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Sparky49 11th October 2012 04:19 PM

Hello, a query about power supplies
Hi all,

Firstly, let me say hi to everyone on the forum! This place looks really good, I'll enjoy reading the posts. :)

I've started to get an interest in tubes. I'm quite knowledgeable with electronics in general, but I have never done anything with tubes, but I'd like to change that!

I thought a good place to start would be to make a power supply from tubes, however, I have no idea where to start! Would you guys mind helping me?

I have only two factors (at the moment!) I would like:

Runs from UK 240V mains

Variable voltage

I don't know what sort of output voltages would be useful, so hopefully you guys can help me out with that!

I have done a search, however I cannot seem to find anything which is very clear. Although a few variable supplies have come up, they have all been for American supplies, and I'm quite 'anal' when it comes to constructing projects! Everything must be checked and checked again, and I must have the correct transformer, etc. Sorry. :o

Anyhow, I look forward to your replies!

Many thanks,


Osvaldo de Banfield 11th October 2012 04:26 PM

Hi Sparky, wellcome and try to not be "sparky", OK! :-D

What kind of supply have you in mind?

bobodioulasso 11th October 2012 04:41 PM

Either a variac or a multi tapped transformer.
Either tubes or solid state.

Sparky49 11th October 2012 04:41 PM

But sparks are cool!!! ;-)

I don't mind really, a voltage regulated supply would be great.

Linear too. ;-)


sreten 11th October 2012 04:56 PM


A tube power supply is only really suitable for valve amplifers, and
a standard tube power supply with a variac is probably more useful
than a valve regulated high voltage supply.

rgds, sreten.

bobodioulasso 11th October 2012 05:50 PM

Or an exercice in style. For fun.

DF96 11th October 2012 06:13 PM

Better to start with something simple. I have been playing with valves for about 40 years but I have never needed a variable supply. Anything in the range 200-250V will be fine.

Mooly 11th October 2012 07:04 PM

Guys, please remember that Variacs don't provide any mains isolation.

For a PSU built for general experimenting with, its vital that it uses an isolation transformer somewhere in the chain. I'm sure you all know that but better safe than sorry.


Sparky49 11th October 2012 07:32 PM

Thanks for the replies!

I would prefer to keep it isolated with transformers - much safer that way. :)

I know it might not be the most useful of things, but I don't mind that - half of my projects are just to learn about something or just because I can. :) No harm in that. :)

What I'm mostly confused about is where the pot. is to be placed.

Perhaps a simple schematic might help? :)


DF96 11th October 2012 07:52 PM

Which pot?

Don't try to make your first ever high voltage supply a variable one. Make a simple fixed supply and make your mistakes with that. You can always leave space in the box for adding a variable regulator later on. Walk before you run.

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