of admiration by guests for it's superior sound qualities. I am starting a collection.

tony draper
13th Dec 2006, 18:45
Some of the amplifier manufacturors have gone back to using valves,one has a brand new Vox Valvtronics, spiffing amp containing yer actual valves, great for the sixties sound, so much so that one understands a vast new valve producing plant has recently opened in the USA.

13th Dec 2006, 20:39
Sovtek (a real Russian company) have been manufacturing guitar amp valves for years and apparently they're pretty darned good. Maybe they learned it all from the MiG 21 avionics department...

13th Dec 2006, 20:49
Not at all dumb those Russkis. Valve circuitry would survive a much larger EMP insult than would anything made of silicon.

After an excellent landing you can use the airplane again!

14th Dec 2006, 01:46
For the history buff, that first photo is in fact the 500 Kw experimental transmitter used by WLW (700 Kc, 396 meters MW) during the mid 1930's. Most of the transmitter is still intact at the Mason, OH antenna site. See: http://hawkins.pair.com/wlw.shtml :8

Sheesh! it's 427 meter wavelength - not 396...

Loose rivets
14th Dec 2006, 05:36
That's astonishing. I knew that to dissipate that much power into the aether was not easy, but some of that kit is mind-blowing.

tony draper
14th Dec 2006, 17:57
Slightly off topic,someone on another website is asking if anybody knows the where spares for one of these can be obtained.

15th Dec 2006, 19:51
Don't speak too soon regarding Sovtek in Russia: http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F30815FB3E5A0C758DDDAC0894DE404482

(You can find the whole story if you Google the terms - I provided a link to the NYT so as not to invoke objection for posting a 'commercial' link)

The valves you want for audio (modern ones that is, not expensive rarities made in the 60s and 70s) are made in Yugoslavia, on machines originally used by Philips and Telefunken (the latter being the holy grail for audio buffs - be very careful to avoid fakes on Ebay - 90% are fake).

A while back, I viewed a tour of a Chinese valve-making facility.... Yuk! It's not surprising you hear reports of cigarette butts etc being inside Chinese-made tubes...

Svetlana from Russia are also worth investigation.

Bear in mind that it's hilariously easy to purchase cheap, modern valves and re-badge them as "Mullard" or "Western Electric"... Without the buyer having specialist knowledge or test apparatus, you can get away with making a nice little earner...as I've witnessed on Ebay :=

Loose rivets
16th Dec 2006, 00:04
if anybody knows the where spares for one of these can be obtained.

Sadly, I sold my attic that had hoards of valves in it. I also sold the house under it, but that doesn't matter right now. I would have had everything for every PYE that there was. Mr PYE was my boss when I was a sprog. I even had a van with a phone in it -- to send me to dealers that had problems fixing our stuff. Bicycle repair man, me.

We used to be able to send valves back to the makers with a form from a book that had to be filled out. Basically, all you needed was a supply of dud valves and a book. Mullard would allow about 20% returns I think, so we amassed boxes of them.

I noticed that Rapid Electronics was selling KT66s for about 30, this seemed horrific to me. 7s/6d was the price of an average valve in my day. Er, I think.

The 66 pair would fill a cinema in Colchester for some of the first Saturday morning pop sessions in the fifties. Well, by the standards of that day. Going by my comments on "Pulverized brains", I don't think the kids now would accept that meager sound level.

What was stunning about the transmitter in the link was the sheer size of some of the components. Modulation Tx weighing 3/4 of a ton. A tuning condenser that I guess was like that so that it could be water cooled. The monster valve....bet you could get some awesome power by using it as an audio amplifier.

Using the line output valve for boosting one's CB radio was a good trick...if a bit norty.

16th Dec 2006, 00:13
Well, Dr Draper, if that radio is for AC and DC mains, the valves'll be the uxnn or the Pxnn series. I threw most of my stock of those out when I moved about 20 years ago, but there may be the odd one or two in the boxes upstairs, with the matched pairs of EL34s and the KT66s and the 813s (lots of 813s)...

If thou knowest a particular valve number, I'll shin up the ladder on Monday and take a look.

tony draper
16th Dec 2006, 09:31
They were popular aboard ship so they must have been AC/DC,err one means that in the electrical sense,I recal nice wee Hallicrafters and Edistones as well,I had use of a Zenith Transoceonic,one posted on that a while back,that blew before it had a chance to be tested out on blue water due to a mix up between the AC/DC selector switch when we were in dry dock,some oaf said we were on shore current because the gennies were shut down and I switched it to AC, we were on shore curent but it was still 110 volt DC.
There was always a bit of a contest on the Stateside run as to who's radio would pick up WIMS New york first heading west and who's would pick up radio Luxemburg homeward bound.
Incidently I pinched that pictures from another website,that shows pickies chosen random from their vast galleries,they change daily I have not been able to find it and the posts again,so I could not give the chaps the links kind pooners supplied.
They prolly have televisions on merchant ships now anyway.
:uhoh: :cool: