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 Post subject: Re: 83 Rectifier
PostPosted: Jul Tue 19, 2011 10:59 pm 
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The 13V forward drop of an 83 is a bug, not a feature, and there's no reason to emulate it


Unless of course the most common application relies on it, then your SS has to be bug-compatible :)

Dave Wise


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 Post subject: Re: 83 Rectifier
PostPosted: Jul Wed 20, 2011 2:34 am 
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No application relies on it, that I'm aware of.


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 Post subject: Re: 83 Rectifier
PostPosted: Jul Wed 20, 2011 2:42 am 
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Erm... every Hickok mutual-conductance tester ever built?

Dave Wise


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 Post subject: Re: 83 Rectifier
PostPosted: Jul Wed 20, 2011 4:53 pm 
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No, Hickoks would work even better with 13V higher B+. But the difference in Gm is minor. Look at a family of transfer characteristics: they're almost the same shape, displaced along the X axis according to plate voltage. The slope at a given plate current (which is the Gm) is nearly the same for all of them.


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 Post subject: Re: 83 Rectifier
PostPosted: Jul Wed 20, 2011 5:39 pm 
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As an oddity, my vintage MicaMold transmitter uses a 83 for the rectifier! They must have
been trying to squeeze every watt out of that poor 6L6!

Pete

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 Post subject: Re: 83 Rectifier
PostPosted: Jul Wed 20, 2011 7:06 pm 
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For a test instrument, it seems to me that calibration is paramount. The Hickok tube testers were designed taking the drop into account. Will a raised-B+ tester still be calibrated? Is it possible to calibrate such an instrument? And if either is true, how does the increase make it better?

Thanks,
Dave Wise


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 Post subject: Re: 83 Rectifier
PostPosted: Jul Wed 20, 2011 7:29 pm 
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I don't think the issue is yet rectified. The 83 is as obsolete as Big Ben. I have a spare. Someday I will sell it!

The tube tester is like a short order cook in an old time two man one waitress Diner with 125 dishes on the menu and 50 seats many filled 365X24X7. How? no idea.


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 Post subject: Re: 83 Rectifier
PostPosted: Jul Fri 22, 2011 2:59 am 
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my vintage MicaMold transmitter uses a 83 for the rectifier!

They wanted good voltage regulation, presumably. The original use was for radios with class-B audio outputs, like my Atwater Kent 812. AK even used two separate power transformers, one for the audio and one for the RF.

Loss of the 15-watt filament drain will probably have more effect on calibration than another 13V of B+. Calibration is a balance among several factors: with the series line-adjust rheostat, the voltage regulation of a Hickok is terrible. Higher plate current and more transformer loading drops the grid-signal voltage, but also drops the bias which compensates somewhat.


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 Post subject: Re: 83 Rectifier
PostPosted: Jul Fri 22, 2011 3:14 am 
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Peter Bertini wrote:
As an oddity, my vintage MicaMold transmitter uses a 83 for the rectifier! They must have
been trying to squeeze every watt out of that poor 6L6!

Pete


A transmitter made by Micamold?

Does it still work? :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: 83 Rectifier
PostPosted: Jul Fri 22, 2011 3:49 am 
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tubes4life wrote:
Peter Bertini wrote:
As an oddity, my vintage MicaMold transmitter uses a 83 for the rectifier! They must have
been trying to squeeze every watt out of that poor 6L6!

Pete


A transmitter made by Micamold?

Does it still work? :shock:



Yep, one of only a very few that are still known to exist! I was very lucky to find
it over on the old RRAP usenet group some years ago. A friend of Ed Engleken
was selling it. Its the model XTR-1. Here's a write up on it:

http://www.qsl.net/wa9wfa/ha00002.htm

I'm pretty sure it still works, but it needs restoration. Some Johnny Ham
mounted a FT-243 socket on the front panel, and I need to patch those
holes and a few others he drilled while butchering the radio. That's one
of the reasons I was looking for advice on airbrushes in the clubhouse,
I need to fill the holes, match the paint, and blend in those areas. I really
want to see it back on the air one of these days.

Pete

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 Post subject: Re: 83 Rectifier
PostPosted: Jan Tue 17, 2017 10:39 pm 
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i have a quick question on this subject and that is. when using a type 83 mercury vapor in a tube tester ( such as a hickok 539b/c), is there a difference in using an RCA or a sylvania brand? or does brand really matter? im askign cause i just ordered a sylvania type 83 to replace the rca in my 539b ( due to assumption it is bad based on what looks like a chunk of solidified mercury in the tube that even after 30 minutes is unchanged) so im wondering will the sylvania be the same as dropping in an rca brand? as in install new rectifier and recalibrate?


