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Breaktru Forum  |  eCigarette Forum  |  General Discussions  |  Topic: Tinkering with old vacume tube parts.....for fun and some questions?
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Author Topic: Tinkering with old vacume tube parts.....for fun and some questions?  (Read 15461 times)

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Offline memoevapor

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OK, so my father in law used to repair TV's back in the day. While talking to him about my Mod building, he brought out some old parts......Long story short, I have 5 boxes of stuff.

BTW, he has a whole box of Vacuum tubes...... :yes"

Looking over some of the stuff, I have seen a few useful components I want to harvest . Problem is I only have a 30w iron, de-soldering wick and flux. I would love to get a really nice soldering/de-soldering station but budget is tight. I have been watching videos (starting with the ones here in easy tutorials) and more on YouTube. I was wondering if anyone would share their tips or experiences and low cost alternatives to the Solder station option.


I have practiced on a few of the remotes and out of 20 possible reclaimed parts half were damaged due to applying to much heat. Great learning experience though!!



I'm thinking;(until I can get the station)

 lower watt iron...15w or 20w..

heat sink clip...??

solder remover/sucker.....would a bulb syringe work???


Any ideas or help will ALWAYS be appreciated!!! :thankyou:





Offline CraigHB

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Re: Tinkering with old vacume tube parts.....for fun and some questions?
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2014, 03:04:57 PM »
If you want a cheap station, can't get any cheaper than this;

http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__24790__Soldering_Station_with_Adjustable_Heat_Range_with_US_Plug.html

Here's a review on it;

http://www.eevblog.com/2014/03/30/eevblog-596-worlds-cheapest-soldering-station-yihua-936/

As far as what you can do with a vacuum tube, there's not much other than specialty applications like microwave or x-ray transmitters.  Vacuum tubes are still used in those applications even today.  A vacuum tube most generally does the same job as a transistor.  You might be able to use the through hole resistors and capacitors for something, but even those use old technology that consumes a lot more space than modern parts.

For removing large amounts of solder, a solder sucker will work the best there.  For finer work with small amounts of solder, desoldering braid is the best.  For rework on modern electronics, you would use a hot air rework station, but those are pretty expensive so it's not something you would buy unless you do a lot of rework.

Offline memoevapor

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Re: Tinkering with old vacume tube parts.....for fun and some questions?
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2014, 04:03:23 PM »
Thanks for the info! Also I will check into that station.  :laughing:

Offline memoevapor

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Re: Tinkering with old vacume tube parts.....for fun and some questions?
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2014, 05:45:39 PM »
If you want a cheap station, can't get any cheaper than this;

http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__24790__Soldering_Station_with_Adjustable_Heat_Range_with_US_Plug.html

Here's a review on it;

http://www.eevblog.com/2014/03/30/eevblog-596-worlds-cheapest-soldering-station-yihua-936/

As far as what you can do with a vacuum tube, there's not much other than specialty applications like microwave or x-ray transmitters.  Vacuum tubes are still used in those applications even today.  A vacuum tube most generally does the same job as a transistor.  You might be able to use the through hole resistors and capacitors for something, but even those use old technology that consumes a lot more space than modern parts.

For removing large amounts of solder, a solder sucker will work the best there.  For finer work with small amounts of solder, desoldering braid is the best.  For rework on modern electronics, you would use a hot air rework station, but those are pretty expensive so it's not something you would buy unless you do a lot of rework.



Checked out the review. I do not think that one is for me. Thank you though!!
Most likely get this one a s a stand in till I can get a Nice one Weller

Offline CraigHB

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Re: Tinkering with old vacume tube parts.....for fun and some questions?
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2014, 05:29:46 PM »
You'd actually do better with that cheap Chinese one than the Weller unit you linked to.  The reason is that Hakko knock-off can take the high quality Hakko tips.  The Weller unit you linked to does not take high quality tips and a big part of soldering well is in the tip.

If you want to save your nickels for a better station, you should look for a Hakko FX-888D.  Weller makes an inexpensive quality station, but the one that's equivalent to the FX-888D is about 50% more expensive (WESD51).  The quality is probably better with the Hakko.

There's some other Chinese stations that are similar in price to the that Weller unit you linked to and those might be a little better than the one from Hobby King.  The brands are ones like Aoyue, Tenma, Atten.  Though they're are all made in China and the quality may not be much better, Hobby King just has the best prices on stuff from China.  Weller is US made and Hakko is Japanese made.

