Tube Amplifiers
toolongdays asked:

I am a musician but also dabble in art and I want to do something creative with the valves. I want to take 200 around Ecc83s and develop something with them. I have a little know-how of electronics but I do not want to get involved to the point where I have to develop an amplifier circuit around the many pipes. Should not really work, glow just for visual effect. If you have any tips or knowledge to do this scrivami an email to Thanks a bunch. Dan


4 Comments so far

  1. cdf-rom on October 9, 2009 12:09 am

    I sort of wish you wouldn’t do that. Tubes are getting more expensive and harder to find every day. You could probably get a nice bit of change from people who can use them. If it’s just the effects you want, use LED’s with batteries, or little 4 watt nightlight bulbs and run the bulbs at lower than usual power (like through a small step-down transformer) to make them glow just red instead of too bright to look at.

    6 NOV 06, 0618 hrs, GMT.

  2. athiestforthebirthofjesus on October 10, 2009 9:28 am

    put 6.3 vac across the “filament” termianals

    I *think* they are numbers 1 and 2 … take a meter
    and read resistances between adjacent pins and where
    you find a sorta small R-value, you will likely have located
    the ‘filament’

    the 6.3 vac should come from the secndary of a transformer since it will draw considerable current

    (the pins will be teh “first-two” or the “last-two” depending on how you count from the “gap” in the circular arrangenement of pins on the bottom of teh tube

    for safety’s sake, put a fuse in the circuit (or a ckt breaker) you figure out the value depending on how many tubes you light up

    good luck

  3. Pretzels on October 11, 2009 10:39 pm

    In vacuum tubes, the first number is the filament voltage, for a 12AX7 that is 12 volts. I would poke around with an ohmmeter to find what pairs of pins give continuity. Since the filament voltage is the lowest in the tube, you can put the 12 volts about anywhere without damage. The correct pins will light the tube up. It shouldn’t damage teh tube to use it this way.

  4. Trailcook on October 13, 2009 1:06 am

    I’m with cdf-rom. You’ll get some good dough from selling the tubes.
    Also, you will probably be disappointed with your project because the tubes do not glow very brightly but get very hot. Also it will use a lot of electricity.
    I recommend you illuminate the tubes with LEDs. They are inexpensive, run forever, and use practically no current.

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