• 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.

Ran Into a bunch of these and others..

adydula

Member
2010-08-10 5:46 pm
I am a research docent on the USS North Carolina BB55 and recently uncoverd a bunch of old NOS tubes used in WWii.

6A6's, 6L6's and tons of others....sitting there in there 1930's and 40's aged military packages....

Really neat...

Alex
 

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pcan

Member
Paid Member
2015-12-31 4:57 pm
Metal tubes aren't loved by guitar players and commercial Hi-Fi manufacturers but they are actually premium parts. I bought a hundred of pulls / spares from WWII-era communications receivers a while ago, and I modified one of my amplifier to test them out on audio duties (see picture). If you want to use them, do not fit them blindly on a amplifier designed for standard glass tubes because the metal can is connected to pin 1, and this pin may be used as tie point for dangerous voltages. This is expecially true for the rectifier tube. The tube will get extremely hot. I test new output tubes on a warm day with open window because the initial stink of burned paint / heated rust is unbearable. It will go away after a few hours. Rust is not a issue, by the way.
 

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adydula

Member
2010-08-10 5:46 pm
No unfortunately these belong to the Battleship and will most likely stay put in the ships various 1100 compartments...Its the State of North Carolina's WWii war memorial for all the services etc..

I am privileged to play on the ship and research the fire control stuff...but I ran into vacuum tubes all over the place, unused still in their original containers....lots of them are in much better shape that the ones in the pix...

Sigh!

Alex
 

pcan

Member
Paid Member
2015-12-31 4:57 pm
The boxes of the military vacuum tubes of that era are interesting because they bear the date of the order and therefore of the production, and other information that is sometimes added over time as the inventory stamps. For example, the tube in the center of the amplifier in my photo was produced in 1944 and then sold by the US army to the United Kingdom aeronautics. Those in your photo carry the identification code of the RCA manufacturer but instead of the acronym JAN (Joint Army Navy) they carry the initials USN (United States Navy) and the commercial designation 6L6 instead of the military name VT-115. I therefore believe that they are specimens prior to 1943, perhaps even from the end of the 30s. The battleship was decommissioned in 1947 so probably all the original spare parts remained on board, they were considered worthless at the time.
 
I went through a 3 year vocational electronics program in high school, 1967-1970. Much of our course material was from Philco, or the US Navy.

Oddly much of our lab stuff, parts and "test subjects" had Navy tags on them, but were donated by the Homestead Air Force Base. I'm guessing it was just stored there as the nearby "abandoned" Richmond Naval Air Station once was a blimp base for watching the gulf and Caribbean area during WWII. It had been cleaned out and refitted as a spy operation center during and after the Cuban Missile Crisis. The 50 foot long log periodic antenna on a giant tower and rotor system was a dead giveaway.....it was always pointed at Cuba. Now it's Miami Metro Zoo.

We had bulk pack crates of metal RCA 6L6's wearing the USN, or JAN logo and type number, but still had the "6L6" stamped into the metal near the base. That class room is where I first learned how to melt tubes, and I did win a bet with the teacher by proving that I could make the outside metal jacket on one of those tubes glow red! Stunk up one whole wing of the school too, but the auto shop across the hall did that a lot.
 

adydula

Member
2010-08-10 5:46 pm
When I head down to the ship in a few weeks I am going to inventory these and take pix etc...

These tubes are buried inside the ship, the ship is 15 stories high from the keel to the top Main Battery Gun Director MK38.

There was an area that was the F.C. and I.C. Repair shop where electricians mates would work on stuff...repair etc. Tons of aging Cornell Dublier capicators, wires, meters, gauges etc....and tubes galore. The markings on the paper containers are legible and many have dates in the 1930's...truly NOS!!

My forte is fire control and all things electrical on the ship!

I will take pix and post..

Alex
 

Duke58

Member
2009-01-03 8:00 pm
Those metal 6L6 tubes do sound nice. Back in the late 1970's, I went to Navy electronics school. WWII era ships, subs and aircraft were full of tube gear, especially radio gear. The military kept the vacuum tube companies in business for a long time. There is a tube based radar on certain nuclear bombs that are still in service. I used to dream of finding some WE 300B tubes stashed somewhere. Never found any 300B's or anything super rare/expensive, but I'll settle for the stash of 6922's, 12AX7's 5881, 6L6, I've got now. Should last the rest of my life and then they belong to my son.
 

adydula

Member
2010-08-10 5:46 pm
Here is a schematic of where they used the 6A6, C6A's...in the control panel of a Stable Element..this was the top secret device that allowed our battleship to maneuver and shoot accurately....this device measured the roll and pitch and outputted it via synchro selysn devices to the MK8 Rangekeeper to produce Gun Orders for the 16" and 5 " battery. The secondary battery called these things Stable Elements and the 16" side called them Stable Verticals.

