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Old 17th April 2012, 04:10 PM   #11
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It was commonly done with ....... hearing aids.

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huh? really? I'm struggling to visualize this........vacuum tube hearing aid?
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Old 17th April 2012, 04:24 PM   #12
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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huh? really? I'm struggling to visualize this........vacuum tube hearing aid?
Yep, until roughly the mid 1960s.. The electronics usually lived in a small box about the size Altoids mints come in..
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Old 17th April 2012, 09:04 PM   #13
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huh? really? I'm struggling to visualize this........vacuum tube hearing aid?
Yes, as Kevin says the user carried a cigarette pack sized box in their shirt pocket that housed a mic, a tube amp, and two batteries. There was a wire to a crystal (piezoelectric) earphone. I had one of them in the early 60's and hacked it into a radio. The tubes are about the same diameter as a pencil, an inch and a half long, need 1.4 volts at 50 ma for the heater and 22.5 volts on the plate. Still have some of the tubes, but they are in the goodbye stack.
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Old 17th April 2012, 09:16 PM   #14
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...a tube amp, and two batteries...The tubes are about the same diameter as a pencil, an inch and a half long, need 1.4 volts at 50 ma for the heater and 22.5 volts on the plate.
Could such a thing be Frankenstein'd into a retro portable headphone amp?

Battery technology using NiMH or Lithium Ion/Polymer could provide quite a nifty power source. Would the mighty Tubelab be into seeing how much power he could thump through a helpless, nearly used up pencil shaped tube? That would make an excellent, excellent YouTube video...TubeLab Meets Bobby Darren in The Time Tunnel and bends time with a microtube.

With a 'leatherette' pleather case, an old pair of Radio Shack 100-in-1 electronics experiments earpieces and you've got one jazz-hands, unique-as-all-get-out box around your neck. Guaranteed to break the ice at parties. I think I want one already.

Back on topic though, did I see right that the website change? Spud on hold until further notice?

The size, shape and config of the spud just resonates with me...

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Old 18th April 2012, 01:49 PM   #15
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Could such a thing be Frankenstein'd into a retro portable headphone amp?
That shouldn't be too hard, but the sound quality would likely suck. I was a 10 or 12 year old kid at the time, and essentially wired a crystal radio set where the microphone was. I could get a few stations, but the popular music station has its tower in the Atlantic ocean with mega power. They were (and still are..560 KHz AM) easy to pick up with a coat hanger and a diode. I thought it was cool to have a radio that I "made" but sound quality???? What does it take to hear the Beatles or Elvis on AM radio???? Does it beat todays iPOD?????? Do you care if you are a kid?

All these tubes are still around and cheap. Many are microphonic, have low gain and very limited power output (tens of milliwatts). Look up 6418.

With todays LIPO power I would look into the subminiature tubes that were used in aircraft at the same time. Here you get an oxide cathode, 90 to 150 volts of plate capability and 1 to 3 watts of dissipation. They can be coerced to fit into an 8 pin round IC socket too. Look up 5718, 5636, 5840 and 6021.

I looked into using them for a guitar amp that fits INSIDE the guitar. I want battery power but at least 2 watts output, so I will still use a 7 pin miniature tube for output......if I ever find time to build it.


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did I see right that the website change? Spud on hold until further notice?
I have been going through the website removing all traces of the name that uses the word Simple and the common abbreviation for Single Ended. That design now must be called the SSE due to copyright issues. In the process of hastilly removing and renaming things I have busted many links. I am now trying to fix them. It's these kind of things and the warehouse deal that have kept me from working on the Spud, or ANY tube designs this year. It will be an indefinite time before I get to play with electricity again.
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Old 18th April 2012, 03:15 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by tubelab.com View Post
With todays LIPO power I would look into the subminiature tubes that were used in aircraft at the same time. Here you get an oxide cathode, 90 to 150 volts of plate capability and 1 to 3 watts of dissipation. They can be coerced to fit into an 8 pin round IC socket too. Look up 5718, 5636, 5840 and 6021.
I will look them up, but the datasheets and curves will still look like latin to me. However, would it be wise to have 90 to 150 volts hanging around my neck where I am the path to ground in the even of a fault and my heart and major organs are in the path of flow? It would be retro cool to own and operate a unique piece of kit like that though, potential fidelity issues aside.
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I have been going through the website removing all traces of the name that uses the word Simple and the common abbreviation for Single Ended. That design now must be called the SSE due to copyright issues. In the process of hastilly removing and renaming things I have busted many links. I am now trying to fix them.
I am one of the most recent guilty parties of using the defunct term. Will do my best to stick to SSE in future.
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It's these kind of things and the warehouse deal that have kept me from working on the Spud, or ANY tube designs this year. It will be an indefinite time before I get to play with electricity again.
Having read a little history on your site and here on diyAudio, it was only my eagerness talking. Zero intent to add pressure to your situation. Heck, I can't even get around to purchasing the passive components for my SSE board, let alone the iron or fab a chassis. That's on hold now as I will be saying b-bye to colleagues at week's end, tightening the budget further. Economy sucks North of the border too. Second time for me in the last three years. Unless I move to the oil patch out West, short dry spell for me too.

