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Old 27th March 2005, 09:14 AM   #1
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Default Digital tube designs?

I have seen a few 'tube dac' designs which are pretty much like any other dac but with a couple of triodes replacing the final op amp.
How about using tubes for the digital parts as well? could it be done? It would be something along the lines of those very early computers with rooms full of glowing tubes and all the power of a pocket calculator.
Probably a pointless exercise but I'm just curious. Has it ever been done? At least it would be something a bit different.
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Old 27th March 2005, 10:22 AM   #2
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Probably you would need 3000 ECC81 and 3kW of heather power...

And of course a transformer that gives 300V at 10A! Ask Hammond for that...

And 100 KT88 as voltage regulators...
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Old 27th March 2005, 10:30 PM   #3
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Depends how far you want to go. Serial decoding would be a bit tedious, but not impossible. The DAC would be downright simple in comparison, have a bunch (uh, 16 per channel ) of pentodes drawing from a common load resistor, each set for a certain constant current. 50uA, 100uA, 0.2mA, 0.4, 0.8, 1.6, ... for each bit. Pentodes would be preferred since triodes have plate resistane effect that will skew things...

And that there is what I don't get about "tube DAC". It's like "passive preamp". I mean, WTF? "So the tubes do the digital to analog conversion?" "No, it just buffers the current output..." "uh, so it's not a tube DAC?..." "Well, it kinda...uhm...sorta...maybe..."
No, sorry.

So yeah, someone's going to have to dig up a serial > parallel converter and the specs for DAC technique.

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