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Old 7th February 2008, 03:45 PM   #1
wicked1 is offline wicked1  United States
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Default extend tube sockets, or tube "plugs"?

I was thinking about modifying a project that's on a PCB. I'd like to use panel mount tube sockets, and keep the wires as short as possible. I'd also like to be able to service this PCB in the future w/out desoldering all of the tube wires.
My thought was to leave the sockets on the PCB, and use a sort of tube plug to plug into the PCB mounted sockets, and then the other end of the "plugs" would have wires going up to the panel mounted sockets. That way I can keep the wires short and just unplug the tube extensions when I need to service it.

Is there such a thing? I noticed for the larger tubes, I can get tube bases, which might work, but I haven't found anything that will work for the 9 pin tubes.

thanks
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Old 7th February 2008, 04:09 PM   #2
cwujek is offline cwujek  United States
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http://cgi.ebay.com/Vacuum-Tube-Sock...QQcmdZViewItem

You could probably get some socket savers to do the trick.
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Old 7th February 2008, 04:15 PM   #3
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Two more sets of contacts for signal and everything else to go through, probably not the best thought for long term reliability, HF stability or sound.

How about cutting clearance sized holes in the top of the chassis and plugging the tubes directly into the pcb. They'll be slightly recessed, but this is not an unusual solution. You would have to be extra careful locating the socket centers so that all of the holes line up properly, and you'd have to mount the board solidly so it does not flex a lot upon tube insertion or removal.
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Old 7th February 2008, 04:15 PM   #4
wicked1 is offline wicked1  United States
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Thanks! that's perfect.
I can probably pop the top off of those and solder wires into it.
They might be long enough as they are, too.
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Old 7th February 2008, 04:30 PM   #5
wicked1 is offline wicked1  United States
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Kevin, I know..... Thats the problem. But the reason I want to mount the sockets externally is for looks. And because all of the wiring is on the PCB, I was going to use a wood panel.
The thick wood panel is why I need to go top mount. I suppose I could route the holes out at an angle, and use bottom mount sockets. Then I can unscrew the sockets from the wood panel, and just lift the panel right off the top if I need to service it.

That might be the best idea.. bottom mount sockets and solder wires from them directly into the pcb.

You guys think you have it rough w/ the spouse approval factor.... It's MUCH worse when your wife is an architect. The design.. style.. looks are 15x more important than anything else.
"You're not putting that thing next to my $11,000.00 1929 Mies van der Rohe sofa!! Are you out of your mind??"

and dirty shoes or dog hair... forget about it!
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Old 7th February 2008, 05:01 PM   #6
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Hi wicked1, I can certainly understand the concern when the hifi is sharing a room with any Mies van der Rohe piece.

I needed more isolation from our main living space and when my spouse to be (we've been married for a while now) proposed giving me half the basement for my hobby and doing a lot of work to make it hospitable I was quite quick to agree. As discussed elsewhere it is my "man cave" - given my taste in music (which doesn't always parallel my wife's) it is a good thing I have a separate place to listen.

She has been encouraging me for years to install wiring between the living room and basement listening room so that we can run some speakers there during parties.. Eventually I will get around to it. The Tangband back loaded horn kits look appealing..

Lately aesthetics have started to become important to me too, and while I am boringly middle of the road, I have tried to make my tube amps look like something other than the proto-types they usually are.

Do post a picture of your amplifier when completed, I'd love to see it.
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Old 7th February 2008, 05:10 PM   #7
wicked1 is offline wicked1  United States
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It's definitely not all bad. Just like you were saying, she's forced me to care about the finished product, rather than stopping as soon as it works. It's caused me to make some very professional looking projects.
Ive given up on my downstairs cave... I've got a network consulting business, and countless ADD-like 1/2 finished projects down there. They'll get finished when I stop getting distracted by better projects . But basically, the basement is beyond hope now. It's turned from a den into a workshop.

And for those who read my last message and must think we're completely insane, I should mention that I was exaggerating on the cost of the sofa.. but it did cost more than anyone should spend on something you sit on . I guess it's no different than me and my comptuers, tho.
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Old 7th February 2008, 07:11 PM   #8
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Hi wicked1,
My workshop and listening space are combined, but at least it is electronics only, the wood shop is next door, along with our washer/drier and fab new steam boiler which sounds just like a large kettle about to boil when it is heating the house ...

I've finally managed to finish most of those perpetually lingering unfinished projects or decided to get rid of the ones I know I'll never get to. The result is somewhat less clutter, but I've got at least a new line stage and an 845SE amplifier up my sleeves for the next couple of acts.. Never ending.

She sometimes asks me how many amplifiers I actually need, and I tell her none beyond the one I am currently using, while qualifying that comment that what I want is an entirely different matter.. The pleasure of designing and building something is an end in itself, and a healthy outlet. (Though perhaps not for the wallet..)
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Old 8th February 2008, 12:50 AM   #9
KaDe is offline KaDe  Germany
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Quote:
Originally posted by cwujek
http://cgi.ebay.com/Vacuum-Tube-Sock...QQcmdZViewItem

You could probably get some socket savers to do the trick.
Better stay away from this chinese stuff, it is not very well build.
My intension with these was to try tubes with unusual pin-outs.
When I plugged in the first tube the glas near the pins broke.
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Old 8th February 2008, 12:55 AM   #10
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It is possible to mount the tube sockets above the PC board an inch or two. The first time I did this I just used some solid 14 gauge copper wire soldered to each socket pin to make extensions. Use these wire extensions for all pins except the grids. I used 100 ohm resistors for the grid extensions. These were in addition to the grid stoppers on the PC board.

I got some thin brass tubing at a local hobby shop which will just slip over the pins on the tube sockets with a little persuasion and fit through the holes in the PC board. I plan to use this for my next "double decker" amp design.
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