Offline oleskool

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Re: Tinkering with old vacume tube parts.....for fun and some questions?
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2014, 01:16:52 AM »
Very cheap but good. I used this before I got something much better. Did some work on my bass guitar.
http://www.parts-express.com/stahl-tools-ssvt-variable-temperature-soldering-station--374-100
Also which tubes do you have? A lot of amplifier guys would love to get their hands on those.

Offline memoevapor

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Re: Tinkering with old vacume tube parts.....for fun and some questions?
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2014, 05:37:31 AM »
Very cheap but good. I used this before I got something much better. Did some work on my bass guitar.
http://www.parts-express.com/stahl-tools-ssvt-variable-temperature-soldering-station--374-100
Also which tubes do you have? A lot of amplifier guys would love to get their hands on those.

Thanks for the link oleskool. I will check it out.  :yes"

As far as the tubes go, my father in law has two big boxes of them. I did not go through it because I have no use for tubes. I could check when I go over there today. There are quite a few to go through. You looking for something in particular?

BTW welcome to the group!!

Offline oleskool

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Re: Tinkering with old vacume tube parts.....for fun and some questions?
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2014, 05:28:45 PM »
Thanks for the link oleskool. I will check it out.  :yes"

As far as the tubes go, my father in law has two big boxes of them. I did not go through it because I have no use for tubes. I could check when I go over there today. There are quite a few to go through. You looking for something in particular?

BTW welcome to the group!!

Thanks for the welcome. I'm not experienced enough to have serious use for them yet, but I'm learning. The guys at diyaudio would either make good use of them out point you in the right direction if you wanted to sell some of them. I'm still learning solid state amps. Got one on the bench now. Browse this thread over there.http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/tubes-valves/211254-those-magnificent-television-tubes.html

Online Breaktru

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Re: Tinkering with old vacume tube parts.....for fun and some questions?
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2014, 06:59:01 PM »
Tube amps are sort after and solid state amps can't compete with the sound of a tube amp.
I have a Circa 1965 Ampeg Gemini VI guitar amp which I bought back in the day. I recently replaced all of the tubes except one (7199) that they don't make any more but used ones can still be found. They have a substitute tube (6U8A) that requires a pin wiring change. Just haven't got around to it.
Most tubes are made in Russia and China.
I also replaced all the capacitors and resistors. Sounds fantastic. Nothing like a tube amp.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2014, 07:02:02 PM by Breaktru »

Offline oleskool

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Re: Tinkering with old vacume tube parts.....for fun and some questions?
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2014, 07:27:52 PM »
Tube amps are sort after and solid state amps can't compete with the sound of a tube amp.
I have a Circa 1965 Ampeg Gemini VI guitar amp which I bought back in the day. I recently replaced all of the tubes except one (7199) that they don't make any more but used ones can still be found. They have a substitute tube (6U8A) that requires a pin wiring change. Just haven't got around to it.
Most tubes are made in Russia and China.
I also replaced all the capacitors and resistors. Sounds fantastic. Nothing like a tube amp.

Very true. Tubes just sound better. They saturate and break up in a much different way. It is also said that watt for watt they are louder. I can't hear that, but I have bass player ears, that is sort of like smokers tongue. I haven't been playing much lately, but Detroit Bass day is coming up at Berry Gordy's first studio. The one before Motown. I'll have to get the old fingers going. Some of the older solid state amps are really good though. The new class D stuff that only weigh 3-7 pounds per 500w is taking over now though. Speakers are much lighter also. I'm going to build a couple of  Bill Fitzmaurice's cabinets. With the neodymium magnet speaker.

Offline CraigHB

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Re: Tinkering with old vacume tube parts.....for fun and some questions?
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2014, 07:48:16 PM »
I totally forgot about that.  A lot of musicians still prefer tube amps so there's that modern application for them as well.  They use the exact same tubes as the old HiFi systems did.  A 200W HiFi amp was my first electronics project when I was a kid and it had tubes, some monsterous looking ones in the final output stage.  I should have kept it for posterity, but I didn't.

Offline memoevapor

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Re: Tinkering with old vacume tube parts.....for fun and some questions?
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2014, 08:30:58 PM »
 OK .....I just got home from my father-in laws house......I must admit, I feel a bit overwhelmed.....I have about 6 good size boxes of tubes and other items.....I for see a great deal of time will be spent learning about Tubes......and help you would lend would be appreciated!!!

