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 Post subject: Looking to buy or trade for a Hickok tube tester
PostPosted: Feb Fri 09, 2018 12:52 am 
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Location: Chicago, IL
Greetings, i'm a younger restorer and electronics hobbyist in this hobby (i'm 16), and I'm looking eventually to get a decent tube tester. I always wanted a Hickok, one that could test for mutual conductance. I just have a basic emissions tester and could go with a better one, being how often I work with tubes and radios, etc. I always take good care of all my equipment and a nice tube tester would be a great thing for me to have, it would help my hobby tremendously, and save me a lot of time dealing with defective tubes. I'm just wondering what everyone has, and if anyone has a tester, even if it needs a cleanup, but i'd prefer one at least working. PM me or reply and let me know if you have anything that might interest me! I could go for anything decent, such as a model 600, 800/A, 533, etc. I don't need anything lab grade but would prefer one that is in decent condition and that will be a good tester to test my tubes! I have a lot of tubes, some I hope to someday sell, and I want a good tester to measure the Gm to sell them, too. They are nice to have and I hope I can get one! Even a Weston Gm tester is something I could go for as well. I love these testers!

I have several radios, as well as a Precision 10-12 tube tester with a new meter that is working that I would be willing to give up as well for a decent Hickok, if anyone wants them.
So please PM me or let me know if anyone has a decent tube tester laying around that would be nice for me to either fix up, or use! It does not need to be calibrated or accurate, I can handle that myself. I just really want one of these testers and it would make a great addition to my shop to have one. Thank you, have a great day everyone!


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 Post subject: Re: Looking to buy or trade for a Hickok tube tester
PostPosted: Feb Fri 09, 2018 1:15 am 
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Joined: Dec Tue 01, 2015 5:31 am
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Location: Columbus Ohio
Crank, I remember the day you 1st posted, good to see you still at it. So I got a deal for you.
I got a few testers today, including a faceplate for a Hickok 533, no a/b or c, just 533.
Missing a few knobs, scroll, (got one I'll throw in) case, this and that. BUT it does have all the switches, transformer, meter
sockets etc. Its ugly, if you want to restore, repair and learn on, it yours, PM me your address.
I'll eat the shipping too, this is my random act of kindness to help you along. You're enterprising, you'll have this baby
going in no time. It's missing the 83 tube, so build a solid state circuit, I may have a 5y3 to toss in too, I'll look., you could SS that too?

Joe


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 Post subject: Re: Looking to buy or trade for a Hickok tube tester
PostPosted: Feb Fri 09, 2018 2:13 am 
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Location: Chicago, IL
Wow! Seems like it's all there! I did notice it's missing the "FUSE" lamp as well as the pilot lamp. Would you happen to have spare lamps for these? It's also missing the top of the pilot lamp housing, but i'm sure it would work without it. Any backstory on this tester? How are the sockets, do they seem corroded, or are they nice and clean? Also, how easy do you think it would be to clean up the faceplate? Does it just seem like a lot of dirt and grime is on it? If so, I was hoping to use some brake parts cleaner or WD-40 and some metal polish to try and clean it up. I'm hoping to get the dirt off of it. I could also use some window cleaner too, any suggestions on what the best thing to use is? Do you think the tester works at all? I will have to buy an 83 tube for it, as making a SS conversion can be harder, i'd rather just put a new tube in. And I have plenty of 5Y3s, so I should be good there. I feel like it's a good candidate for a restoration, at least cosmetically. I hope it won't be too difficult of a job to clean it up. What do you think?
I appreciate you offering me the tester, it seems like a good deal really, considering it's all there, as long as the meter is good.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking to buy or trade for a Hickok tube tester
PostPosted: Feb Fri 09, 2018 3:46 am 
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Location: Columbus Ohio
cool, I've got the lamps, ands maybe a cover, it has a new sheet for the scroll, but missing the hardware, they can be found or made with a couple tubes and gears.
Since you have the 5y3, find an 83 tube. The meter moves freely tilting it, I've not powered it up, question is the transformer. I use Windex and a toothbrush to clean faceplates, but if you stripped this down you'd have more options, depends how deep you want to go. I don't know its history, was part of a lot I posted in Feb finds today, then saw your post. I've had help in my youth too in hobbies and one day in your advanced age, you pass on the favor to another kid starting out is all I ask.
PM your address, I'll box it up and throw in some parts to help with it. You can post your progress and tests on here when you start fixing it.

If someone knows the specs for the diodes and resistors to make a suitable SS rectifier for the 83 tube, I'll toss those in too.

