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 > Remembrances of vacuum tube days

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time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 12/11/20 11:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I remember replacing tubes. Glad that is gone. Stuff consistently just works so much better now.

We can complain about having to toss out the item instead of repair... however that computer is 100x less expensive due to avoiding vacuum tubes. So replace it 100x before you cry about the cost. Cellular phone with tubes? Forgetaboutit.


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Tyler0215

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Posted: 12/11/20 12:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had a '56 Buick. The radio was the size of a small microwave oven, but it sounded great.

NRALIFR

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Posted: 12/11/20 12:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I remember as a very young child asking my dad what he did all day at work. He told me “I work for IBM, and I fix machines”. The only “machine” I knew about was a washing machine, so that’s what I imagined he worked on.

Not long after that, I had the opportunity to go with my dad into a large computer room, probably one of the big oil companies that were in Tulsa at the time. I remember being very impressed at all of the equipment in the computer rooms, and my dad even showed me the inside of one of them. I remember distinctly all the wires and vacuum tubes, knobs and flashing lights, the Selectric typwriters being used as consoles, and how the room smelled, the old round-reel tape drives, and the noise of the high speed impact printers. It was all totally new to me, and I don’t think I made much sense of it at that age.

My dad asked me on the way home what I though about all that, and I said something like “It was neat-o, but where were all the “machines?”

I grew up, my dad retired after 32 years, I worked for IBM for 36 years (fixing machines) and retired as well. I still remember those vacuum tubes.

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Posted: 12/11/20 01:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Early '60's out of Green Bay: "Johnny Sax. We've Got the Wax With the Sax Appeal"!

mr. ed

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Posted: 12/11/20 01:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I also remember living in Levittown, NY back in the late 40's. Didn't have a TV then, but a neighbor bought one of the first in the neighborhood. It was B&W, of course and had a fairly small screen (compared to today). We would come over to watch Farmer Grey and Felix the Cat cartoons, along with Howdy Doody. The classical music accompanying the Farmer Grey cartoons sparked my lifelong love of that music.

As a young experimenter, I also made a "foxhole" radio receiver, using a
double edged razor blade, safety pin, piece of pencil "lead" and headphones. It was crude but worked, only if in the vicinity of a radio station.

Kids today don't know what they're missing when they get involved in activities that are too passive and non mind stimulating.


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Posted: 12/11/20 01:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I still have memories of going with my dad to Drug Fair to replace vacuum tubes in our Zenith TV. Though now dread the prospect of having to replace them today, as I have a couple of vintage Zenith radios. Only turn on my restored Zenith tombstone for demonstration purposes, similar to the one below. Always liked Zenith's vintage orange lit dials.


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1995brave

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Posted: 12/11/20 02:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Those were the days. As a kid i played with tubes making amplifiers and repairing tvs. In my teens they came out with transistors and made all kinds of things. Then i signed up for Cleveland Institute of Electronics(CIE) home course. After i graduated from high school i got a letter from Uncle Sam. So i joined the Air Force and got into computers. They trained me on the Q-7 a tube and relay computer, never got to work on it. Ended up working for Uncle Sam for the next 47 years working on all types of computers and Audio/video systems and telephone systems. During that time i built a HeathKit o'scope and other test equipment from them.

Acampingwewillgo

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Posted: 12/11/20 02:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Interesting topic.....while I certainly remember going to the local Thrifty's to test tubes, I believe even today in the high fidelity world, the Vacuum tube amplifiers are still among the most sort after and expensive amps on the market! If you check AD's nowadays, you will also find head phone amps using tubes also. Not so sure it's a higher quality, better sounding setup, but it does bring you back to the day when tubes were in and all around us.


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Gdetrailer

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Posted: 12/11/20 02:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My Dad sold and serviced Sylvania TVs back in the late 60's early 70's.

I always enjoyed watching him work on chassis on his bench. Had a portable color CRT designed for Sylvania TVs so he could just pull the chassis and tuner and bring home to work on instead of the entire TV..

Used to go out on service calls with my Dad, customers back then were nice and I always was fascinated with those glowing tubes..

Went to a 2yr Electronic Technical school and started out in the electronics repair field.. Eventually fell into a Point of sale computer repair job for good money and stayed in the PC field..

Always have had a soft spot for Tube stereo equipment, had a couple of HK Award series A50 Stereo Tube amps.. Pretty sweet, sometimes I wished I had kept those but I was offered a darn good price many times over what I paid for them and I wasn't using them at the time..

Still have my Dad's tube Transoceanic radio although I need to dust it off and see about fixing it's bad hummmmm.. Have some of my Dad's test equipment, a Sencore Tube Oscope, a few tube testers and some Triplet analog meters.. Even have one of his Sylvania brand tube caddies [emoticon]

Have a good friend that is a tube radio nut, has a pretty nice collection of tube radios that fills his mobile home and a shed beside it..

Old-Biscuit

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Posted: 12/11/20 02:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Saturday afternoon Me & Dad would rremove the back cover on TV and pull the Vacuum Tubes then off to Rexall Drug store to check them out on their Machine.

If needing a new one would check the tube number then open the bottom cabinet of the machine and get a new matching tube.

Then we would go across the street to Woolworths for a Crème Soda at the counter

Back home...go thru our list of where the tubes went...install them and then turn on the TV and watch 'Get Smart', 'Maverick', Yancy Derringer' depending on how long we were in town

Other Saturdays ME & DAD would load up the Apache PU and haul yard thrash to the DUMP

Boy were those fun times....Me & DAD


Thanks for bringing up the topic. Fond memories!!


Is it time for your medication or mine?


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