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Old 14th April 2013, 12:58 AM   #1
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Default Need a rectifier tube...

Hello everyone,
I have joined this forum for an unusual purpose. I make stuff, though it's a little different than the usual around here. The below picture is my most recent project. It plays music, charges my phone, and allows me to have a conversation anywhere in the room. It's actually solid state, the tubes are just for looks.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

Basically, I"m making something, and need a tube that looks super cool and glows like crazy. Im thinking a mesh-plate rectifier tube. Only the fillaments will be connected, so any old worn-out tube will do, just so long as it looks great. This one single tube will be paired with a couple of worn-out 12ax7s (with the heaters way above normal) to create the sort of effect you see above. The amplifier for this project will also be solid state.

For this particular project, I"m partial to the coke-bottle shape of some of the 5u4s. (think kt88)

Does anybody have any suggestions? Or better yet, does anyone have any worn-out tubes that would fit the bill that they would be willing to part with for a little $?

Again, it only has to look awesome and glow. Worn-out and worthless is fine.

Thanks for your help everyone...
-Clam
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Old 14th April 2013, 02:39 AM   #2
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If you can come up with around 100 to 150 volts at 10 mA or so, get some of the octal voltage regulator tubes...0A3, 0B3, 0C3 and 0D3. Ther are like a speciallized neon bulb. Some use neon (glows orange), some use argon (glows purple), but I don't remember which ones are which. The same tubes come in miniature size, 0A2 0B2.....
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Old 14th April 2013, 02:59 AM   #3
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OD3 is octal, coke-bottle shaped and glows purple
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Old 14th April 2013, 03:04 AM   #4
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kinda ugly though...

say Click the image to open in full size. compared to
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 14th April 2013, 03:41 AM   #5
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That 5U4G you like is outrageously expensive.

Even though I will not go near them, because of toxic hazard considerations, a mercury vapor rectifier might be just the thing. They glow a very nice blue. You will have to apply AC to the rectifier's plate(s) to get the color. Proper operation of Hg vapor tubes requires them to be nice and hot, before voltage is applied to the anode(s). As you are looking for a "cool" factor, select a type with a top cap.

BTW, this could be an opportunity to incorporate real "hollow state" circuitry into your gadget.
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Last edited by Eli Duttman; 14th April 2013 at 03:42 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 14th April 2013, 03:45 AM   #6
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yeah, I know it's expensive. that's why I haven't bought one and ended the misery.

But something along those lines. Top caps are cool, but ONLY if they glow nice :-)

It does give me an opportunity to machine a neat looking brass cap though...
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Old 14th April 2013, 04:01 AM   #7
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Try and find a photo of an 83 or an 866, in operation. I think you will like what you see. Other types are Hg vapor rectifiers too, but I don't remember the designations off the top of my head.
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Old 14th April 2013, 04:05 AM   #8
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those are SWEET looking tubes, but the blue/purple thing is just too modern.

Imagine the same general style as the pic above. This project is a gift for someone who has been eyeing my "advanced resonant audio frequency transducer" for a while.
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Old 14th April 2013, 04:15 AM   #9
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The bottle shape you prefer is found in current production, extremely expensive, "boutique" tubes. The bottle shape of the regulators you showed is normal for 1930s or 1940s manufactured items.

Hg vapor being too modern is, forgive me, very funny.
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Old 14th April 2013, 04:28 AM   #10
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I mean too modern "looking". Ironic, yes, that I need a new style tube to make the old looking design. But the new tubes are pretty and the old tubes are ugly, and pretty wins.

But place it on a piece of mahogany (or, coming up, walnut) wrap it in brass and light em up orange, and a pretty new tube looks like a pretty old tube.
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