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 Post subject: Thoughts on Solid State Replacement for 83 Tube in Hickok
PostPosted: May Wed 09, 2012 5:14 am 
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Location: Riverside, CA
I have a Hickok 533 that uses an 83 tube. There is nothing wrong with it but I was thinking of replacing it with a solid state replacement on eBay:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/390407119229

or,

http://www.ebay.com/itm/160793301614

If it was a radio where you can see the tubes from behind than I'd opt for a vacuum tube but since this is buried inside the case I like the idea of consistent reliability.

Has anyone used one of these? Any thoughts?

Thanks,
Geoff


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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts on Solid State Replacement for 83 Tube in Hicko
PostPosted: May Wed 09, 2012 11:45 am 
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Location: Pocasset, Cape Cod, MA
Attachment:
83sub.jpg
83sub.jpg [ 7.34 KiB | Viewed 3290 times ]
You can make your own, with the balancing resistors that probably aren't in the ebay products.

It may give slightly different Gm values for some tubes, but once you learn what your particular tester does, you compensate for it. Hickoks aren't laboratory instruments anyway, and Gm varies with the operating point.

The resistors create an artificial center tap, since the real one doesn't appear at the 83 socket. You can wire the diodes directly into the tester, to the real center tap, and omit the resistors.


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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts on Solid State Replacement for 83 Tube in Hicko
PostPosted: May Wed 09, 2012 12:49 pm 
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WOW!!
I did not know they made such a thing
I guess if some one made/designed a replacement for 12ax7's or other sound tubes they would not/could not sound the same, or could they?


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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts on Solid State Replacement for 83 Tube in Hicko
PostPosted: May Wed 09, 2012 3:21 pm 
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Alan Douglas wrote:
Attachment:
83sub.jpg
You can make your own, with the balancing resistors that probably aren't in the ebay products.

It may give slightly different Gm values for some tubes, but once you learn what your particular tester does, you compensate for it. Hickoks aren't laboratory instruments anyway, and Gm varies with the operating point.

The resistors create an artificial center tap, since the real one doesn't appear at the 83 socket. You can wire the diodes directly into the tester, to the real center tap, and omit the resistors.

Thanks Alan!

- Geoff


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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts on Solid State Replacement for 83 Tube in Hicko
PostPosted: May Thu 10, 2012 12:52 am 
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Alan Douglas wrote:
Attachment:
83sub.jpg
Hickoks aren't laboratory instruments anyway, and Gm varies with the operating point.

Alan,

Assuming I kept the 83 tube installed and did not opt for a solid state replacement, if I had a "standard" tube that was only used for testing and it gave a particular Gm reading (say, 13,000, or whatever) would the measured Gm decrease over the life-span of the 83 tube? In other words, if I measured the "standard" tube today and got 13,000 would I still get 13,000 next year, the year after that, etc. as the 83 starts to fade as all tubes do? Same question for the 5Y3GT tube.

Just trying to understand the mechanics behind how the tester works.

Thanks,
Geoff


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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts on Solid State Replacement for 83 Tube in Hicko
PostPosted: May Thu 10, 2012 1:05 am 
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There are solid state replacements for sale that include the 10 ohm balancing resistors and additionally have a fuse to protect the transformer in case the diodes short out.

Here's a URL that shows how to make a solid-state replacement with balancing resistors and offers a solid state replacement for sale.

http://tubesound.com/2009/01/16/solid-state-replacement-for-83-tube/


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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts on Solid State Replacement for 83 Tube in Hicko
PostPosted: May Thu 10, 2012 4:43 am 
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Location: North of Mpls, Minnesota
I really don't see any need to replace the 83, they are not pushed very hard in tube tester use and will last for many, many years. I doubt if you will wear one out in your lifetime. And remember the tube chart is for use with a 83, going solid state will change some of the readings.

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts on Solid State Replacement for 83 Tube in Hicko
PostPosted: May Thu 10, 2012 4:52 am 
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Location: VA, 24019
I have a 539c here with obvious filament sag, and bad flaking in the old 83 that's been re-glued to it's base. Works fine and test's every bit as strong, and even more balanced than a couple NOS 83's I have. I'm leaving it. For the time you spend in opening it up, and/or putting together a replacement, it might be just as well to leave it, or spend a buck on another 83 or two just to keep handy.


