Go Back   Home > Forums > >
Home Forums Rules Articles diyAudio Store Blogs Gallery Wiki Register Donations FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Tubes / Valves All about our sweet vacuum tubes :) Threads about Musical Instrument Amps of all kinds should be in the Instruments & Amps forum

What's A "Timber bulb"?
What's A "Timber bulb"?
Please consider donating to help us continue to serve you.

Ads on/off / Custom Title / More PMs / More album space / Advanced printing & mass image saving
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 28th April 2009, 02:08 AM   #1
DaveMcLain is offline DaveMcLain  United States
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Oct 2007
Default What's A "Timber bulb"?

My dad has told me that back in the old days they used something called a tumber or timber bulb to charge car batteries. The charger was mounted on the wall and you could just hook up as many batteries as needed charging and the charging rate would be determined by the load presented by the batteries. He said that the timber bulb which must have been some sort of high current tube rectifier lit up and was the heart of the whole thing. Has anyone got any information about this?

Gas stations and auto parts stores used them before about 1960 or so...
  Reply With Quote
Old 28th April 2009, 02:29 AM   #2
leadbelly is offline leadbelly  Canada
diyAudio Member
leadbelly's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Calgary, Alberta
What's A "Timber bulb"?
Search for a "tungar" rectifier.
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts. Bertrand Russell
  Reply With Quote
Old 28th April 2009, 02:56 AM   #3
aardvarkash10 is offline aardvarkash10  New Zealand
diyAudio Member
aardvarkash10's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Auckland, NZ
Default good lord...

I'm old enough to remember one! Yeah, essentially a constant current device. Most battery chargers are constant voltage, and batteries are connected in parallel accross the charger. The valve rectified constant current charger allowed you to connect any number of batteries in any series configuration so they were great for maintaining charge on a large number of batteries eg units for sale and held in stock. 6 volt or 12 volt, didn't matter... Ours had a really dodgy carbon pile for setting the charge current!
"It may not be easy for some to not hear differences, even if they are not there." - Vacuphile,
  Reply With Quote
Old 28th April 2009, 03:24 AM   #4
Tubelab_com is online now Tubelab_com  United States
diyAudio Member
Tubelab_com's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: West Virginia panhandle
The device is called a "Tungar bulb". It looks like a large fat light bulb with a plate on one end. Most had a "Mogul" screw in base like a large light bulb, although I have seen them with fat wire leads. The filament is a low voltage (6V was common) so never screw one into a common light socket.

It is essentially a half wave directly heated rectifier tube capable of passing an amp or more of current. The filament emission is the limiting factor which is responsible for the current limiting effect.
Tubelab, it's 5 year mission. To explore strange new tubes, to seek out new circuits and topologies, to boldly go where no tube has gone before......
  Reply With Quote
Old 28th April 2009, 01:10 PM   #5
DaveMcLain is offline DaveMcLain  United States
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Oct 2007
Thanks guys I appreciate the information. I had heard him talk about that before and now I know. Quite an interesting idea actually.
  Reply With Quote


What's A "Timber bulb"?Hide this!Advertise here!
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What makes an amplifier "bright", "warm", or "neutral"? JohnS Solid State 51 13th December 2009 07:42 PM
Some final pics of "Stacks" revisited and "Askew" with stand Andy G Multi-Way 2 3rd February 2005 07:07 AM

New To Site? Need Help?

All times are GMT. The time now is 01:32 AM.

Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Resources saved on this page: MySQL 16.67%
vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright ©1999-2017 diyAudio