Hickok 600a

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Hickok 600a

Post by willy3486 on Sat Aug 20, 2016 6:15 pm

I had posted on some forums and places I was looking for some parts for my seco 1100 and Hickok 600 tube tester.  A member named Greenhorn over at the other site had this Hickok 600a. He gave me a good price for it and shipping so I took a chance on it. I figured if the Transformer was shot maybe I could use some of the parts to fix mine. I got it and it looks better than mine.




I was going to wait on checking it out during the winter. So this past week I got to looking at it and tinkering on it. The two tubes were missing but I had a 5y3 and a 5z3 that subs for a 83. I replaced the caps and did a little more tinkering. I also replaced a socket that was broke. I have a box of sockets out in my big workshop and I found one. The bracket was bent the wrong way but I carefully bent it around to the direction I needed and it fit perfect. This is the socket and you can see the odd bend in the bracket.




After I did all this I was able to do a line adjustment and get that part set. But If I tested a known good tube the meter hand just would quiver. I wound up going through the steps over at the tone lizard on repairing these. I had good voltage all over it. So I went through and sprayed cleaner all over the switches again. I also twisted all the knobs. That did the trick and now it tests the tubes. Next on the agenda is to look through my tubes and find a 83, I probably have one just overlooked it. I also plan to rebuild the case and recover it. Here is the case.




And this view



So I will probably strip all the old material off soon, then I will glue up the case. I have cleaned the tester itself. I also need to figure out how to get the paper to roll better. When it gets to the end of the roll it locks up. My old one was like that and I took it out. Now after a couple of moves I have lost that piece of my original tube tester. Anyway enjoy it and I will post an update on the case when I get to it.


Last edited by willy3486 on Sat Aug 20, 2016 6:32 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Hickok 600a

Post by Wildcat445 on Sat Aug 20, 2016 6:26 pm

You are making good progress. Have you ever worked with Tolex before?

I never have, but would sure like to learn.

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Re: Hickok 600a

Post by willy3486 on Sat Aug 20, 2016 6:36 pm

Thanks for the complement. I haven't worked with Tolex before, I don't know where I can get it. I will have to look around. My wife does a lot of sewing so if I get into trouble on it I can get her to help. I have redone other things and done some upholstery so hopefully I can pull this off. I have a couple of more items I need to redo such as a meter. I have a Jackson tube tester to redo as well.

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Re: Hickok 600a

Post by 75X11 on Mon Aug 22, 2016 10:56 pm

Make sure it's red, You have to maintain the status of a Hickok! Very Happy
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Re: Hickok 600a

Post by willy3486 on Mon Aug 22, 2016 11:05 pm

75X11 wrote:Make sure it's red, You have to maintain the status of a Hickok!  Very Happy

I will! I saw AES has some at a decent price. IIRC I can get a black piece and a red piece each a yard long by 54 inches for about 25 bucks. I think I will order some this fall and get a few more parts. A yard is more than enough and I have some other pieces that has black on them.

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Re: Hickok 600a

Post by 75X11 on Tue Aug 23, 2016 12:06 am

It always seems like an item is worth more when you bring it into shape and truly make it yours.
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Re: Hickok 600a

Post by Bill Cahill on Tue Aug 23, 2016 12:07 am

Actually, the color is maroon.

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Re: Hickok 600a

Post by easyrider8 on Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:48 am

A 5Z3 is not a good sub for a tube tester, put a good 83 in there and do a calibration. Spraying down the switches and contacts is not a good idea in a tube tester, it will lead to problems when testing for leakage and shorts.

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Re: Hickok 600a

Post by Dale H. Cook on Sat Mar 25, 2017 6:21 pm

Dave is correct. A 5Z3 is a conventional vacuum rectifier. Hickoks need an 83, which is a mercury vapor rectifier. The mercury vapor adds a regulating effect that keeps the power supply voltage fairly constant across a range of supply currents. The 5Z3 cannot do that and will result in incorrect readings for many (probably most) tube types being tested.

His point about spray cleaner is also sound. Many inexpensive sprays leave an oil residue that can cause problems down the line. For normal cleaning of switches I normally use Deoxit D5, taking care to keep it on the contacts and keeping it off of the wafers (I dip a microswab into the liquid so I can apply it to just the contacts). For controls I use a professional-quality spray that leaves a small amount of silicone for lubrication.
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