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Old 26th September 2006, 04:06 PM   #1
bembel is offline bembel  Europe
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Question SS replacement for 83 tube ?

Hi all,

As we were refering to 83's toxicity in a rencent post.
I wonder what kind of SS replacement it will be possible to make (in respect of 83's spec. (constant drop of about 15V even with current peaks, if my memory is good)).

I own a Hickock I177-B transconductance meter that use a 83 (and have the bad taste to use it horizontaly, that doesn't make me feel secure ... when I think it was made for battlefields )

But for a measuring tool the SS version have to be very close to the 83.

Any ideas/experiences ?
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Old 26th September 2006, 04:26 PM   #2
Tweeker is offline Tweeker  United States
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Not SS, but is there a Xenon rectifier equivalent?
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Old 26th September 2006, 05:25 PM   #3
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Leave it undisturbed, the best place for that 83 is in your tester. Once you remove it you have to dispose of it responsibly or store it safely. It only becomes are environmental issue if it gets broken.
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Old 26th September 2006, 07:35 PM   #4
anatech is offline anatech  Canada
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Hi bembel,
I am surrounded by testers with '83's in them. Relax.

The closest thing would be silicon rectifiers. The problem is that you may have to recalibrate your tester. They compensated for the heater current in the transformer and the plate voltage when they designed the tester.

Never having replaced an '83 with a pair of diodes, I don't have any idea how much of a change there would be. Possibly none.

-Chris
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Old 27th September 2006, 10:27 AM   #5
Colt45 is offline Colt45  Serbia
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shouldnt be a problem. the whitepaper says to run them vertical only, but my hickok has it mounted horizontally, so its obviously not a problem.

or you think it would have broken sometime in the last 40 some years..
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Old 27th September 2006, 02:16 PM   #6
bembel is offline bembel  Europe
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Thx for your replies,

I think that the problem of using it horizontally (as you said, not allowed in the datasheet), is that mercury is not in a steady state, but floating between solid state & gazeous @ room temperature, I think that when it is warmed-up it's more gazeous, and then there is less risk of short circuit !!! (that's why I warm-up the tester verticaly before use)

Quote:
shouldnt be a problem. the whitepaper says to run them vertical only, but my hickok has it mounted horizontally, so its obviously not a problem.
Have you look inside a 83@~20°C ??? you can clearly see solid mercury settle in the bottom of the tube near electrodes-base junction.
A better bet of hard shorts, than winning something a the lottery.
This said, I think military conceptors have nothing to care about soldiers lives (there's nothing about dangerousity in the original manual, neither tester position, I won't debate neither of the "funny" smell of tropicalisation that fill the room when you use it !)

Anyway I think it would be interresting to find a alternative to such potentially dangerous devices that are still usefull. (I think it's worth a small adjustement, surely not a reconception)

PS: I can post a photo a 83 if it can help.
In french soldiers nickname is "chair à canon"
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Old 27th September 2006, 06:47 PM   #7
anatech is offline anatech  Canada
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Hi bembel,
Most tester manuals instruct you to warm the unit up for 20 min or so. Using mine for many years, I have yet to have even a hint of a problem. Same tube it came with. Mine is a Stark 9-66. It is built undr license from Hickok and the 83 is mounted horizontally. I have another in an old Hammond power supply. It is mounted vertically. That I've have for 35 years or more.

-Chris
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Old 28th September 2006, 02:19 PM   #8
garbage is offline garbage  Singapore
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i read somewhere that horizontal mounting is ok as long as the heaters are the ones at the bottom.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 28th September 2006, 02:25 PM   #9
anatech is offline anatech  Canada
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Hi garbage,
Great shot! I like it.

I don't think it matters as long as the tube is not mounted up side down as in a guitar amp. The other requirement is that they are given time to come up to operating temperature.

-Chris
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Old 28th September 2006, 10:53 PM   #10
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Will a Mercury rectifier sound better than a vaccum state one? or a solid state one? I guess the real question is, why were Mercury rectifiers ever used? I understand that at the time, no one knew that Mercury was as toxic as the gates of hell. but what sets them apart?

don't worry, I don't plan to use one

I prefer to be as apposed to
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