Joe

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 Post subject: Re: Looking to buy or trade for a Hickok tube tester
PostPosted: Feb Fri 09, 2018 4:17 am 
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Location: Columbus Ohio
ok, got you a 81 and 47 bulb, new socket for the 47 as it has the wrong socket now (56), no cover, but it'll work, those do come up.
Printed out the manual, put in a grid cap lead.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking to buy or trade for a Hickok tube tester
PostPosted: Feb Fri 09, 2018 4:46 am 
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Joined: Nov Sun 22, 2015 9:07 pm
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Location: Chicago, IL
Thanks Joe!

I see, well I will have to check it out, worse comes to worse I will just make a booklet with the test settings for it. I hope I have a few chickenhead knobs to put on the ones that are missing knobs, and I will install the pilot light and fuse light, and once I get the 83, I will give it a test and see if it works, and then start cleaning it up. And if anything, I might just see if I have enough knobs to replace all of them with the same kind, besides the bias and english ones. The biggest thing will be making or getting a suitable housing for it, like maybe an old suitcase with a lid, something with the right dimensions that I can mount the tester into. But hopefully it will be a relatively easy and fun project, mainly cleaning it up and getting it working! And the 83s are rather expensive, but I will see if I can pick one up! And that's a good sign! I'm sure it works, just hasn't been used in so long and was neglected a bit. It really isn't in all that bad of shape, just a bit grimy and dirty, but the insides look really clean! And of course, I would do that any time I can, I love helping people out, because I know certain things can be difficult and I always do my best. I will be sure to help out someone down the road with this great hobby! And thanks, I certainly will do that! I hope once I get the 83 tube I can fire it up and see if it will test a tube! I saw the other 533 you got, and that one is pretty nice too, i'm glad it works!

And thanks, I will have to install the new socket. I appreciate the cap lead and the copy of the manual! I really hope it will clean up nice, and I will have to see if I can make the scroll work.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking to buy or trade for a Hickok tube tester
PostPosted: Feb Fri 09, 2018 4:59 am 
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Posts: 907
Location: Columbus Ohio
It has the scroll sheet, so you'll have all the settings. Added a couple sockets savers. You can make a new case out of 3/8" plywood and a table saw.
Add some glue, corner reinforcements. cover it or stain it. Restoring requires many skills including woodworking. You'd be surprised who may have a table saw near you and is willing to show you how to safely rip some wood. Found 3 similar knobs to complete that.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking to buy or trade for a Hickok tube tester
PostPosted: Feb Fri 09, 2018 5:40 am 
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Joined: Nov Sun 22, 2015 9:07 pm
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Location: Chicago, IL
Thanks!! I may end up doing that! And thanks for the socket savers, those really come in handy for these testers!
And that's very true! I have a circular saw, as well as a jigsaw, and I have a table saw at my school's woodshop. So I will see what I can do eventually, I hope to get it running first and see how it works, and get a cover for the pilot light. I think it will clean up nice myself. I think it's a nice shiny faceplate under all that dirt and grime. And thanks for that as well, those knobs look great on there, and that's a nice cap lead, too!


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 Post subject: Re: Looking to buy or trade for a Hickok tube tester
PostPosted: Feb Fri 09, 2018 3:23 pm 
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Joined: Nov Wed 30, 2016 7:35 pm
Posts: 589
Location: OHIO 43074
If you decide to make solid state replacements for the tubes, you will need to do a complete recalibration. Personally, I'd stick with the tubes. They are cheap, last forever, and are what the instrument was designed for.

However if you decide you simply must convert to ss, make sure you use one of the schematics (they are all on this forum in several places) that are using some form of protection. You all use protection, right? :roll: If you do a cheapo conversion that uses only one diode, and it shorts, there goes your power transformer in a puff of smoke. Some of the mods use two diodes in series, or a fuse. Tubes better.

psssttt... stick with the tubes :)

my 13c

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 Post subject: Re: Looking to buy or trade for a Hickok tube tester
PostPosted: Feb Fri 09, 2018 4:49 pm 
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Joined: Nov Sun 22, 2015 9:07 pm
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That's true! And thanks, i'm going to stick with the tubes. It's just simpler. And I don't want to risk damaging anything by over voltage or blowing my power transformer. I will order an 83 tube for it. I hope this tester will clean up nice, and that I can make a case for it!


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 Post subject: Re: Looking to buy or trade for a Hickok tube tester
PostPosted: Feb Fri 09, 2018 5:34 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Tucson AZ
Disregarding the continuous debate regarding the use of S/S versus tubes, the highly recommended solid state replacements are not that difficult to build. Even you should be able to accomplish that.

And as pointed out in many places on this forum, the typical tube tester isn't the end all in determining the actual working condition of the tube, especially when you are trying to match them up, then you might really want to look at a curve tracer.


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 Post subject: Re: Looking to buy or trade for a Hickok tube tester
PostPosted: Feb Fri 09, 2018 5:50 pm 
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That's very true! But for now I think i'm just gonna stick with the tube as the circuit was originally designed.

