Author Topic: Tube Kickstarter Program  (Read 10140 times)

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Offline calexanian

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Tube Kickstarter Program
« on: December 22, 2013, 02:32:40 am »
Getting close to a Vacuum Tube manufacturing Kickstarter project. Trying to gauge interest. Any thoughts? Depending on how much money I could raise would determine what I could do. With what I have now I can make simple tubes not unlike things from the 20's and 30's. To make something like a 12AX7 would require hundreds of thousands for tooling alone. Its all a matter of scale. As it is now I work out of my lab, but I can use production time at M.U. incorporated who is owned by a friend of mine and makes top notch stuff for the government but has no interest in the audio market, or I can set up a new shop ground up.
Charles Alexanian
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Offline minibutmany

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Re: Tube Kickstarter Program
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2013, 04:44:49 pm »
I believe manufacturing tubes in the US was outlawed, you could do it in your basement but I doubt any manufacturing company would do it for you.
 

Offline TheWelly888

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Re: Tube Kickstarter Program
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2013, 05:29:30 pm »
^^^
Why should it be illegal to manufacture something that is obsolete ? It's like outlawing the manufacture of flintlock pistols!

You can do anything with the right attitude and a hammer.
 

Online FrankBuss

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Re: Tube Kickstarter Program
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2013, 06:03:29 pm »
Audio market? Just use some old wholesale tubes from eBay, but don't connect it and use a DSP fo the "warm sound", and then add some yellow LEDs for the glow like Behringer did :-DD
http://www.audiomasterclass.com/is-that-the-vacuum-tube-glowing-or-yellow-leds-behind-it
So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
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Offline calexanian

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Re: Tube Kickstarter Program
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2013, 06:50:06 pm »
I believe manufacturing tubes in the US was outlawed, you could do it in your basement but I doubt any manufacturing company would do it for you.

Tube making is not illegal. Where would you get that sort of idea from? Additionally there are more audio tubes sold now than since the mid 70's It is a hobby market and will remain so. Should DIY digital electronics go away simply because we have Amazon that can deliver anything to you cheaper the next day? Why do people still buy Glass drink ware when polycarbonate glasses are so widely available? Etc etc....
Charles Alexanian
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Offline hikariuk

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Re: Tube Kickstarter Program
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2013, 05:05:48 pm »
I believe manufacturing tubes in the US was outlawed, you could do it in your basement but I doubt any manufacturing company would do it for you.

o.O - that seems a little unlikely; Electro Harmonix, at least, are based in NYC.
I write software.  I'd far rather be doing something else.
 

Offline calexanian

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Re: Tube Kickstarter Program
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2013, 08:26:13 pm »
I can say with absolute authority that Tube manufacturing is NOT illegal anywhere.
Charles Alexanian
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Offline Bored@Work

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Re: Tube Kickstarter Program
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2013, 08:40:13 pm »
I can say with absolute authority that Tube manufacturing is NOT illegal anywhere.

Can you vouch for North Korea?
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Offline calexanian

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Re: Tube Kickstarter Program
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2013, 10:25:16 pm »
Rumor has it they are still making tubes there.  A friend of mine in the Clinton "lets give crap to north Korea days" was over there as a geologist for the "Clean" reactors we were giving them and made mention of tubes still being in wide use.
Charles Alexanian
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Online edavid

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Re: Tube Kickstarter Program
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2013, 02:36:06 am »
I think you should make giant Nixies.  There's probably more money in power triodes though.
 

Offline calexanian

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Re: Tube Kickstarter Program
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2013, 04:17:31 am »
Roni actually has made Nixies. The surplus Russian ones are cheap enough that there really is no profit in them. It would be fun to make some HUGE ones though.
Charles Alexanian
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Online edavid

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Re: Tube Kickstarter Program
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2013, 04:30:08 am »
Roni actually has made Nixies. The surplus Russian ones are cheap enough that there really is no profit in them. It would be fun to make some HUGE ones though.

Check out the price of IN-18s, let alone B7971s.
 

Offline komet

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Re: Tube Kickstarter Program
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2013, 05:24:47 am »
I can say with absolute authority that Tube manufacturing is NOT illegal anywhere.

I can say with absolute authority that tube manufacturing is illegal in plenty of places. Examples: in the middle of a runway, war graves, inside my mouth without my express permission, Yellowstone national park, Westminster Abbey etc. etc.

 

Offline calexanian

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Re: Tube Kickstarter Program
« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2013, 05:29:39 am »
I can say with absolute authority that Tube manufacturing is NOT illegal anywhere.

I can say with absolute authority that tube manufacturing is illegal in plenty of places. Examples: in the middle of a runway, war graves, inside my mouth without my express permission, Yellowstone national park, Westminster Abbey etc. etc.

Yes, getting a reliable supply of oxygen and gas for the torches might be a problem in some of those locations. Also I do not think the muffle furnace would do well either..
Charles Alexanian
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Offline calexanian

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Re: Tube Kickstarter Program
« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2013, 05:32:09 am »
Who needs a fancy spot welder when you have Harbor freight, some safety hook wire, a 10 amp variac, some springs, and an afternoon.