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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts on Solid State Replacement for 83 Tube in Hicko
PostPosted: May Thu 10, 2012 5:28 pm 
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Location: Pocasset, Cape Cod, MA
Quote:
if I measured the "standard" tube today and got 13,000 would I still get 13,000 next year, the year after that, etc. as the 83 starts to fade as all tubes do? Same question for the 5Y3GT tube.
83s either work or they don't. As for the 5Y3, I've never seen a bad one in a Hickok. It's just loafing in that application.


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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts on Solid State Replacement for 83 Tube in Hicko
PostPosted: May Fri 11, 2012 1:25 am 
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Thanks for all the comments everyone!!!

- Geoff


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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts on Solid State Replacement for 83 Tube in Hicko
PostPosted: May Fri 11, 2012 4:33 am 
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Some reasons that someone might want to replace the 83 could to reduce the warm up time of the tester, to replace a faulty 83, to test higher power tubes without the fuse lamp illuminating, etc. I use the original 83, but know that others replace it; otherwise there would be no advertisement for me to include in previous post for a replacement with built in 10 ohm resistors and a fuse that is targeted for hickok testers.


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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts on Solid State Replacement for 83 Tube in Hicko
PostPosted: May Tue 15, 2012 3:43 am 
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Joined: Jan Sun 08, 2012 9:06 am
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Location: Ft. Myers, Fl.
Hi All, I was wondering if I could replace any Rectifer Tube with the Transistor
Resistor Diagram, above, or was the diagram only for an 83 Tube ??
On the same path, I heard someone replaced the Rectifer Tube with a Trans. Res. Circut,
and then Parrell wired a Second Modulation Tube in the empty scoket in their C.B. Radio, EVER HEAR OF THIS BEFORE and WHY ??

Thanking All in advance... Freddbro :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts on Solid State Replacement for 83 Tube in Hicko
PostPosted: May Tue 15, 2012 2:55 pm 
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Joined: Aug Wed 31, 2011 11:23 pm
Posts: 435
Location: Tucson, AZ
In some Hickok testers it is hard to get them to calibrate (line test) to spec due to the different voltage drop when using a SS replacement as described, so you can also add 2 zener 5.6 or 6.2V diodes to Alan's schematic to mimic the 83 tube's 13V voltage drop. Despite this, I have not seen any significant difference in GM reading (but does effect plate current for triodes if you have a Hickok tube tester that can test this such as the 539B/C or 580) when using a SS replacement w/o the zeners. It is much cheaper to make a SS 83 tube replacement yourself, then go out and buy one (or a new 83 tube). In either case they should last as long as the tester. Since the 83 tube contains mercury, I would suggest buying a unused based or remove one from another old tube if you make your own SS 83. I replaced the 83 tube in a 539B primarily because of the heat generated and the plate to plate imbalance. Can't really comment if the GM would change after a year(s) with the 83 tube, most of the tube rectifiers will last many years with continued use under much more severe conditions. What can change is the plate to plate balance which can have a direct effect on the GM reading in these testers. SS 83 should never change. Can't imagine a SS diode failing in this application, but you could always use two diodes in each leg and followed by a 5.1 or 5.6V zener to get the correct voltage drop. In either case, if you change the 83 (tube or SS) you should recalibrate the tester.


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SS 83 with 5.6V Zeners.jpg
SS 83 with 5.6V Zeners.jpg [ 21.94 KiB | Viewed 3033 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts on Solid State Replacement for 83 Tube in Hicko
PostPosted: May Wed 16, 2012 2:00 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 30698
Location: Pocasset, Cape Cod, MA
Quote:
I was wondering if I could replace any Rectifier Tube with the Transistor
Resistor Diagram, above, or was the diagram only for an 83 Tube ??
They're diodes, not transistors, but yes, you could do it, with some caveats. B+ will be higher, turn-on surge will be higher still, and the balancing resistors are not needed.


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