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Old 19th April 2012, 02:51 AM   #17
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That's on hold now as I will be saying b-bye to colleagues at week's end, tightening the budget further. Economy sucks North of the border too. Second time for me in the last three years.
Sorry to hear that. I have worked in the same Motorola plant where I started 39 years ago. There are layoffs every year, yet there are new young faces too. Most of my friends are gone and it's only a matter of time for the rest of us old farts.

I have lived in South Florida for 59+ years. I will leave here when my number comes up at work. Hence the preparations for a big move and the associated "stuff reduction plans".

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I will look them up, but the datasheets and curves will still look like latin to me.
You just skip over all that unimportant stuff to get to the typical operating conditions. Here you look at the power output, load impedance (what OPT to use) and the B+ and current. The power output listed for the 6418 is 2.2 MILLIWATTS. Even through a headphone, you are going to need a hearing aid to hear the hearing aid......NEXT.

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However, would it be wise to have 90 to 150 volts hanging around my neck
90 to 150 volts is max rating. These little guys will usually work on 2 or 3 9 volt batteries. I haven't seen one of those hearing aids in maybe 30 or 40 years. I think they are rather scarce today. The brand name was Sonotone. They go back to the 1930's and are still in business. Google for some interesting history.
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Old 19th April 2012, 10:10 AM   #18
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Sorry to hear that. I have worked in the same Motorola plant where I started 39 years ago. There are layoffs every year, yet there are new young faces too. Most of my friends are gone and it's only a matter of time for the rest of us old farts.
In sense, it's a silver lining for me. The engineering company I work for is currenlty rocked by national and international scandal and investigation, so I won't miss that. You're quite right that the challenge is when friends leave.
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I have lived in South Florida for 59+ years. I will leave here when my number comes up at work. Hence the preparations for a big move and the associated "stuff reduction plans".
Pursuing a Zen life in line with the principles of Feng Shui and minimalism is a noble goal. Please don't tell me you're coming North. Some of us hearty northerners NEED winter just to survive the onslaught of a dozen "dog days" of sticky, humid weather in August every year. One of my buddies in Pensacola, FL used to live in Louisiana and characterized the weather there as..."imagine putting on a snowmobile suit and fur hat, then getting into your attic in the middle of summer to ride 5 miles on an exercise bike. THAT'S what just standing here in Lafayette feels like."
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Even through a headphone, you are going to need a hearing aid to hear the hearing aid......NEXT.
Just thought of the novelty. My wife's two aunts both wore one of these.
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The brand name was Sonotone. They go back to the 1930's and are still in business. Google for some interesting history.
Will Google and thanks for the tip. If you, or anyone you know is a car guy, dragging particularly, then you should Goole "Turbonique Drag Axle". Spin off from an ex-NASA employee who shared a portion of your philosophy, but he did not back off a bit. Google it, you'll see what I mean.

I do hope that you get some bench time soon. I always feel a little lost when I'm unable to play.

Thanks for the well wishes.

~Squiff (aka Brad)
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Old 19th April 2012, 05:45 PM   #19
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Please don't tell me you're coming North.
Well that depends on how you define "North". I was born in Miami and have neven lived any further north than Fort Lauderdale. Both of those areas have made Forbes Magazine's 10 worst places to live list for the past 2 years. We inherited a house in Moundsville West Virginia about 250 miles south of the Toronto area. I have seen pictures taken out the window of the RIM plant in Waterloo during winter. I am not up for that yet.

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Some of us hearty northerners NEED winter just to survive the onslaught of a dozen "dog days" of sticky, humid weather in August every year.
We lived in Miami and didn't have air conditioning until I was in High School. I can't imagine that now. My internal thermostat seems to have tilted to the point where I dont like going outside from July to September.

I have gone to the house in West Virginia every winter for the past 10 years. The cold doesn't bother me as much as the Florida heat does. Of course there isn't near as much of the white stuff as you guys get.

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If you, or anyone you know is a car guy, dragging particularly, then you should Goole "Turbonique Drag Axle".
I have taken trips down the 1320 ever since I got my first car in 1970. Unfortunately the local strip was closed in the name of progress about 20 years ago. The closest strip is now 70 miles away. One of the things I will probably sell is my 500 HP 1973 Dodge Challenger.

I remember the Turbonique from a write up in Hot Rod magazine some time ago. Old car guys will remember Andy Granatellis turbine car at the Indianapolis 500. It walked away from the field and was headded toward victory when a bearing failure in the transaxle killed it. As with many new technologies the sanctioning bodies were afraid of it so they legislated it out of existance. That is what's happening now with electric cars in the NHRA.
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Old 21st April 2012, 03:56 AM   #20
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Hey George, become a snowbird, then you can keep your hobbies! Lot's of people here sure do it, of course the winters can be too long & I don't look forward to them like you with the hot humid weather.

Didn't mind the winters so much when I was young (they were colder then too) & actually this past was one of the warmest winters I've seen here except for 87-88.

My youngest brother just 3/4 /HR North of Toronto figures he'll go to FL for the winters when he retires.

Most people from here go to Texas & Arizona, though I have heard of California and Mexico as other popular places besides Florida. Popular to go out to BC too, but has gotten too expensive!

One thing about the winters here and out west is it's very dry most of the time so it isn't as bad as it is out east (Detroit-Windsor to Montreal all I've experienced) where it's warmer, but damp which makes it feel much colder.

I remember that Turbonique article too. Wild stuff!

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