• WARNING: Tube/Valve amplifiers use potentially LETHAL HIGH VOLTAGES.
    Building, troubleshooting and testing of these amplifiers should only be
    performed by someone who is thoroughly familiar with
    the safety precautions around high voltages.

How the heck do I solve this problem????

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Hi All, I am building a RatRod amp with the 6LR8 compactron tube. As you can see by the pix it will be flat black and I will pin stripe it with white and red....just like a RatRod. Anyway, the two outboard holes on the front are for Oil Pressure and Oil Tempature gauges. How can I make those two gauges work as VU meters?????


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Joined 2004
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At first I was going to do that but then realized that this is a RatRod amp and it should have car gauges.

Most car gauges I am familiar with have hot wire mechanisms which probably have too long a time constant to work well for this application. (I could be wrong)

I think taking some meters and modifying them to look like car gauges would work a lot better.

I'd look at Stewart Warner's automotive electric gauges and see if they have anything that might work..
You could purchase or borrow the Oil Temperature and Turbine Inlet Temperature gauges and scan the faces of the gauges. Glue the scanned images to a couple of VU meter movements.
As for connecting the VU meters, all you'll need is a bridge rectifier (using Schottky or Germanium diodes) fed from the secondary side of your output transformers and a 1k pot so that you can adjust the sensitivity of the meters.

Please share a photo after you have completed the project. It looks good so far.
Nope, no stripes yet. I just now finished all the drilling and whacking and now taking it to Ron's for pin striping.

Thanks all for your suggestions. I really don't care for VU meters, I just thought that since I was messing with it, I could turn the car stuff into VUs. When I get the meters, I see what I can do but it sounds like it might not work as I'd hoped.
From time to time i have some comments to be made...in special

when people suggest some awfull modifications to my amplifiers..this meter is wonderfull to be used...the problem is that we should have something alike "bull sheep" or something this way, not to hurt rules...say..if you write bull sheep....everybody will understand (majority) that is not a a real sheep...that is the real sh--... so message is sent without break rules.

I would ask your license, dear Todd, as i want to borrow your image to use it several times, alike a smilie.

Nice...very nice!.... i would never think a better idea.


Thanks Todd. The chassis is over at a friends for pin stripping. He is a true artist so that means no sense of time. Who know when I'll get it back, but I think if I bribe him with a few beers, I'll get it back this weekend.

I am still trying to figure out how to open the gauges.
Hi SemperFi, I still have Aircraft Spruce catalogs laying about. I've built three full size airplanes and use to order from them a lot. I spent more money with them then I ever could dream of spending with Parts Express. Comparatively, audio is a cheap hobby.
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