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Old 14th December 2011, 08:27 AM   #1
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Default Tube just for show...

I'm hoping to rig up a tube on top of a solid state amp. The tube is just to glow at me and make me feel warm all over.

However, I'm not an electronics person and so I'm looking for a little advice. My naive notion is that this would require rigging up a PSU with a few resistors. Beyond that I haven't a clue. Should the PSU be AC or DC, do I really need some more complex electronics?

Any suggestions?
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Old 14th December 2011, 08:49 AM   #2
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
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You don;'t need much circuitry at all. This is a piece of eye candy, not a working circuit. For all the world it is just a light bulb. Pick one with a nice shape, and one that has a fairly visible heater. Then apply appropriate voltage across the heater pins. The heater is the only visible function of a tube.

Oh, if you wanted to get REAL fancy, you could put a high voltage in the tube and get some glow in the gas, a nice subtle blue.

AC or DC doesn;t matter, since there is no signal in the thing, nothing to distort or add noise to. If the wiring is anywhere near your actual circuits, then DC would be less likely to radiate any hum.

A small tube like a 6C4 would only need 150ma at 6v to light up. A larger tube, like a coke bottle 6L6 would want 900ma. How big you want your eye candy? Pay the price in current.

You could cheat, and just mount a tube up there dead, then put a orange LED behind it to illuminate it from behind. LED wants maybe 20ma. You could steal that from the amp circuit easy.

Will this be for others to see as well?

A tube with a cap on top and a wire trailing down will look more electrical to the onlookers, in my view. There are numerous old tubes with a plate cap on top - sweep tubes for TV sets, high power pentodes, whatever. MAybe a couple of wires coiled up would make it look even more Frankensteinish.


I appreciate silly projects like that. I once put a power cord on a large plastic flower urn - voila, an electric flower pot. People would see it and, "But, why is it electric?" Well, it plugs in. "Yeah, but why does it have to plug in?" Well, because it is electric, of course. "But what does it do?" It's a flower pot, it holds flowers. "But..."
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Old 14th December 2011, 01:43 PM   #3
Magz is offline Magz  United States
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You could use one of these 2C22/7193 tubes - they have two top caps.
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File Type: jpg 7193 tube.jpg (33.7 KB, 535 views)
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Old 14th December 2011, 10:20 PM   #4
tomchr is offline tomchr  United States
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If you're looking for eye candy, how about a 5AR4 rectifier tube? The 5 V, 1.9 A provides a quite bright glow. Sovtek make some pretty nice ones that don't cost a fortune and won't get you lynched for using a rare tube for eye candy... All you need to do is to hook up the filament/heater to a 5 V supply (AC or DC).

Otherwise, a carbon filament light bulb would be cool as well.

~Tom
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Old 15th December 2011, 12:40 AM   #5
ChrisA is offline ChrisA  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lorriman View Post
I'm hoping to rig up a tube on top of a solid state amp. The tube is just to glow at me and make me feel warm all over.

However, I'm not an electronics person and so I'm looking for a little advice. My naive notion is that this would require rigging up a PSU with a few resistors. Beyond that I haven't a clue. Should the PSU be AC or DC, do I really need some more complex electronics?

Any suggestions?
Get a 6 volt, 1.5A "wall wort" plug-in power supply. AC or DC, don't matter. connect this to the heater pins of a tube socket. Plug the tube in and it will get hot. I'd use a Chinese "coke bottle" type 6L6. They use 6V and only 1A.

If you don't like wasting 6W of power and yu really don't like something that is hot enough to cause a burn then you can drill a hole up from the bottom of any tube and insert a red LED. Just go slow as you are drilling through glass

But why bother, just to look goofy? Anyone who sees it will know it's fake.
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Old 17th December 2011, 07:29 AM   #6
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Guys, thanks for the replies. Very amusing plant-pot story: the GF was rolling about.

I'm putting the tube on to a very small amp. Would anyone have any recommendations as to appropriate tubes?

The main things is to get them to glow and to look pretty, although cheapness would be good too.
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Old 17th December 2011, 02:37 PM   #7
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What about loooking for 12AX7 and put under it a orange LED or use 24v small bulb with 12 volt supply like here http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/T1952.aspx and you will see a very nice glow

Last edited by Rembulan; 17th December 2011 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 17th December 2011, 03:11 PM   #8
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Default Something that actually has a function

This may fit your bill.
Click the image to open in full size.

Vacuum Tube Clock Kits
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Old 18th December 2011, 04:07 PM   #9
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Holy laughter Enzo! That was awesome i wanna go put an electrical cord on something now.

The plunger looks bored...
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Old 18th December 2011, 04:41 PM   #10
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Loved the electric flower pot!
Lorriman, we're almost neighbours, which part of Surrey?
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