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 Post subject: Reading Faded Tube Lettering
PostPosted: Aug Wed 10, 2016 5:21 pm 
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Location: Rochester, NY 14425
Haven't tried this yet...

READING FADED TUBE LETTERING
When the type numbers of radio and TV tubes are obliterated to the point where they can't be read, try viewing them through the tube from the opposite side in a strong light. The numbers and letters are usually legible when observed in this manner provided that the interior of the tube isn't coated. -Peter Barna, Wilmington, Calif.

(Popular Electronics - October 1959)


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 Post subject: Re: Reading Faded Tube Lettering
PostPosted: Aug Wed 10, 2016 9:05 pm 
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Location: S. Dartmouth MA 02748-1225 USA
Try using a single white LED flashlight in a darkened room. I have seen this work when breathing (fogging), ammonia and other techniques have failed.

Having a knowledge of what the tube internals normally look like helps.

Chas

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There Are None So Blind As Those Who Will Not See: John Heywood, 1546


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 Post subject: Re: Reading Faded Tube Lettering
PostPosted: Aug Wed 10, 2016 10:59 pm 
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Location: Annapolis, MD
There is often some lighting condition that will work...I had good luck with a light going across the glass surface ("grazing incidence" in optical talk). But....guessing and testing is sometimes faster than finding the perfect lighting.

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"It's always something". --Gilda Radner (1946 - 1989)


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 Post subject: Re: Reading Faded Tube Lettering
PostPosted: Aug Sat 13, 2016 9:04 pm 
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Joined: Jun Mon 15, 2015 9:05 pm
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Location: Kalispell, Montana
I know this sounds a bit odd, but sometimes I have had success putting the tube in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Then I pull it out and sometimes it is legible straight off or sometimes I use a light as Pix and Chas mentioned after taking it out of the fridge.

Tony


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 Post subject: Re: Reading Faded Tube Lettering
PostPosted: Aug Wed 17, 2016 2:16 am 
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I use a magnifiying glass to examine the letters and numbers after applying any of the common techniques such as mentioned, since often part of a character is worn away. Sometimes just the outline is partially visible.

:idea: What about using polarized light or polarizing filters to view the label? Anyone tried that?

-BMS-


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 Post subject: Re: Reading Faded Tube Lettering
PostPosted: Aug Wed 17, 2016 4:11 am 
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[quote="BlewMagikSmoak" :idea: What about using polarized light or polarizing filters to view the label? Anyone tried that? -BMS-[/quote]

Try it... Also coherent light from pocket laser. Surely one has seen the specular effect from a laser beam striking the edge of a object, dust on the wall, etc. The edge of faded lettering may do the same thus enhancing the edge of the markings.

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There Are None So Blind As Those Who Will Not See: John Heywood, 1546


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 Post subject: Re: Reading Faded Tube Lettering
PostPosted: Sep Sat 17, 2016 10:14 am 
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Chas wrote:
[quote="BlewMagikSmoak" :idea: What about using polarized light or polarizing filters to view the label? Anyone tried that? -BMS-


Try it... Also coherent light from pocket laser. Surely one has seen the specular effect from a laser beam striking the edge of a object, dust on the wall, etc. The edge of faded lettering may do the same thus enhancing the edge of the markings.

Tried the laser. Oddly, I could make out letters / numbers and outlines of them on the inside of the glass not much from the outside. Concave vs. convex effects?


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 Post subject: Re: Reading Faded Tube Lettering
PostPosted: Feb Mon 13, 2017 7:02 pm 
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Location: Rochester, NY 14425
Another tip on tube lettering below. Ammonia?

Attachment:
tube_numbers.JPG
tube_numbers.JPG [ 65.77 KiB | Viewed 2515 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Reading Faded Tube Lettering
PostPosted: Apr Wed 19, 2017 8:55 pm 
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Joined: Oct Sun 18, 2015 2:49 am
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Location: San Angelo, TX
One time I used superglue. Put tube in gallon zip lock bag. Carefully set on bench and put a few drops of superglue in the bag with the tube. Don't get any on the tube. Leave for several hours. Hopefully the fumes will make numbers visible!


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 Post subject: Re: Reading Faded Tube Lettering
PostPosted: Apr Wed 26, 2017 7:13 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 1913
Location: Oswego, NY, USA
"Hopefully the fumes will make numbers visible!", along with any fingerprints left behind....a standard method used in crime labs.


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 Post subject: Re: Reading Faded Tube Lettering
PostPosted: May Mon 08, 2017 9:22 pm 
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Joined: Feb Tue 07, 2012 9:32 pm
Posts: 1766
Location: Middlesex,NJ
HI:

I HAVE USED MY BREATH ON THE NUMBER AREA.

I ALSO HAVE A MAGNIFIER WITH A ULTRA VIOLET LEDLIGHT.THIS MUST BE DONE IN A DARK ROOM.

WALTER-W2WIQ


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 Post subject: Re: Reading Faded Tube Lettering
PostPosted: Oct Fri 13, 2017 7:11 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: 253 Blanche St. Plymouth, MI USA
the best method I have found is run your finger on an oily part of your face, brush the glass with it in several directions where the number should be (above the base key is where ). Look at it under your florescent magnifier lamp. Works 90% of the time ! Clean the glass first if real dirty.
Mark Oppat


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 Post subject: Re: Reading Faded Tube Lettering
PostPosted: Oct Fri 13, 2017 4:30 pm 
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Joined: Mar Tue 22, 2016 12:51 am
Posts: 139
Location: Creswell, OR.
Weather and planetary orientation obliging, I have often simply needed to take my impossible to read tubes out into the bright sunlight and catch just the right glancing angle, or grazing incident as it were, of light. Of course here in the PNW, the "obliging" weather is often a bit elusive in the winter months.

Oh yes. That and my strongest pair of reading glasses... :shock:

- Scott


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