• 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.

Need a rectifier tube...

This old topic is closed. If you want to reopen this topic, contact a moderator using the "Report Post" button.
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.


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...
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.....
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.
Last edited:
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.
Perhaps a member can provide a worn out VV52 or another worn out, recent production, DHT that uses the desired bottle shape, as a starting point for a DIY light source, which meets this, rather unique, need.

Use acetone, MEK, or other, similar, solvent to dissolve the glue that holds the base to the bottle. Then, you would desolder the pins of the base from the wires, which protrude out of the bottle's bottom. While hot, pull the base and bottle apart. Now, you can break into the bottle to obtain a container for the lamp that gets mounted inside. Obtain a cylinder of "frosted", orange colored, plastic. Drill a "blind" hole most of the way into the plastic rod. Assemble a group of NE2 bulbs, wire them in parallel, and insert them into the "blind" hole. Install a current limiting resistor in 1 leg of the group and connect to "120" VAC, via the salvaged base and a UX4 socket. "Crowning" the plastic rod's top rates to be cosmetically best.

I leave it to your considerable ingenuity to work out the reassembly details.

BTW, a group of high brightness, orange, LEDs would also be a suitable source of illumination. However, neon bulbs are (IMO) more in keeping with project's theme.
This old topic is closed. If you want to reopen this topic, contact a moderator using the "Report Post" button.