Friday 6 June 2014

DrugStore Tube tester...every shack should have one!

To help me restore the Country Belle radio I wanted to test the tubes.  I mentioned this to Roger at the NTMS Tuesday BBQ meeting. At the next meeting he appeared with a loaner tube tester in the back of his truck. This was a "Seco Electronic Tube Analyser"  It was the type often seen in your local USA drugstore in the tube era so you could test the iffy tubes in your radio receiver and they would sell you a replacement. This one had been previously built into a panel but was now mounted on a undersized box.

It has a meter, switch,  variable load resistor and 92 sockets. It came with a manual of what settings to use for each tube.

All the tubes in the country Belle radio passed with flying colours. along with some other 1930 era tubes I had acquired for future projects.

I had been looking for a 6AF11 audion multistage tube for a while. WA5VJB found me one in the Dayton Hamvention fleamarket. The manual had 3 settings for the tube so decided to test it. Two settings produced good pass results of 120 but the third only produced 20, a big fail. Pity! I then remembered that Roger had mentioned the tube tester can be used as a reconditioner by leaving the tube in its test configuration overnight. Worth a try. The next morning the reading was 100, so I let it be for the rest of the day which restored it to a 120 reading. What a great tool, even if it is so large! I will be looking for a transportable tester.  

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