DIY Tube Testing

Welcome to my DIY tube tester site!

This site is mainly to showcase my tube tester which I built myself. I have many planned improvements, many of which have changed since the last time I updated this site (July '09). Istead of talking about all the great stuff I might do one day, I will simply update the site with things I have actually completed.

The reason I took on such a project was that I have been frustrated by the lack of a reliable, reasonably priced, and thorough tube testing devices…and I had most of the parts lying around the shop. I don’t see a single impediment to the implementation of such a tester commercially, which really drives me nuts! (On the other hand, I have worked out most of the kinks of such a device over the last two years. Funding, anyone?) I also wanted to go a bit farther, having the ability to test most tube parameters (with the exception of capacitance; this is something that would require a lot more work for what I feel is a very minimal return) on both receiving and transmitting tubes.

What that means is: Precise readings, at data sheet specifications, of gain, transconductance, and by calculation plate resistance; heater, cathode, grid, screen, and by calculation (or measurement) plate current; then power output and grid cutoff voltage. I also wanted precise (actual!) measurements of gas current and leakage resistances. In addition, when a circuit is setup, I want to be able to listen to it for microphonics and noise. A tall order? Not really - just a lot of switches, wires, and sockets.

Take a look at all the info pages to see what it looks like and how it works.

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