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Rapid Tube Tester


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I found a Rapid Tube Tester last night. It is wall art in a musician's drinking / dancing establishment. It was too dark to get a good picture. I enhanced it the best I could.

Rapid Tube tester.jpg


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I just remembered the 1B3GT was usually the culprit when my childhood TV quit working. I would ride my bicycle with a bag full of tubes to the drug store to test them.

A little Googling says they are still available used for about $8.00 and
"1B3GTs were used as a HV rectifier for B&W televisions."
"It's a half-wave rectifier, per my 1954 RCA receiving tube manual."


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This little gem comes in a red case. Some one in town has the matching tube cady full of tubes. I wish the two were together again.
It must be a recent version because it includes a transistor/diode test.


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That's neat kit Ron

I miss the days or proper engineering and all it did.

Now days, its become a throw away society.
So sad.
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Electronic enthusiasts and radio amateurs in the USA, seem to hold valve (tube) testers in high regard.
Here in the UK, nobody I know could care less about them.

Many years ago as part of my "day job" at the time, I repaired/calibrated a few of these:
The RAF seemed to have hundreds of the things, maybe the army and the navy also, I don't know.


Nigel Goodwin

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If you want to test a valve the tester is hard to find at any price.
Valve testers weren't ever of much use anyway, we had one in the workshop (which got destroyed in a fire), but it wasn't something we ever used - apart from the occasional testing of valves that customers brought in. They only provide a very limited testing capability, and normal fault finding is far superior and faster.

We did have people sometimes bring ALL the valves out of their TV for testing, and then couldn't put them back in the right places afterwards :p

Another meddling customer brought his B&W valve set in, and said "I've tightened all those loose screws inside, and it doesn't work now" - he'd screwed all the IF cores down to the bottom! :eek:

Most bizarre repair(s) I ever did was to a GEC B&W valve set, it came in as faulty, and a number of wires had been cut inside it. I repaired the wires, the set worked fine, explained that it had cut wires inside, charged the customer and gave it him back. The customer was actually a local veterinary surgeon, and lived about 1/4 mile away.

Next day he brought it back, complaining that we hadn't repaired it properly, as it still wouldn't work. So I took him upstairs, removed the back in front of him, and showed him yet more cut wires. I showed it him working, refitted the back, and applied paint to the back screws, so it would be obvious if they were removed - we charged him again, as it was no fault of ours. He also denied all knowledge of what might be happening to it.

Next day he brought it back AGAIN, and pointed out that the paint hadn't been disturbed, but careful examination of the back showed where something long and thin (such as surgical scissors) had been squeezed through the slots in the back. Needless to say, the only fault was cut wires - so we charged him again :D We pointed out, again, that someone was deliberately sabotaging his TV, and that perhaps he ought to find out who and why, rather than paying us for simple repairs every day.

After that we never saw him or his TV again, so I've no idea what it was all about.

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