And that's true, the best test for a tube is the circuit it was designed for! But still, this is a pretty nice tester when calibrated to use to match tubes, with Gm values. I just hope I can clean up the faceplate!

Also, would it be acceptable to power it up at first with an 80 tube instead of the 83, just to test it? What is the main difference between the two? I know the 83 has mercury in it, which probably means it has different voltage drop characteristics. Is the heater current the same, so I could put an 80 in place just to test out the tester?


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 Post subject: Re: Looking to buy or trade for a Hickok tube tester
PostPosted: Feb Fri 09, 2018 5:56 pm 
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Joined: Nov Wed 30, 2016 7:35 pm
Posts: 589
Location: OHIO 43074
Cleaning the faceplate might be easier than you think. Try some ammonia on a rag or paper towel, straight out of the bottle. Just the standard stuff you get at the grocery store. You will be amazed.

Then follow up with a water rag to clean off any ammonia left behind. Repeat if necessary.... no hard rubbing should be required, just patience. I'd avoid using ammonia on any of the plastic parts, especially the meter, although it *should* not hurt them. I've done it on my own, but don't recommend it in case something dissolves. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Looking to buy or trade for a Hickok tube tester
PostPosted: Feb Fri 09, 2018 6:04 pm 
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Joined: Nov Wed 30, 2016 7:35 pm
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Location: OHIO 43074
I would NOT try the 83 tube in the tester. The 83 has the filament connected to the cathode which could be a show stopper. Also not sure if the characteristics of the tube are the same. Imho not worth the risk to the tester, nor the uncertainty of how it might behave.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking to buy or trade for a Hickok tube tester
PostPosted: Feb Fri 09, 2018 6:46 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Tucson AZ
Are you a member of any of the antique radio facebook pages?


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 Post subject: Re: Looking to buy or trade for a Hickok tube tester
PostPosted: Feb Fri 09, 2018 6:48 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: North of Mpls, Minnesota
Barry H Bennett wrote:
I would NOT try the 83 tube in the tester. The 83 has the filament connected to the cathode which could be a show stopper. Also not sure if the characteristics of the tube are the same. Imho not worth the risk to the tester, nor the uncertainty of how it might behave.

It is supposed to use a 83 tube :?: :?:

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Looking to buy or trade for a Hickok tube tester
PostPosted: Feb Fri 09, 2018 7:08 pm 
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Joined: Nov Wed 30, 2016 7:35 pm
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Location: OHIO 43074
damnation! Dysleiax strikes again. Yes of course it is :) 80, 81, 83 whatever it takes ;-)

I summarily disavow and withdraw this, and any future errors, I make. Past ones can stand.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking to buy or trade for a Hickok tube tester
PostPosted: Feb Fri 09, 2018 7:11 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 1150
Location: Tucson AZ
If you aren't interested in building an 83 solid state replacement until you get an 83 tube, then why ask about trying an 80 tube?


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 Post subject: Re: Looking to buy or trade for a Hickok tube tester
PostPosted: Feb Fri 09, 2018 10:09 pm 
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Location: Hammond, Ind.
I know an easy way to clean the faceplate. A cheap toothbrush and 91% alcohol, from my experience. That seemed to get most, if not all dirt off from mine. I just got my first Hickok for Christmas, it was a pretty beat up TV-3A/U. You cannot use metal polish on the exterior finish. The control panel is finished in a light gray paint that is easily destroyed and it is challenging to restore once removed.

I have a cover for those lamps if needed. exact replacements for the lamp socket assemblies are Drake type -40 or similar. There are cheaper substitutes for the drake made by dialco. I have one that would be an adequate substitute. I also have some of the proper/original style hardware used for securing the roll chart and case, if needed. I also have the parts to make the other grid/plate lead that is missing. I also have some nice LED replacement pilot lights.

Its good to know there are other collectors near my age out there, too. I'm 12 and in the Northwest Indiana area. Email or pm me if your interested in any of these parts.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking to buy or trade for a Hickok tube tester
PostPosted: Feb Fri 09, 2018 11:01 pm 
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Location: Chicago, IL
Thanks! That seems like it would work well! And i'm glad you got a Hickok, those military ones are the best! And thanks for the info on the gray paint, I didn't know that! I will try some alcohol and some window cleaner too.

And thanks, I could use a cover! I am getting a new socket as well. And I could use those as well! Do you have the shafts and gears for the roll chart? Because I believe I am getting a roll chart assembly missing those parts. The main things I need now are a type 82 rectifier tube, and some sort of case for the tester. I might make my own, or I might try and find a suitcase or other box that could fit the tester.

And indeed! I am very happy to see someone of similar age into this hobby as well. I don't know anyone else personally who is in this hobby, so i'm all on my own. Keep at it, it's fun and people here will be able to help you along the way!
-Dylan


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