Re: Simple Tube Tester?
« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2018, 12:28:40 PM »
if you choose to buy a used tube tester then make sure it comes with the book for the tester. my two tube testers would be useless without their respective book telling me what settings  get adjusted for which tube and which socket to use. 
You tell me whar a man gits his corn pone, en I'll tell you what his 'pinions is.


Re: Simple Tube Tester?
« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2018, 03:36:23 AM »
I've been considering this one on Ebay--  there are also English instructions that are clearly written if you ask for them.  I like the fact that I don't need to hook up a computer although I do believe there is a tracer function add on for those that need one. 


Any thoughts? 


Re: Simple Tube Tester?
« Reply #22 on: February 14, 2018, 12:31:05 PM »
I've looked at this before. Looks interesting. But MattC said in an earlier post said he asked the vendor/maker of the Utracer (a seemingly similar device) about fault testing, and the guy said that it's not suitable for that. No capability to look for shorts, gas, etc. Just a tool for measuring cathode strength and gM/tracing. I used Google Translate to get the description of this one in the eBay listing, and it looks like it's probably in the same  boat.

But if that's what you're looking for (matching tubes, testing known good tubes) then it may be just the ticket.

Google translation:

Complete kit of high performance digital tube tester, wired, set, ready to use.

This kit consists of a main board shown in picture 2 and a set
peripheral elements pre - wired with the power sources shown in photo 3.

Features and performance are vastly superior to the overall
traditional tube testers and measure a very wide range of tubes.

The first picture shows the assembled unit, picture 3 shows the set of connectors
with pre-wired control elements + power supplies.

Full documentation on request by giving me a valid e-mail address.

Summary of features:

Module dimensions: 146 mm x 133 mm maximum height 28mm + backlit LCD display
25 x 70 mm.

Single power supply: 110/230 V or 12V battery via a converter

Power Consumption: 25W (35W max.) On mains and about 2A on 12V battery

Voltage, Plate: adjustable from 0 to 450 V

Screen voltage: adjustable from 15 V to 350 V

Grid voltage 1: 0 to - 100 V (by potentiometer 10 turns)

Current range: 0 to 300 mA in 2 automatic sub-ranges: 0 to 34.0 mA
(0.1mA resolution) then 34 to 300mA (1mA resolution)

Short circuit protection: total
(NOTE: this is not the same as short identification. BT)

Overall accuracy: +/- 5% +/- 1 digit

Note: These values ​​are real, the use of a microprocessor allows an ultra-fast measurement mode
which minimizes the power required. Few traditional tube testers are
capable of such measures because they require heavy and bulky power supplies -
the famous Metrix 310, for example, is limited to 100 mA of current plate.

The operation of the device is very simple: it is sufficient to adjust, via 3
potentiometers, anode voltage, screen voltage (for tetrodes, penthodes, etc ...)
and the bias voltage gates to the desired values ​​and, simultaneously, the corresponding plate current is displayed on the LCD screen.

The measurements are carried out at the rate of 2 per second, which enables continuous reading.
parameters and results.
Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're probably right.

Re: Simple Tube Tester?
« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2018, 03:31:07 PM »
Brimar Bob was making one for commercial release don't know if it's done yet?



Re: Simple Tube Tester?
« Reply #24 on: October 07, 2018, 07:13:24 PM »


 Just noticed this thread. We've been using this tester for over 10 years:


 It's based on a US Military type Hicock Cardmatic, but uses a special interface box to connect to virtually any primitive DOS PC and no longer requires use of the card set.  It is VERY configurable via software (multiple types/versions of tests, for example triode or pentode connection of EF86, can be set up for a given tube and easily included into the standard menu) and hardware connections. There is an insert point to measure actual plate current with an external meter when other tests are running.

 When we bought ours, there wasn't nearly the options available currently.  However the only tester that seems to include all the features of this AND the graph ability is the more expensive Amplitrex unit.

 The main drawback is that do perform any multi point graphs, the data shown on the analog meter must  be manually entered back into the computer (there is no A:D chain). Otherwise, it's been a very good unit. The OS has been continually updated by the builder and he's been very responsive to inquiries regarding any problems or to help configure special tests. Virtually all socket types are either included or available (from the early 4 pin triode types to nuvistors,  compactrons and loctal.  This unit replaced a Hickok 539C that we'd been using for quite a long time prior that really needed a complete rebuild/rehab.

 BTW for more limited, but in depth testing,  we also have a customized version of the VTV (Eric Barbor designed) small signal tester.  The customization includes a selectable external input for stimulus, multiple outputs, etc.. This tester is only for use with the most common dual triodes (though a fabricated adapter would allow triode connected small signal pentode comparison at very limited DC conditions). We have this unit connected between an HP 8903B and HP spectrum analyzer to attempt to characterize harmonic distortion at various drive levels, etc. under fixed DC conditions for guitar amp work.

 Regards, Jim


Re: Simple Tube Tester?
« Reply #25 on: October 08, 2018, 04:41:00 AM »
And to round out the conversation - I'd strongly suggest a variac and your amplifier and a meter, as your 'valve tester'.

You get the exact bias operating test conditions, and the variac makes sure you don't damage anything.

Remove any amp feedback and you have a stage gain test at the exact operating conditions you want to check with.

Along with simple options of a soundcard and some software you also do valve distortion benchmarking, and perform your own microphony test.