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 Post subject: Re: 83 Rectifier
PostPosted: Jan Tue 17, 2017 11:37 pm 
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lordraptor1 wrote:
i have a quick question on this subject and that is. when using a type 83 mercury vapor in a tube tester ( such as a hickok 539b/c), is there a difference in using an RCA or a sylvania brand? or does brand really matter? im askign cause i just ordered a sylvania type 83 to replace the rca in my 539b ( due to assumption it is bad based on what looks like a chunk of solidified mercury in the tube that even after 30 minutes is unchanged) so im wondering will the sylvania be the same as dropping in an rca brand? as in install new rectifier and recalibrate?
No difference, unless one or the other is very near end of life... Small droplets of mercury are common in most mercury electronic tubes.

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 Post subject: Re: 83 Rectifier
PostPosted: Jan Wed 18, 2017 12:05 am 
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Chas wrote:
lordraptor1 wrote:
i have a quick question on this subject and that is. when using a type 83 mercury vapor in a tube tester ( such as a hickok 539b/c), is there a difference in using an RCA or a sylvania brand? or does brand really matter? im askign cause i just ordered a sylvania type 83 to replace the rca in my 539b ( due to assumption it is bad based on what looks like a chunk of solidified mercury in the tube that even after 30 minutes is unchanged) so im wondering will the sylvania be the same as dropping in an rca brand? as in install new rectifier and recalibrate?
No difference, unless one or the other is very near end of life... Small droplets of mercury are common in most mercury electronic tubes.



thanks chas i know small droples are normal however in my rca it loos like a silver film on the glass and there is what appears to be a blob on a little metal plate top side that resembles oxidized aluminum in color and even after running for 30 + minutes the status of the tubes internal mercury doesnt change at all. now when pressing the test button while testing a tube it will glow purple but not as purple as i am use to seeing so my thought was to go ahead and replace it and recalibrate, by doing this i am attempting to troubleshoot 2 things, 1. is the rectifier tubes part of or the problem causing the high readings ( for clarity testing 6l6 and actually reading 15k mMhos scale i get almost 12500 BUT if i misread by looking at teh wrong scale on the guage during testing I.E. the 6k scale then i get numbers similar to what i see people posting for numbers on fleabay and other places when they are selling NOS tubes).

hopefully the new tube will help, i already have the 5y3gt tube and just ordered the new 83 ( also have the solid state that i bought in kit form off ebay some time ago and built but havent used it wanting to instead stick with the 83 as long as possible :D.)


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 Post subject: Re: 83 Rectifier
PostPosted: Jan Wed 18, 2017 12:15 am 
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Joined: Nov Fri 04, 2016 4:49 am
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Chas wrote:
lordraptor1 wrote:
i have a quick question on this subject and that is. when using a type 83 mercury vapor in a tube tester ( such as a hickok 539b/c), is there a difference in using an RCA or a sylvania brand? or does brand really matter? im askign cause i just ordered a sylvania type 83 to replace the rca in my 539b ( due to assumption it is bad based on what looks like a chunk of solidified mercury in the tube that even after 30 minutes is unchanged) so im wondering will the sylvania be the same as dropping in an rca brand? as in install new rectifier and recalibrate?
No difference, unless one or the other is very near end of life... Small droplets of mercury are common in most mercury electronic tubes.



ok well teh sylvania tube is marked m-r v3r 83, i am assuming but would like to know if it is indeed a mercury vapor tube, seller isnt 100% sure but from the pics it does look like it has flecks of merc inside of it i just want to be sure :D


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 Post subject: Re: 83 Rectifier
PostPosted: Jan Wed 18, 2017 12:30 am 
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Just having 83 means it's a mercury vapor rectifier. As long as there isn't a "V" after 83 you are good to go.

MR indicates it's a tube from WW2. Others have said this means, "maintenance and repair".

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 Post subject: Re: 83 Rectifier
PostPosted: Jan Wed 18, 2017 12:55 am 
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Location: hillsborough, nc
I use about ten MV tubes all the time, with no problems.
The 83 was a wonder, due to low drop, perfect for CW, where current goes from zero to max instantly!
Mercury? I had a half pint of it as a kid.
Perhaps that accounts for my ppprobllemmas?
Wilson


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 Post subject: Re: 83 Rectifier
PostPosted: Jan Wed 18, 2017 1:06 am 
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Joined: Nov Fri 04, 2016 4:49 am
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Norm Leal wrote:
Just having 83 means it's a mercury vapor rectifier. As long as there isn't a "V" after 83 you are good to go.

MR indicates it's a tube from WW2. Others have said this means, "maintenance and repair".



ok thanks. i am buying it as looks new unused untested but hey for $15 shipped i'll take it LOL


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 Post subject: Re: 83 Rectifier
PostPosted: Jan Wed 18, 2017 1:07 am 
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infomet wrote:
I use about ten MV tubes all the time, with no problems.
The 83 was a wonder, due to low drop, perfect for CW, where current goes from zero to max instantly!
Mercury? I had a half pint of it as a kid.
Perhaps that accounts for my ppprobllemmas?
Wilson



nah i think your problems are from a completely unrelated source :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: 83 Rectifier
PostPosted: Jan Wed 18, 2017 1:39 am 
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Location: Wayne, NJ 07470
Norm Leal pointed out that the M-R designation means “Maintenance and Repair”. During WW-II military tubes were of highest priority, and tube makers were working multiple shifts to meet the nation’s needs. Some non-critical types were allocated to the civilian home market, to ease the tube shortages that resulted. Those M-R tubes were not subject to military testing and acceptance, but are perfectly good.

The MIL-versions were usually marked as such, usually with the manufacturer’s assigned contractor prefix, as in “CRC-83”, where CRC = Radio Corporation, and Sylvania tubes were prefixed “CHS”, etc.. You can find a lot more on the Internet, but it won’t matter to your tube tester. They might also have JAN (Joint Army-Navy) or "USN" markings plus date codes, etc.

Sylvania made high quality tubes, every bit as good as, or better than RCA did. Western Electric directly purchased tube manufacturing materials (metallurgical products) and chemicals from Sylvania (Emporium, PA) for use in WECo. tube manufacturing. That's a pretty good endorsement, I think. Sylvania really knew their stuff.

The brand of mercury rectifier you use will not matter; unlike some audio tubes, brand is irrelevant in such primitive devices. Although RCA and Sylvania were competitors, they also bought tubes from each other (i.e. "outsourced production") as made best business sense for them for each type in their sales catalog. That was a common practice throughout the tube industry. RCA never made a 6CA7, but sold plenty of them. I have no information regarding Sylvania's manufacture of the type 83 you ordered, but expect it was made by them, especially as it was during WW-II. Afterwards, who knows?
The DC electricity in your tester won't know or care which brand of tube rectified it. Likewise the tester’s 5Y3 - as long as it is in good condition, you will be OK.
Many 5Y3x production variants are out there, but anything by a reputable maker is just fine.


Recalibration of your tester shouldn’t be necessary because of a rectifier replacement. That's mostly a matter of religion. Some people like to fuss because it makes them feel diligent, but I hold to "Well, if it ain't broke don't fix it." Just see if it tests known good-tubes adequately. There is nothing very precise about testing tubes on any Hickok; they are good service bench tools, not laboratory gear.

My old Hickok never seemed to care whether a type 83 or a solid-state replacement (~with 15v drop) was used. The late Alan Douglas opined that the 15v drop in the 83 was a bug, not a feature. We agreed that saving the 15 watts (5v@3A) of rectifier filament current made things easier on Hickok power transformers. It does have a minor effect on the Line Voltage set adjustment, which should be done each time you set-up your tester. He, I and others above disagreed re the 12- 15 V drop as posted earlier in this topic’s thread. I stayed with what the Hickok designers used when taking tube data for their charts. Everything was OK.

The real business of testing tubes is what matters. Most of these rectifier discussions are not of any real importance, seemingly analogous to medieval theologians’ arguments about how many angels could sit on a pin. Since tube testing is only a rough approximation of utility and a good way to weed out dangerously bad tubes, don't sweat such minutiae. Just see if your tester can test a known good tube properly, and repeatably. Dirty switches, sockets and control pots are usually of more concern than are rectifiers. You really can’t do genuinely accurate tube matching at home without a curve tracer, but that’s another topic.

Free advice is often priced fairly. Nonetheless I'll suggest that your old tube is likely still good, and that blob of mercury should be no problem unless it is on some metal part (electrode or lead-in wire). Were you able to test tubes successfully with it before you noticed the unsightly blob?
If you already ordered that 83 (MR), put it in your tester, and, after a suitable warm-up, go test the old 83 as if it was an unknown tube.

If it‘s good, then you have a nice spare. 83s usually last forever in tube testers, so you may never, ever need another. If I needed to replace an 83 in another piece of equipment, I wouldn’t again make or buy a solid-state unit; I’d simply put in another 83 and be done with it as you wisely did.. There are way better uses for one’s heartbeats.

Keep us posted.

John, aka ”OTH”


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 Post subject: Re: 83 Rectifier
PostPosted: Jan Wed 18, 2017 2:05 am 
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Joined: Nov Fri 04, 2016 4:49 am
Posts: 75
OTH wrote:
Norm Leal pointed out that the M-R designation means “Maintenance and Repair”. During WW-II military tubes were of highest priority, and tube makers were working multiple shifts to meet the nation’s needs. Some non-critical types were allocated to the civilian home market, to ease the tube shortages that resulted. Those M-R tubes were not subject to military testing and acceptance, but are perfectly good.

The MIL-versions were usually marked as such, usually with the manufacturer’s assigned contractor prefix, as in “CRC-83”, where CRC = Radio Corporation, and Sylvania tubes were prefixed “CHS”, etc.. You can find a lot more on the Internet, but it won’t matter to your tube tester. They might also have JAN (Joint Army-Navy) or "USN" markings plus date codes, etc.

Sylvania made high quality tubes, every bit as good as, or better than RCA did. Western Electric directly purchased tube manufacturing materials (metallurgical products) and chemicals from Sylvania (Emporium, PA) for use in WECo. tube manufacturing. That's a pretty good endorsement, I think. Sylvania really knew their stuff.

The brand of mercury rectifier you use will not matter; unlike some audio tubes, brand is irrelevant in such primitive devices. Although RCA and Sylvania were competitors, they also bought tubes from each other (i.e. "outsourced production") as made best business sense for them for each type in their sales catalog. That was a common practice throughout the tube industry. RCA never made a 6CA7, but sold plenty of them. I have no information regarding Sylvania's manufacture of the type 83 you ordered, but expect it was made by them, especially as it was during WW-II. Afterwards, who knows?
The DC electricity in your tester won't know or care which brand of tube rectified it. Likewise the tester’s 5Y3 - as long as it is in good condition, you will be OK.
Many 5Y3x production variants are out there, but anything by a reputable maker is just fine.


Recalibration of your tester shouldn’t be necessary because of a rectifier replacement. That's mostly a matter of religion. Some people like to fuss because it makes them feel diligent, but I hold to "Well, if it ain't broke don't fix it." Just see if it tests known good-tubes adequately. There is nothing very precise about testing tubes on any Hickok; they are good service bench tools, not laboratory gear.

My old Hickok never seemed to care whether a type 83 or a solid-state replacement (~with 15v drop) was used. The late Alan Douglas opined that the 15v drop in the 83 was a bug, not a feature. We agreed that saving the 15 watts (5v@3A) of rectifier filament current made things easier on Hickok power transformers. It does have a minor effect on the Line Voltage set adjustment, which should be done each time you set-up your tester. He, I and others above disagreed re the 12- 15 V drop as posted earlier in this topic’s thread. I stayed with what the Hickok designers used when taking tube data for their charts. Everything was OK.

The real business of testing tubes is what matters. Most of these rectifier discussions are not of any real importance, seemingly analogous to medieval theologians’ arguments about how many angels could sit on a pin. Since tube testing is only a rough approximation of utility and a good way to weed out dangerously bad tubes, don't sweat such minutiae. Just see if your tester can test a known good tube properly, and repeatably. Dirty switches, sockets and control pots are usually of more concern than are rectifiers. You really can’t do genuinely accurate tube matching at home without a curve tracer, but that’s another topic.

Free advice is often priced fairly. Nonetheless I'll suggest that your old tube is likely still good, and that blob of mercury should be no problem unless it is on some metal part (electrode or lead-in wire). Were you able to test tubes successfully with it before you noticed the unsightly blob?
If you already ordered that 83 (MR), put it in your tester, and, after a suitable warm-up, go test the old 83 as if it was an unknown tube.

If it‘s good, then you have a nice spare. 83s usually last forever in tube testers, so you may never, ever need another. If I needed to replace an 83 in another piece of equipment, I wouldn’t again make or buy a solid-state unit; I’d simply put in another 83 and be done with it as you wisely did.. There are way better uses for one’s heartbeats.

Keep us posted.

John, aka ”OTH”



when i got the tester half the pots were "frozen" which i took care of using deoxit and some elbow grease, after i freed up the ptos and switches i then replaced all the eecrolytic caps in it which after i replaed them i opened them up to find them all dry as mummy dust internally. i also had to replace R18 as it was bad and ended up actually replacing it again because the one i bought from mouser turned out to be defective. anyway, i did attempt to test some known good 6l6 tubes out of my guitar amp and when set up correctly i was reading almost 12500 mMhos on the 15k scale now the funny thing is that if i were to misread the guage looking at the 6k scale on the meter instead of the correct 15k one then the reading would be dead on to the 4k to 4.5k mMhos i see people listing in their tube sale posts which makes me wonder if people are even reading their 539b/c meters correctly or if it is an issue with my tester.

now like i said i was able to test a tube but it would read high on the 15k scale for a 6l6 so i am erring on the side of caution bty replacing the 2 rectifier tubes and recalibrating. i also ordered some replacment resistors but never installed them because i orderd small wirewound ones and they are tiny compared to the originals and im also not sure the orignals are wirewound or not but i am assuming that should i end up putting them in during calibration as long as they are as speced in the schematic it shouldnt matter what type of resistor correct as long as values are correct? also arent wirewound more accurate and last longer than carbon type resistors?

with that all said, i think this 539b is going to work out well and worst case scenario is once finished if i end up not using it i can always sell it LOL


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