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Online edavid

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Re: Tube Kickstarter Program
« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2013, 03:54:09 pm »
I don't get it... it looks like you started with a spot welder, and made it into a spot welder  :-//
 

Offline calexanian

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Re: Tube Kickstarter Program
« Reply #16 on: December 24, 2013, 06:14:31 pm »
Look up the cost of a micro welder used for that sort of work. Then look up the price of a cheap harbor freight one. Then you will see what I mean. Also the welds are actually cleaner than a capacitive discharge type that is all the rage in battery terminal welders right now. I am starting to think this is really not the forum to discuss this sort of thing. People are a bit to removed from electro mechanical here.
Charles Alexanian
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Offline SeanB

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Re: Tube Kickstarter Program
« Reply #17 on: December 24, 2013, 07:06:07 pm »
Nice to see a decent welder made up out of things though. I was looking at making one myself, but aside from having no use I just rewound a transformer to do it, and it does work. Just needs the electrodes and a holder, and something less lethal than bare wiring on the transformer. It is not going to overheat though ,as I use 00 gauge cable as a secondary.
 

Offline calexanian

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Re: Tube Kickstarter Program
« Reply #18 on: December 24, 2013, 07:33:29 pm »
For small gauge things 00 will work. Copper strap is best of course, but thats not to say that there are not many out there that just use parallel windings of cable. The duty cycle is so low on a spot welder that getting the energy to the weld spot is more important than overheating. Welding jaw and rod are available from McMaster Carr. I am using 1/8" rod for the electrodes. I can put a good weld in up to 18GA steel or .100" Monel rod. Way over blown for tube or battery tab end work. On my 120V harbor freight welder I apply 70V from the variac for small diameter wire or .01 thick nickel up to 110V to weld .01 nickel sheet to that .1" monel rod. Handy range. All with that 1/8" electrode material. It is critical you use that electrode material as it does not stick as pure copper would to the piece you are welding. It used to be called Mallory Alloy and is copper with some chrome I believe and a few other things to harden it. It also makes it hold a better point when you file it. One of the ladies who works for us used to work on the semiconductor line at Fairchild in the early 60's (Yes she knew Bill Noyce and drank at the wagon wheel with them all) and she talks of the spot welders they used to use to do the wire bonding. They were actually borrowed from the tube industry and the father of a friend of mine down in Oceanside used to make those welders and leak checkers and all that sort of kit for the tube and semiconductor industries. He was also the one who founded M.U. after buying the assets from the Hughes company Electron Tube Products division and still to this day his daughter makes the 2C53 triode and the 6303 clipper diode. 
Charles Alexanian
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Offline flapjackboy

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Re: Tube Kickstarter Program
« Reply #19 on: December 24, 2013, 11:38:45 pm »
Can you vouch for North Korea?

You mean Best Korea, surely.
 

Offline calexanian

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Re: Tube Kickstarter Program
« Reply #20 on: December 24, 2013, 11:47:14 pm »
Audio market? Just use some old wholesale tubes from eBay, but don't connect it and use a DSP fo the "warm sound", and then add some yellow LEDs for the glow like Behringer did :-DD
http://www.audiomasterclass.com/is-that-the-vacuum-tube-glowing-or-yellow-leds-behind-it

Korg just did something like that in a keyboard. Awesome!  |O
Charles Alexanian
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Offline minibutmany

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Re: Tube Kickstarter Program
« Reply #21 on: December 26, 2013, 06:14:17 pm »
I will admit I was wrong to say that tube manufacturing itself was illegal, but the use of mercury is. Most tubes now don't contain mercury but it used to be more common in the old rectifiers. Electro Harmonix does not actually make their own tubes in NYC. "Electro-Harmonix stopped making pedals in the mid-1980s, and in the early 1990s started selling vacuum tubes re-branded with its name for guitar amplifiers" as seen on wikipedia.
 

Offline calexanian

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Re: Tube Kickstarter Program
« Reply #22 on: December 26, 2013, 06:43:40 pm »
Mike Mathewes owner of Electroharmonics married a Russian woman who was part manager of the Reflector tube plant. I have had a few conversations with her and him, but mostly her over the years. The story of that plant is more political than technical. They also have a close tie in with the expo pul plant who makes the 12AX7's that they label 12Ax7WB and WB. Mr Mathewes is more into the pedal electronics than the actual tubes. They make pedals in both Russia and some in their shop in New York. The ones from Russia however are fading away as costs to produce here in the states go down in comparison. I have bought a couple of their pedals from the recent ones made in New York. They are not bad. Pretty standard in quality and for the price they are ok.
Charles Alexanian
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Online edavid

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Re: Tube Kickstarter Program
« Reply #23 on: December 27, 2013, 06:50:32 am »
I will admit I was wrong to say that tube manufacturing itself was illegal, but the use of mercury is.

Nope, not in the US.  (And very few tubes contain or ever contained mercury.)
 

Offline calexanian

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Re: Tube Kickstarter Program
« Reply #24 on: December 27, 2013, 07:00:34 am »
With all but certain rectifiers mercury is the last thing you want anywhere near a inside of a tube. All it will do is arc! Its why there is so much of it in floro tubes, to get it to jump the arc all the way across it! There is more mercury in one modern floro light than in an entire factory of amplifier tubes! Ignoring mercury rectifiers and thyratrons of course.
Charles Alexanian
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