[Alessandro Lambardi] had some vacuum flourescent displays that he pulled from junked VCRs. His latest project is an experiment to use one of the VFDs as a headphone amplifier (Wayback Machine Cache). This means he’s trying to use them as vacuum triode amplifiers, aka vacuum tubes. He did get it to work but as he suspected, the output is fairly low power. It may be possible to use this setup as a preamp and build an actual tube amp to use along with it.
Update: Thanks to [Fallen] for mentioning that we’ve covered this concept in the past.
Quick quiz, what came before transistors? Why vacuum tubes of course. If this clock doesn’t make you thankful for the luxury of integrated circuits, nothing will.
We had never heard of using Neon Lamps as logic circuits, and they definitely produce a much cooler effect when counting.
And finally, we’re just suckers for a good Nixie Clock. The scope clock is also pretty interesting.
[Gio] enjoys using vacuum tubes in his projects. He designs the circuits using a CAD program but was finding that there is no substitute for actually building a prototype before heading to a final design. To make this process easier, he built his own tube prototyping station.
At the top of the board he’s got three different sizes of tube sockets with the pins from each wired as common. The nine pins from the sockets break out to a terminal strip where they can be interfaced with a solderless breadboard. For added versatility he’s included terminals to tap into some RCA jacks, as well as a 100 kOhm variable resistor. We’d bet this is not something that you can find ready-made, but it sure does look a whole lot better than a workbench full of components alligator-clipped together.
[Niclas] sent us his home made tube amplifier. For the case he used a computer power supply unit, took out the guts and replaced them with the amplifier board. He based this build off of an existing design but took a more minimalist approach. The wooden face plate has an on/off switch, an audio jack, and volume control. Apparently, the tubes are floating loose inside of the case. We’d recommend a more secure mounting method for these delicate parts.
There are no microcontrollers in this project. In fact you wont find a single transistor. This classic regenerative tube radio, modeled after an early 20th century homebrew is complete with schematic and additional photos. For those who are not familiar with tube designs and for simplicity, the regeneration circuit can be thought of as feedback though this relation may be argued. Read the rest after the break which includes a crash course in tube operation. Continue reading “Homemade regenerative tube radio”
When we saw this giant home vacuum tube, we thought it would go perfectly along side the giant LED lamp . Constructed from spare computer parts, a glass display dome and some EL wire, it is fairly convincing looking. If only he had shaped some characters with the EL wire, we could do a giant nixie tube project.