I am particularly fond of thermionic valves.
These are the electronic components that paved the way for broadcast radio,
television, radar and many other electronic applications.
Many of the methods for analysis and design of electronic circuits
developed in the valve era are still valuable for today's electronic circuits.
So read on.
Admiring the glow
Orange and purple glow in the dark in a guitar combo...
Admiring the glow...
Once upon a time, all electronic devices used thermionic valves.
Transistors, ICs and other semiconductors hadn't been invented yet.
The charming thing about these thermionic valves is that they glow in
Except for metal valves, the filaments or heaters generally show as a red-hot
object in the core of the valve.
The equipment usually produces an awesome lot of heat.
So even if a piece of valve equipment is faulty, as long as the
heaters glow, at least you get a feeling something is going on.
When I started my electronics hobby in the early seventies, I took apart
old equipment and salvaged the parts to reuse them.
That was a cheap way to find electronic components. Back in that
time, friends and relatives gave me a lot of used radios and TV
sets that became my main source of electronic components.
As a result, I started with somewhat outdated electronics projects.
During my study, I left this obsolete stuff behind. But not for good.
At the turn of the century, after more than a decade without
electronic tinkering, my interest in electronics revived.
Tubes and old display technology have become objects of nostalgia to me.
So I keep a small collection of old radios and measurement
equipment and from time to time I use old technologies in a
Things I built with valves
In the early seventies, I built a number of projects: a 6 W amplifier,
an AC voltmeter, a 2*4 W stereo amplifier, a superregenerative VHF
receiver, an FM receiver, a universl power supply.
Regrettably, most of them have got lost long ago.
regulated HV power supply
In 2001, I rebuilt a really nice
two valve, two circuit regenerative receiver
In 2014 I took up a bigger project and built a
Guitar amplifier combo
I have a small collection of somewhat historical radios.
- Philips 836A radio from 1934/1935.
- A Philips 456A from 1936.
- A Philips 667A from 1937 (traded).
- Another Philips 667A,
restored in 2005-2007.
- Third Philips 667A I fixed, for a friend.
- An Isis model 127A from 1937.
- A Mende 315W radio from 1938 (traded).
- Philips 470U "Zonnetje" radio
- Waldorp 120 battery radio from 1940/41 (traded).
- A Philips 915X from 1940/41 (traded).
- A British Philips 170A/15 from 1946.
Wartime Civilian Receiver (1944)
- A Philips BX560A-02 from 1947.
- A Philips BX373A "Compass"
bakelite radio from 1947.
- An Erres KY485 from 1948 (traded).
- A Philips BX480A from 1949.
- His Master's Voice 1101 radio,
- His Master's Voice 1122 radio,
early fifties (traded).
- An EAW AT Super 660 WK3,
an East-German radio from about 1951 (traded).
- Bush DAC10 AC/DC radio,
from about 1951.
- An Erres KY515 from 1952 (traded).
- Tesla Talisman 308U radio from 1953
- A Nordmende Fidelio (53) (traded)
- A Philips BX732A from 1954 (traded).
- An RCA Victor 4-Y-511
radiogram from the early fifties.
- A Philips HX347A radio/gramophone
from 1954 or 1955 (traded for the RCA).
- An Erres KY552
portable valve radio from 1955.
- Philips B1X67U kitchen radio from 1956
- Philips B7X63A large luxury radio from around 1957
- Philips B4X82A-01 radio (traded)
- Philips A5X83A AM/FM tuner (1960)
- Sharp UW-122 small table radio.
- Eddystone 840A
communications receiver, Made in England in 1960.
- Eddystone 870A receiver,
Made in England in 1961.
- Philips B5X14A Plano radio,
Around 1961 (traded).
- Philips B7X14A luxury Plano,
around 1961 (traded).
- Philips B1X42A AM/FM radio,
around 1964 (traded).
- Bush VHF81 AM/FM AC/DC radio,
- Philips B8X44A Plano radio
with FM stereo, around 1964 (traded).
- RFT Stern Jalta 5360D
DDR radio from 1965.
- MBLE BBO840 FM tuner from a kit, around 1965 (traded).
- Blaupunkt Stockholm
FM stereo radio from 1966.
Some amplifiers that I own or have fixed.
Scopes and other equipment
So I own a few oscilloscopes, these wonderful instruments that make an
electronics engineer or hobbyist feel like he's been a blind man
who suddenly can see.
Hey, even a transistorised analogue scope merits a place among valve equipment
because it contains at least one valve, the CRT.
Scopes that I had the privilege to fix for friends:
Valve measuring equipment
I also have some other measuring equipment with valves:
And recently, I added two tube testers to my collection: