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Vacuum Tube Power Supply 2015-08-26

Vacuum tubes were invented early in the twentieth century and quickly entered service in radio and television until replaced mid-century by transistors. They quietly faded into the background but are still available today. Several vendors still carry stock of tubes that were made by manufacturers who no longer exist. These are called New Old Stock or NOS. Some of these are extremely expensive and are mainly collector’s items. However, there are a few manufacturers who are still making brand new vacuum tubes at reasonable prices.

I sometimes like to make vacuum tube circuits out of nostalgia for those days in the past when they were used exclusively in amplifiers and radios. I found that I always needed a power supply and was repeating the same circuit over and over again. Therefore, I decided I should make a power supply separately and reuse it for several tube projects.

Unlike transistor circuits that mostly reside on a printed circuit board, vacuum tube designs require a lot of mechanical assembly. The chassis holes are large and have to be punched out with appropriate tools. The tools are expensive and will stretch anyone’s budget. Machine shops, equipped for sheet metal work, are geared for large quantity production. Asking a vendor to build one of a kind product ends up being very expensive.

This is a work in progress and I am publishing the design plans for educational purposes. I don’t really expect anyone to duplicate this project but someone might be interested in the process.
Val Gretchev
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