I mentioned the tubes to some friends that are in bands and they started asking for specific tubes....I have no clue what I even have in these boxes.... HELP

Offline oleskool

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Re: Tinkering with old vacume tube parts.....for fun and some questions?
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2014, 08:36:03 PM »
I totally forgot about that.  A lot of musicians still prefer tube amps so there's that modern application for them as well.  They use the exact same tubes as the old HiFi systems did.  A 200W HiFi amp was my first electronics project when I was a kid and it had tubes, some monsterous looking ones in the final output stage.  I should have kept it for posterity, but I didn't.

Yea and those huge iron transformers. Seventy or eighty pounds. Carrying that around will make a man out of you. Load in, load out at home then one more time at whatever venue you are playing. Class D all the way now.

Offline CraigHB

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Re: Tinkering with old vacume tube parts.....for fun and some questions?
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2014, 03:22:54 PM »
Tubes have high bias voltages like 80 to 100V compared to as little as a half Volt for a transistor.  You need those giant transformers to induct the high power audio signal off those tall bias voltages.  Tubes are weird.  I was pretty happy to leave them behind in the pursuit of the hobby.

I mentioned the tubes to some friends that are in bands and they started asking for specific tubes....I have no clue what I even have in these boxes.... HELP

The part numbers are always embossed on the glass, though sometimes the markings can wear off.  If they have no numbers, you can't identify them.  What you need to do is sort them by number and if any pop up that are on the desired list, you can help some people out.  In their day there was a pretty vast array of tube part numbers.  They were pretty specialized in some cases.  So, you may or may not have the desired tubes, even with 6 boxes of them.


« Last Edit: June 05, 2014, 03:38:29 PM by CraigHB »

Offline Erck89

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Re: Tinkering with old vacume tube parts.....for fun and some questions?
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2014, 12:25:29 AM »
Holy Smokes (no pun intended) Zapman.  Back in the day, you could have unloaded that stuff in about 15 minutes at a hamfest or just at the local ham club.  We would chase half way around the world for some parts.  I use to have a Russian tank transceiver mounted to the floor, on the hump, in the front of my 56 Merc.  The thing had a dynamotor that powered it and it was so big I took it off the rack and mounted it under the hood (plenty of room in there in those days).  Used it on 75 meters cause everything else was up around 1 and a 1/4 meters and we couldn't operate there, back then, and I just wanted something for 75 anyway.  By the way, if you have some big power supply parts, you may have some stuff very much in demand today.  Check and see if you have some tubes (good size puppies) marked IMAC 4-400 or 4-1000.  These are still popular for legal and illegal linear amps.  Up in Pa. last year, I saw guys running 8K watts and bigger.  Guess no one cares anymore.   As to your soldering iron search.  I got an adjustable pencil iron on eBay about 3 months ago for $15.  It is adjustable from 0 through 30 watts.  Works well.  Otherwise, check you local stained glass shops.  I had a great one when I was doing stained glass and it was only about $30 bucks then.  Shouldn't be to much more now.  Hey, thanks for the opportunity to talk about TUBES again.  Them damn transsisters are only a flash in the pan.  They'll never last.  (Riiiiiight)

Offline rc3po

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Re: Tinkering with old vacume tube parts.....for fun and some questions?
« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2014, 08:37:06 PM »
You'd actually do better with that cheap Chinese one than the Weller unit you linked to.  The reason is that Hakko knock-off can take the high quality Hakko tips.  The Weller unit you linked to does not take high quality tips and a big part of soldering well is in the tip.

If you want to save your nickels for a better station, you should look for a Hakko FX-888D.  Weller makes an inexpensive quality station, but the one that's equivalent to the FX-888D is about 50% more expensive (WESD51).  The quality is probably better with the Hakko.

There's some other Chinese stations that are similar in price to the that Weller unit you linked to and those might be a little better than the one from Hobby King.  The brands are ones like Aoyue, Tenma, Atten.  Though they're are all made in China and the quality may not be much better, Hobby King just has the best prices on stuff from China.  Weller is US made and Hakko is Japanese made.
Hi everybody, I'm a new member and this is my first post. I enjoy this forum and I'm learning a lot. Thanks.
I have a Weller soldering station that works great! I think the biggest mistakes people make is not using the correct tip, and not taking good care of them. I mostly use the small screwdriver tips. And before I shut my station off, I always wipe the tip off good on a damp sponge that's dampened with distilled water, and tin it real good. My tips last a long time. :yes"
My Aoyue Hot Air Rework Station works great. And my Hakko 888 De-soldering Pump is worth it's weight in gold. It just saves so much time & reduces heat transfer to components.

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