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Old 2nd December 2008, 01:37 PM   #1
nickds1 is offline nickds1  England
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Default Cleaning tubes...

Not really audio tubes, but I have a bunch of 4Xnnn/4CXnnn tetrodes that I have plans for, however they are very grotty and rather intricate (lots of fins).

Would an ultrasonic bath be a killer for them? It would ceratinly clean them up a treat, but would it be a terminal experience

Cheers!
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Old 2nd December 2008, 01:49 PM   #2
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I'd almost rather dip them in liquid Draino...
No idea if either is a good idea, or just plain nuts???
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Old 2nd December 2008, 04:48 PM   #3
nickds1 is offline nickds1  England
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Quote:
Originally posted by kenpeter
I'd almost rather dip them in liquid Draino...
No idea if either is a good idea, or just plain nuts???
Your sigline above tells the whole story...
Being fair, I was being slightly tongue-in-cheek ! The sockets cleaned up beautifully, and the tubes are filthy and tricky to clean up.

The photo below shows what they look like - this is a stock photo of a clean tube, not one of the many rather scummy examples I have.

I was really wondering whether it would totally destroy the tubes, bearing in mind they are ceramic and quite tough...
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File Type: jpg 4cx250b.jpg (15.7 KB, 445 views)
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Old 2nd December 2008, 06:06 PM   #4
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Default Re: Cleaning tubes...

Quote:
Originally posted by nickds1
Would an ultrasonic bath be a killer for them? It would ceratinly clean them up a treat, but would it be a terminal experience.
I don't think an ultrasonic cleaning would hurt the tube assuming it was suspended in the solution by wires or string. But do not use any strong acid or alkali (like draino) that would attack the kovar seals. Personally, I would soak them in dish detergent for a while, then use a tooth brush on them. Scouring powder also works well. In any event you'll probably lose the printed label unless you stay clear of it.

Here's a little info that may be of interest.
http://www.kk5dr.com/Tubes.html

Victor
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Old 3rd December 2008, 09:58 AM   #5
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Hi there Nicko, somewhat off-topic, but if those tetrodes are the 11-pin variety could you please tell me where you got the sockets from as I have not been able to find any. Cheers
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Old 4th December 2008, 11:23 PM   #6
nhuwar is offline nhuwar  United States
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Get you some liqui-Nox for ultrasonic cleaning, it's the best.

Nick
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Old 5th December 2008, 12:29 AM   #7
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Aren't those tubes silver plated? How about the baking soda and foil method of cleaning?
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Old 6th December 2008, 06:20 PM   #8
nickds1 is offline nickds1  England
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Well, I used 5 minutes @ 50C in a 3% Tikopur & water solution at 45kHz/100W.

(sort of) before and after photos below. I say "sort of" before, as the dirty tube is one that looked pretty much the same as the one I cleaned. All markings came off, but tube still seems to work fine. I finished off the silver by dipping the tube into "Goddards Silver Dip" which is a pretty standard silver cutlery cleaning dip we get here in the UK.

Cheers!
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Old 6th December 2008, 06:25 PM   #9
nhuwar is offline nhuwar  United States
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Looks pretty good to me.


Nick
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Old 6th December 2008, 08:17 PM   #10
nickds1 is offline nickds1  England
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Better view...
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