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 > Remembrances of vacuum tube days

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2oldman

NM

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Posted: 12/11/20 03:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In the mid 50s a relative had a tv going that had a kind of weird green tint to the picture. I remember asking him if that was a color tv. LOL

mr. ed

Amarillo, Texas

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Posted: 12/11/20 03:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Old-Biscuit wrote:

Saturday afternoon Me & Dad would rremove the back cover on TV and pull the Vacuum Tubes then off to Rexall Drug store to check them out on their Machine.

If needing a new one would check the tube number then open the bottom cabinet of the machine and get a new matching tube.

Then we would go across the street to Woolworths for a Crème Soda at the counter

Back home...go thru our list of where the tubes went...install them and then turn on the TV and watch 'Get Smart', 'Maverick', Yancy Derringer' depending on how long we were in town

Other Saturdays ME & DAD would load up the Apache PU and haul yard thrash to the DUMP

Boy were those fun times....Me & DAD


Thanks for bringing up the topic. Fond memories!!


Nice story, Old Biscuit. I also recall one of my biggest undertakings, since you mentioned TV’s. I also built a color TV from a kit, but my biggest project was building an electronic organ. The amplifier used tubes, but the tone generators were solid state.i learned to play keyboard on that instrument and eventually bought a large theater-type organ (fully assembled). When I became a full time RVer I needed to purchase a portable keyboard, which sounded great played through my Hi-fi system.


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BobsYourUncle

Calgary Alberta Canada

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Posted: 12/11/20 04:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When I posted earlier in this thread I forgot about this old piece of history!

1955 Wurlitzer. Didn't work when I got it. I took it apart all over my living room floor and got it working again. I took all the tubes out and carefully cleaned them up.
To this day it still works, although it needs a drive belt.

Back in about 1983 or so, I traded a 1972 Austin Mini straight across for this gem.

All tube amplifier in it. When I crank it up, it has a very different sound than todays amps. It is very deep and rich sounding. It's a beauty. All original and unrestored.

[image]


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AsheGuy

Raleigh, North Carolina

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Posted: 12/11/20 04:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow, a lot of old timers here. [emoticon]

I went to work for IBM in 1960 just at the vacuum tube to transistor technology change. Back then, a computer problem could be fixed by turning off the lights and looking for vacuum tubes with their filament out.

I worked for IBM 38 years before retirement during an amazing technology evolution. I often think about how my phone today has way more power and memory than a "mainframe" computer that took up a whole room.

In 1961, the IBM 7090 "mainframe" computer that was the top of the line of their new transistorized computers had 32K bytes of memory and that magnetic core memory alone took up a box larger than a typical refrigerator. I was one of the IBM crew that worked shifts around the clock to maintain this computer used by a Fort Worth, TX aircraft plant in their engineering/design department. Quite a different world.

82 years and counting...


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theoldwizard1

SE MI

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Posted: 12/11/20 04:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

By the time I was a teenager tubes had died ! (My EE prof said at the end of a lecture on FET transistor, "Tubes work the same way, just much higher voltage and they need a heater. Now you can fix old TVs"


Any of you old hams need to look up "software radio". UNBELIEVABLE !

theoldwizard1

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Posted: 12/11/20 04:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

NRALIFR wrote:

I remember distinctly all the wires and vacuum tubes, knobs and flashing lights, the Selectric typwriters being used as consoles, and how the room smelled, the old round-reel tape drives, and the noise of the high speed impact printers.

The first computer that I was the "administrator" on was a VAX 11/780. It was a late 70s/early 80s "mini computer". 2 cabinets, each about the size of a refrigerator plus a third for I/O. Another refrigerator size cabinet for the 9 track open reel tape drive. Three 456 MB disk (over 1.2 GB!) fit in a cabinet the height of a 3 drawer file cabinet, but it was at least twice as deep.

dangerbird

Delanson, New York

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Posted: 12/11/20 04:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When I was little, my dad would let me take out and test the TV tubes at the drug store. He gave me a Hallicrafters S-20R shortwave receiver that I still have today. I will always remember the hot dust smell when the tubes heated up. That radio led me to an interest in electronics and I eventually got my ham radio license. I'm retired now and am still active in ham radio. I have restored several tube RF amplifiers, and other ham radio gear. I recently restored an old Tektronix RM-45A oscilloscope. It has NINETY tubes in it! Not so useful by today's standards but equipment like it put men on the moon. Tubes are hardly ancient technology. You use one everyday in your microwave. 73, de WG2E.

2 many 2

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Posted: 12/11/20 05:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

About 1990 I had a 62 Ford pickup, the radio had tubes in it. A few years later I sold it to a co-worker. After the sale, I asked him how the old truck was running. He said great, but the radio does not work.

I told him I replaced the speaker and the wires and it worked great. "Did you let it warm up?" [emoticon] [emoticon]

He was a few years older than me, but he had forgotten about that, needless to say, the radio still worked great after he waited the ten seconds it took for it to warm up!

As a kid I had lots of trips with Dad to the drug store to use the tube testing machine too [emoticon]

NamMedevac 70

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Posted: 12/11/20 05:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am 74 and I barely remember tubes. So when did the last tube die (year???) and everything become modern day digital. Inquiring mind.

mr. ed

Amarillo, Texas

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Posted: 12/11/20 07:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

dangerbird wrote:

When I was little, my dad would let me take out and test the TV tubes at the drug store. He gave me a Hallicrafters S-20R shortwave receiver that I still have today. I will always remember the hot dust smell when the tubes heated up. That radio led me to an interest in electronics and I eventually got my ham radio license. I'm retired now and am still active in ham radio. I have restored several tube RF amplifiers, and other ham radio gear. I recently restored an old Tektronix RM-45A oscilloscope. It has NINETY tubes in it! Not so useful by today's standards but equipment like it put men on the moon. Tubes are hardly ancient technology. You use one everyday in your microwave. 73, de WG2E.


X2 on the microwave. I owned a business servicing radio frequency dielectric sealers used by the plastics industry. It was a good business, allowing me to retire early with a nice nest egg. Some of the machines I worked on put out 20 kw and more of RF near the cb radio frequency range. The oscillator tubes were very large and often ran with 10 KV and higher plate voltages, at several amps. Make one mistake and touch the wrong area inside the machine while running, and instant death! [emoticon]

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