help i am new to tube radios

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help i am new to tube radios

Post by bennie hall on Tue Jul 02, 2013 2:12 pm

Hello every one my name is Bennie hall i live in Asheville N.C. i have a mercury tube tester #204 i have down loaded the tube booklet with lots of tubes but cant find no ref to my radiola61-5 1947 radio tubes.so how do i test these tubes with my machine.if i don't know how to set the dials on my tester? thinks for your help in this matter. Bennie13:11:55

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Re: help i am new to tube radios

Post by Bill Cahill on Tue Jul 02, 2013 6:54 pm

Welcome to TRF. I don't think this tester was made to test those tubes. For those, you will have to get a differrent tester.
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i just lost my vacuum.

Post by bennie hall on Wed Jul 03, 2013 12:49 am

Thanks bill it has a socket for a four pin tube so i thought it might be pretty universal.beaning that it was made for a drug store.no telling who might bring what old tube in.just thinking off the top of my head.Bennie http://illiweb.com/fa/i/smiles/icon_eek.gif

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Re: help i am new to tube radios

Post by tuberadiogeek on Wed Jul 03, 2013 1:21 am

You will find out as you do more things with tubes and radios with tubes that not all tube testers will test every type or number of tube. There are lots of testers that will test a majority of all the tubes but i havent seen one that test all yet.
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Re: help i am new to tube radios

Post by Wildcat445 on Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:52 am

I have three tube testers and a CRT tester and still can't test every tube they made.

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Re: help i am new to tube radios

Post by bennie hall on Wed Jul 03, 2013 1:41 pm

Thanks for all your help in this matter.so how does a man find the best tube checker for the most tubes.at a price short of his retirement.

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Re: help i am new to tube radios

Post by Resistance is Futile on Wed Jul 03, 2013 2:45 pm

That's where selection gets interesting, there are two main types. one is usually way too overpriced and its called a mutual conductance type,
The other is called emission or dynamic type, and those are very reasonably priced at times.
The thing to watch out for in any tube tester, is make sure it works and it has documentation, If not, bypass it post haste!

There are both Junkers and Gems on both types, so get on the web and look for best electronic tube testers. A lot to learn out there if you're up to the challenge.Shocked study
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Re: help i am new to tube radios

Post by bennie hall on Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:59 pm

Thanks for the info Admin by the way my oldest brother used to live in Shelton WA. thanks Bennie

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Re: help i am new to tube radios

Post by Wildcat445 on Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:26 pm

A military tube tester like a TV-7 will test most old radio type tubes. Tube substitution is a good way to check tubes when you are starting out. Just put in a tube "known good" of the same type as the one in the set and note any improvement. The 'known good" part is the trick. Taking a tube out of a radio that is working is not an indication of a "known good" tube. A tube can work in one radio, and not work in another, particularly converter tubes. This may sound confusing, but is not rocket science. I always was taught that engineers and educators put the old "known good" caveat in their service literature so that when a tube did not work in a particular application, they can say that you did not use a "known good" tube, rather than them having given you bum advice!

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WC

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Re: help i am new to tube radios

Post by 75X11 on Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:22 pm

Another option would be to find some tube extenders to allow measurements of the tube in circuit. That was a part of our back up technology in the event our TV-7 wasn't readily available. I think the current prices on a TV-7 would fail the OP's finance test. Very Happy 
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Re: help i am new to tube radios

Post by Wildcat445 on Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:38 pm

I have no idea what a TV-7 would cost nowadays. I paid $5 for mine. In 1966.  Probably at least a couple hunge, depending on where you bought it and how big a hurry you were in.  I still feel that a TV-7 would give the OP the biggest bang for the buck.  Tube extenders and other "quick fix" doodads could ultimately cost more and yield less positive results than just ponying up for the correct equipment in the first place.  My two cents.

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WC

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Re: help i am new to tube radios

Post by 75X11 on Thu Jul 04, 2013 12:15 am

I remember in 1990 there were depot refurbished TV-7's being sold for $25. I regret not having gotten one then. I can't afford one now. Here are some current auctions for them. Take note of the buy it now and closing prices. The ones that appear cheaper are only calibration services.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/Electrical-Test-Equipment-/92074/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=tv-7+tube+tester&_sop=10
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Re: help i am new to tube radios

Post by tuberadiogeek on Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:24 am

I imagine this would be an all around good tester to have. It's pricey but cheaper than a TV-7 by a little bit and no bidding involved. https://www.fairradio.com/catalog.php?mode=viewitem&item=8942 This one may be a good all around tester also and it comes a bit cheaper. https://www.fairradio.com/catalog.php?mode=viewitem&item=12186


Last edited by tuberadiogeek on Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:26 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : added another link)
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Re: help i am new to tube radios

Post by Wildcat445 on Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:35 am

Like I said......depending where you buy it and how big a hurry you are in. Ebay is obviously not the place. The BIN prices are ridiculous. Just watch for one to come up for sale at a realistic price. They are out there. When I got my TV-7, they were considered military surplus junk.

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WC

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Re: help i am new to tube radios

Post by Resistance is Futile on Thu Jul 04, 2013 3:40 pm

Yes you are correct as far as pricing goes. I have two B&K testers, For the 707 I paid $50 and the 747 I paid $80 to a local Ham. both in used condition with just cosmetic scratches from use.

I will bide my time study  to find a TV7 or 10. I will not pay Stupid prices,No  just because everyone desperately has to have one mentality.
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Re: help i am new to tube radios

Post by Wildcat445 on Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:04 pm

Quite frankly, other than their ability to test most of the tubes ever invented, I personally do not see the big deal with TV-7's. They are heavy, antique old clunkers with a finicky and delicate meter. Most military test equipment will survive an atomic bomb blast, but the meter in my TV-7 has been replaced three times. I like my newer Jackson and Hickok testers lots better. The printing in the book for the TV-7 is small and hard to read. I only use it for the older tubes that the newer testers cannot handle. I have no idea why people get their shorts in a bunch to get one, nor why they would pay huge money for the privelege. Would I miss mine? Sure. I guess the best way to say it is that I would not take $10,000 for mine, but would not give $10 for another like it. I absolutely agree with Cliff.

Regards

WC

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