The gyroscope had a electromagnet the stayed in the vertical as a set of figure eight coils suspended in a "umbrella" over it that moved on gimbals with the ships motion and produced a small current the had to be sent to the control panel via cables for amplification etc....a wonder device for the times!

Alex
 

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6A3sUMMER

Member
2016-06-07 6:50 am
Servo Systems are wonderful things . . .
Insulin Loop, Heart Rate Loop, Breathing Rate Loop, Eye tracking the Baseball Loop, etc.

First rule of shooting 16 inch guns on a battleship . . .
Shoot to the side, never straight ahead.

Thanks to all Veterans!
 
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adydula

Member
2010-08-10 5:46 pm
Yes they were top secret in WWII...we didnt want the Japanese to know how we got information from one location to another location. You might notice in some of the WWii pix of the bridge on the USS North Carolina the "giant" servo motors are often redacted so they wouldnt be seen by the enemy....
 
I used to dream of finding some WE 300B tubes stashed somewhere. Never found any 300B's or anything super rare/expensive,...

One of my first duty stations was NAS Lakehurst, NJ.

More then twenty years ago I used to attend the auctions and spot bids they held at Naval Air Engineering in Lakehurst NJ. This was before they changed their name to Navel Air Warfare Center because they were afraid of being closed down when the Fed was on a budget at that time. (I also went to Naval Weapons Station Earle in Colts Neck) Once I did score some unused boxed WE 300Bs at Lakehurst. A very rare find since there were almost never any tubes beyond what might be in a piece of equipment being offered. I still have most of them. Fortunately it was an auction, and not a spot bid that day, where I could have lost them. I think I spent around $350 on a box of about twenty. The only other good find was an old Kepco regulated PS with eight Genalex KT88 series pass tubes at Navy Earle. Forget what I paid but it wasn't much since it was big and heavy. Yes, that was the good old days which will never happen again in my lifetime thanks to that low life Al Gore.
 
Here is a schematic of where they used the 6A6, C6A's...in the control panel of a Stable Element..this was the top secret device that allowed our battleship to maneuver and shoot accurately....this device measured the roll and pitch and outputted it via synchro selysn devices to the MK8 Rangekeeper to produce Gun Orders for the 16" and 5 " battery. The secondary battery called these things Stable Elements and the 16" side called them Stable Verticals.

The gyroscope had a electromagnet the stayed in the vertical as a set of figure eight coils suspended in a "umbrella" over it that moved on gimbals with the ships motion and produced a small current the had to be sent to the control panel via cables for amplification etc....a wonder device for the times!

Alex

Seeing this stuff puts things in perspective - makes our amp designs seem a little trivial.

Talking of Veterans Day, it is something that has sadly fallen off the radar here in South Africa - limited to a few small functions. I always think on that day of my grandfather, who fought in WW2 in North Africa and Italy. My Mom was a little girl then, and didn't see him for 4 years.
 

Duke58

Member
2009-01-03 8:00 pm
Talking of Veterans Day, it is something that has sadly fallen off the radar here in South Africa - limited to a few small functions. I always think on that day of my grandfather, who fought in WW2 in North Africa and Italy. My Mom was a little girl then, and didn't see him for 4 years.

Reminds me of my grandfather- he married my grandmother and shipped off to the Pacific a week later. He didn't see my father until he came back home and my father was almost 4 years-old.
 
1625 tubes were used in the AN/ARC-5 Command Radio Set for US Navy Aircraft. Of course this is a battleship, not a carrier...
AN/ARC-5 - Wikipedia

The An/ARC5 transmitter (and many other transmitters) used a dynamo to generate the B+ supply. On the 5 it was mounted horizontally on the back of the unit. Those were used in DC-3s among other aircraft and can be seen in some movies as the co-pilot adjusts the frequency. They were mounted overhead.

I had both a transmitter and receiver when I was a teenager.