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Old 9th Jul 2024, 6:16 am   #1
lloyd_c
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Default Modern Day Vacuum Valve Tester

Hello,
Was wondering if anyone can recommend a modern day vacuum valve tester worth having in the workshop.

Whilst I am mainly interested in Valve Radio Valves, I have accumulated quite a collection of valves via auctions and trying to determine what are worth while keeping and what to get rid of.
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Old 9th Jul 2024, 8:44 am   #2
Cobaltblue
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Default Re: Modern Day Vacuum Valve Tester

Hi and welcome to the forum.

You might want to consider this approach https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...d.php?t=212376

Flexible and the power supplies are useful for other workshop tasks.

Or there is the Sussex https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...ad.php?t=48853

I am sure other members will have ideas if you want to buy something ready built.

Cheers

Mike T
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Old 9th Jul 2024, 11:51 am   #3
Julesomega
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Default Re: Modern Day Vacuum Valve Tester

I would be looking for a pulse-test type of tester, where you can test a valve to its limits without recourse to a pile of enormous HV PSUs. French designer Alain Ducrocq has for many years offered a range of testers, ranging from a 'basic' but entirely adequate kit for 145,00€ through to ready-built sets.
radioelec.com/mesure-lampemetres

P.S. meant to say he will reply in English if you email him
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Last edited by Julesomega; 9th Jul 2024 at 12:03 pm.
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Old 9th Jul 2024, 12:27 pm   #4
Craig Sawyers
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Default Re: Modern Day Vacuum Valve Tester

The other one is https://www.dos4ever.com/uTracer3/uTracer3_pag0.html

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Old 10th Jul 2024, 11:15 am   #5
Julesomega
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Default Re: Modern Day Vacuum Valve Tester

The difference between the radioelec and the µTracer types is that the former applies a single pulse to the electrodes and samples the measurements once the cathode has heated up, while the µTracer uses continuous supplies and the valve becomes hot from the test, as shown by the video of the guy using a tissue when removing the tested devices.

Continuous testing will replicate the service conditions, where the temperature of the electrodes will have an additional effect on the characteristics.
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Old 10th Jul 2024, 12:20 pm   #6
Gabe001
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Default Re: Modern Day Vacuum Valve Tester

This is the one I'm going to build next month, mostly because I've got the transformers for it in my spares box.

I've had a PCB made for it, so should be a question of wiring the lamps, sockets and switches.

Its a continuous supply design. Only downside is that it only has a 6.3v heater supply (same as the Sussex I think) but you can always use an external supply
https://valveheaven.com/2015/03/an-i...vetube-tester/

Last edited by Gabe001; 10th Jul 2024 at 12:35 pm.
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Old 10th Jul 2024, 3:24 pm   #7
Sergeauckland
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Default Re: Modern Day Vacuum Valve Tester

Quote:
Originally Posted by Julesomega View Post
I would be looking for a pulse-test type of tester, where you can test a valve to its limits without recourse to a pile of enormous HV PSUs. French designer Alain Ducrocq has for many years offered a range of testers, ranging from a 'basic' but entirely adequate kit for 145,00€ through to ready-built sets.
radioelec.com/mesure-lampemetres

P.S. meant to say he will reply in English if you email him
I bought one of these, and very good it is too. Alain is very quick to answer emails, and in excellent English. Just needs a bit of metalwork, or one can buy the complete set.

S
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Old 10th Jul 2024, 3:50 pm   #8
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Default Re: Modern Day Vacuum Valve Tester

I would also recommend the uTracer, I started out with the uTracer 3 and then replaced that with the uTracer 6. The latter can test with screen/plate supplies to 1000V/1A and a grid supply to -100V. I also added the daughter board that allows positive grid voltages often needed for higher power valves. I have compared the results to my other testers as well as separate power supplies setup, it is very accurate and helpful in mapping out operating curves. It does not test for shorts or gas, the latter one can switch in a grid resistor to see any changes in the curve. I built mine with thumb wheels similar to my AVOs and use the same valve test data. I run a separate heater power supply to allow testing a wider range of valves either due to the heater voltage or current range.
https://www.dos4ever.com/uTracer3/uTracer3_pag0.html
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Old 10th Jul 2024, 3:53 pm   #9
Helder Crespo
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Default Re: Modern Day Vacuum Valve Tester

There's a fully assembled one on ebay, based on the AVT5229 tube tester published in a polish electronics magazine (ELEKTRONIKA PRAKTYCZNA 4/2010). You can find it with the search keywords "Vacuum Tube Tester". £250 + shipping
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Last edited by Helder Crespo; 10th Jul 2024 at 4:07 pm.
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Old 10th Jul 2024, 4:39 pm   #10
Helder Crespo
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Default Re: Modern Day Vacuum Valve Tester

Quote:
Originally Posted by mark-jacobs View Post
I would also recommend the uTracer, I started out with the uTracer 3 and then replaced that with the uTracer 6. The latter can test with screen/plate supplies to 1000V/1A and a grid supply to -100V. I also added the daughter board that allows positive grid voltages often needed for higher power valves. I have compared the results to my other testers as well as separate power supplies setup, it is very accurate and helpful in mapping out operating curves. It does not test for shorts or gas, the latter one can switch in a grid resistor to see any changes in the curve. I built mine with thumb wheels similar to my AVOs and use the same valve test data. I run a separate heater power supply to allow testing a wider range of valves either due to the heater voltage or current range.
https://www.dos4ever.com/uTracer3/uTracer3_pag0.html
What a truly beautiful build. Very impressive!
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