• 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.

Vacuum tubes and wire wrap

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I have a preference for using wire wrap to build circuits. As I am diving into tube circuits, I would like to continue that behavior. Is there a problem with this (beyond the obvious circuit paths that are high voltage or high current)? Has anyone here done this?

Wow… this really, really takes me back…

I had a friend that for whatever reason, just thought wirewrap was the kitten's mittens. Used it for absolutely everything, even when it seemed to be a 'stretch of the purpose'. Yep… we made tube amplifiers and everything between with WW.

However, after much experimentation, it became clear that wire wrap was only good for the short term, by itself. If the piece of built-stuff flexed much, then eventually oxidation would set in and make some one of the hidden dozens-to-hundreds of connections vexingly noisy. And never when debugging.

We tried the "power wrap" thing that was popular for awhile (that didn't require stripping of the wire first, but used tension so tight that it cut thru the wire wrap insulation on the corner posts). Didn't help.

Ultimately we found that once a WW circuit worked, and it was time to "set it", that soldering all the posts was fast and easy, especially if one used multicore rosin solder, eutectic 63–37 type AND did so before the poor wire wrap wire began to oxidize. Tho' its now 45 years later, Vince still has (and uses) some of our mid-experience builds. Nuvistors, baby. The only tube socket we ever found that for an eye blink of time had wire wrap posts. Made by Amphenol Aerospace or Cinch I think. Don't know. Too far back.

Thanks for the feedback folks!! I will likely solder to everything that is not a wirewrap square post (tube socks, transformers etc.). I may run the these to wirewrap posts and then wirewrap out from there. Resistors, caps, everything else I will like to have neat and tidy. I guess I am more concerned with the thinner wire (24awg-30awg depending on what I can find) becoming a problem for resistance or signal issues. What about the coils of wire on each post? Could they become inductive? I also cannot find anything with insulation rated above 300V so I have to be careful in that regard.
RCA used wirewrap in some TV sets. Though these posts were bigger (a little less than twice the diameter) than those used in IC sockets, and not gold plated. And the wire was thicker as well, about twice as thick (diameter) as wirewrap wire. And just tinned, not silver plated. Each connection had about 5 to 6 wraps. So it can be done, but I don't know where you'd get a supply of the posts, and the tool to do the wrapping.
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