#1
I'm getting a new amp for the holiday season, so I have about 15 vaccum tubes doing nothing at all except sitting inside of a box and taking up space and most importantly NOT BEING AWESOME.

But I had an idea to change that and make an AMAZING gift at the same time to a special someone (if you get my drift

So, I wanted to make a simple low light level tube lamp. I know that, in the guitar sense, that a tube displays a steady orange glow (or purplish in some cases) that indicates that the tube is being heated up to allow for an optimal amplification environment.

However, I recently stumbled upon this guide showing that you can make a tube light up simply by running current through the heater pins. And I was wondering if anybody could possibly help me make a schematic on how I would make it work for 4 tubes (4 6l6's) and, if it was possible, a way to vary the intensity of the tubes.

I figure that a 6l6 tube requires 6 volts of power on the heater (is that correct?) but a few questions arise in my head.

I wanted to wire the 4 tubes in a way that they can all be dimmed at the same time by lowering the current going to the tubes, I figure a simple 1meg pot can do this, and then I'd wire a 120 volt rated power switch in front of the step down transformer to turn it off when not in use.

Something like this:

I appreciate any help
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#2
if they are all wired in series like you have shown in the diagram then it would work like you want, them all being controlled at once that is
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#4
Quote by sesstreets
I figure that a 6l6 tube requires 6 volts of power on the heater (is that correct?)
Yes. 6.3V and 0.9A

Quote by sesstreets
I figure a simple 1meg pot can do this,
Not even close.
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#5
I think your initial premise is wrong. That article is misleading; it says "light up" and I think you read that to mean "gets bright" when really all they meant was "making it glow without putting it in an amp."

It's not going to get any brighter with that circuit than it would in your amp, so unless you're ok with it basically being a dangerously hot dull-glow machine instead of a lamp, you might want to try something else. I know it's not as cool, but some LEDs behind the tubes might give you a more useful and safe lighting effect.
#6
Quote by sesstreets
a steady orange glow (or purplish in some cases) that indicates that the tube is being heated up to allow for an optimal amplification environment.
I just re-read this portion. The purple glow is from ionization. You won't get that, unless you have a high voltage DC supply connected to the plates. Probably upwards of +450v. Now you'll have to limit the current by having the control grid more negative than the cathode.
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Last edited by SomeoneYouKnew at Nov 20, 2009,
#7
also it says lamb. not lamp... this is not what i was expecting
#9
Quote by FUT55
also it says lamb. not lamp... this is not what i was expecting
Dude, anything involving a Vacuum Tube and a LAMB is not suitable for UG.
... not even the The Pit.
Meadows
Quote by Jackal58
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Quote by SK8RDUDE411
I wont be like those jerks who dedicate their beliefs to logic and reaosn.
#10
SYK, that's just your dirty mind. I was simply thinking of a model lamb made out of tubes. Needless to say i was still disappointed by this thread
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#11
Quote by Invader Jim
I'm gonna be honest and say that this is a bad idea for several reasons.


... and they would be?

I know its not going to be BRIGHTER than what it would in a lamp, but I always thought they look cool.

Is there legitimate serious danger to using this in a situation where they wouldn't get dropped on the floor or something stupid?

I'm honestly just trying to replicate the amount of light one would get from a candle.
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Last edited by sesstreets at Nov 20, 2009,
#12
I would put an led under the tubes and use that to add light to it like here http://www.diystompboxes.com/smfforum/index.php?topic=63479.msg659149#msg659149 . A combination of red and yellow leds, fading/flicker circuit and you could make a really cool looking lamp. I don't think I would bother lighting the heaters, just use led's under the tubes to simulate it instead. You'll get a lot better effect and don't have to worry about actually heating the tubes, power problems, short circuits. You could power a zillion led's from a small wallwart power adapter. Run a 7812 or 7805 voltage regulator, a few caps and some led's. Use a 555 timer chip to drive the leds, or even a 1458 dual-op amp can simulate a decent waveform for led fading. There are some easy circuits out there to adapter with leds that would give a cool effect.
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#14
Quote by sesstreets
... and they would be?

I know its not going to be BRIGHTER than what it would in a lamp, but I always thought they look cool.

Is there legitimate serious danger to using this in a situation where they wouldn't get dropped on the floor or something stupid?

I'm honestly just trying to replicate the amount of light one would get from a candle.
Power.

To run four 6V6 heaters, you need either
6.3 Volts @ 3.6 Amps OR
12.6 Volts @ 1.8 Amps OR
25.2 Volts @ 0.9 Amps.

In any case, about 23 Watts
This is more power than a normal wall wart can do.
So you have to buy a real transformer.
Iron is NOT cheap.

And most of that power is going to be turned into heat, not light.
Meadows
Quote by Jackal58
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Quote by SK8RDUDE411
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#15
I personally reccomend if you are actually going to do this that you stick a cage over the top. Then instead of calling it a lamp, call it an electric heater instead.
EH


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#17
Quote by gratefulduck
i was really looking forward to the tube powered lamb

me too i guess ill have to go back to dreaming of electric sheep...


GeToChKn probably has the best idea here. use some LEDs set up to flicker and dont even use the tubes. red, yellow, orange and a couple blue LEDs mixed together in different ammounts could do something cool. set the orange to stay on and the others to fade in and out at different rates and it would look pretty cool IMO.
#18
I'm guessing that the led's would probably be easier to run aswell, no crazy wall wart stuff just a 9v battery and some resistors.

Thanks guys, although I would have prefered the actual brightness that a tube provides, I'm sure I can get it to display nicely.

I'll come back with results.
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#19
Quote by FUT55
also it says lamb. not lamp... this is not what i was expecting


This


Also this is probably not a good idea due to the high amounts of heat... but as said before you could always make it a heater...lol
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#20
anymore "lamb" comments get a warning fpor spam.

As syk said, power is the biggest obstacle.

and unless you use a dozen or so of those things, you aren't gonna get anywhere close to the amount of light a candle emits. Tube heaters make terrible light sources.

If, however, you want to use LEDs, all you need is a single resistor and a pot (if you want to control brightness). Just wire the LEDs in parallel with each other and in series with the resistor and power supply.

or connect 3 in series for every 9 volts of power you use.
#21
Can you get light bulbs shaped as vacuum tubes?

Maybe dismantle a tube and put your own filament in?

Might be quite effective.
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#22
Quote by Juadafi
Can you get light bulbs shaped as vacuum tubes?

Maybe dismantle a tube and put your own filament in?

Might be quite effective.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BylLOWRojyY

It really is as simple as that!

Besides, just having an ordinary light bulb in the shape of a tube would sort of defeat the whole point of the excersize, like getting a blacklight and sticking an ordinary flourescent strip light in there or something.
EH


"Show me war; show me pestilence; show me the blood-red hands of retribution..."
#23
Quote by Juadafi
Can you get light bulbs shaped as vacuum tubes?

Maybe dismantle a tube and put your own filament in?

Might be quite effective.


I know tubedepot sells antique lightbulbs, which look awesome even if they don't quite look like tubes:
http://www.tubedepot.com/alb.html


I'm sure you can google around and find plenty of other suppliers, some which might have more tube-looking ones.
#24
Quote by dullsilver_mike
I know tubedepot sells antique lightbulbs, which look awesome even if they don't quite look like tubes:
http://www.tubedepot.com/alb.html


I'm sure you can google around and find plenty of other suppliers, some which might have more tube-looking ones.


That seems like a much better idea. It's still not exactly a tube though.
EH


"Show me war; show me pestilence; show me the blood-red hands of retribution..."