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Vacuum tube conversion chart


Here is a copy of the vacuum tube article I wrote back Vacuum tube conversion chart Still a pretty good starting point for anyone looking to design vacuum tube amps. This info is useful for hi fi or guitar amps. The best part is that this describes an actual amp that you can build. Vacuum tubes are an increasingly popular trend in underground DIY audio. Vacuum tubes offer simple circuit topologies, straightforward construction techniques without the need for heatsinks and printed circuit boards, and great sound.

Of course the coolness factor of Vacuum tube conversion chart something using s technology that rivals expensive commercial equipment is undeniable.

And DIY is far more rewarding Vacuum tube conversion chart tube conversion chart acquiring commercial gear because something you built always sounds better than something you bought: I would like to present here a straightforward process for designing and building a simple vacuum tube hi fi amplifier. I would like for the end result to be Vacuum tube conversion chart design and parts list Vacuum tube conversion chart an amplifier that can be built by anyone who can tell the hot end of the soldering iron from the cool end.

With any luck that same novice solder slinger can extend the concepts illustrated here to their Vacuum tube conversion chart designs. I am no expert! I only recently have learned enough to design this stuff and there is much I do not know. I really am completely unqualified to write about the topic, but my journey to reach this basic amount of knowledge has been fairly arduous, so my desire is to give the curious novice a boost up to the level of knowledge required to absorb the vast amount of information available online pertaining to vacuum tube hi fi.

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Vacuum tubes like high voltages and the human body does not. Mix one with the other and you can quickly become dead.

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I am not going to tell you how to be safe! So please learn proper safety procedures for working with high voltages. Anode has a positive voltage Vacuum tube conversion chart to it. Think of this as a serious lack of electrons.

The cathode of the triode has a much lower voltage applied to it, and so has many more electrons than the plate. These electrons want to jump across the space between the cathode and the plate.

The only thing stopping them is the grid a. The filament just heats up the tube to get the electrons to an energy state where they are comfortable flying around inside Vacuum tube conversion chart tube.

So what happens when we vary the voltage applied to the grid? If we make it a little bit less negative, it allows electrons to rush from the cathode to the plate, and if we make it a little more negative, it lets fewer electrons flow between the cathode and the plate. To make this fantastically simple device into an amplifier, we simply set it up Vacuum tube conversion chart that with no signal applied to Vacuum tube conversion chart grid, there is a little bit of current flowing between the cathode and the plate.

We then apply a small AC signal music! When this AC signal makes the grid more positive, electrons leap to the plate causing a current proportional to the positive-ness of the signal. When Vacuum tube conversion chart AC signal makes the grid a little more negative, the electrons are held back from the plate, causing proportionally less current to flow.

Tube Cross-reference Guide.

This results in a large AC signal at the plate loud music! Now we know how to make music into loud music! The only thing we really need to do is get the tube into this condition where just enough current is flowing between the cathode and the plate.

This is called the bias current. The state of the tube Vacuum tube conversion chart no AC signal is being amplified is called the quiescent point or bias point or operating point of the tube.

The challenge is getting this point just right so that Vacuum tube conversion chart tube amplifies the whole signal without running out of positiveness Vacuum tube conversion chart negativeness. So how do we determine the operating point of the tube? As with most things in life, this can Vacuum tube conversion chart done the easy way or the hard way. The easy way is to simply look up the tube in one of the many tube manuals, and use one of the published operating points.

The hard way is to find a copy of the curve chart Vacuum tube conversion chart the tube in question and use that to determine the operating point you want. But before we pick an operating point, it might make sense to Vacuum tube conversion chart a tube: I would like to use a triode like the Vacuum tube conversion chart Vacuum tube conversion chart it is so nice sounding and so popular with DIYers, but I do not want you to have to mess with the added complications Vacuum tube conversion chart with using a directly heated triode.

Tubes that are common are those tubes that are used in guitar amplifiers. This is called triode mode, or triode-strapping. I have used triode strapped 6v6 tubes in projects and I think they sound just Vacuum tube conversion chart tube conversion chart. The 6v6 is super common. It is what Fender uses is almost all of their guitar amplifiers. There are many old console systems that used 6v6s. Best of all, there are many 6v6s being sold today, both current production and NOS New Old Stock so prices are reasonable, and the chances of finding 6v6s at your Vacuum tube conversion chart tube conversion chart flea market, yard sale, or surplus shop are very good.

We will use the 6v6 in Vacuum tube conversion chart mode and basically just Vacuum tube conversion chart from here on out that it is a triode.

Vacuum Tube Cross Reference Table....

So where do we start? The easiest way to design an amplifier would be to simply look up the typical operating characteristics for the tube we ant to use. Below is that data for a 6v6 in triode mode. The complete datasheet for the 6v6. The operating point of a tube is determined by the voltage at the plate of the tube and the bias current flowing through the tube. This is known as plate voltage and plate current. Here we see that a 6v6 can be operated at V and This will give us a much better idea of exactly what is Vacuum tube conversion chart on in the amplifier and we will be able to design amplifiers around tubes for Vacuum tube conversion chart we only have the plate curves.

The plate curves for nearly all tubes should be available in one of the many tube manuals available. The amount if information stored here is truly Vacuum tube conversion chart. So what are we looking at? The x axis Vacuum tube conversion chart plate voltage and the y axis is plate current, so the operating point I mentioned above is literally a point on the graph.


The curves are the voltage that the grid will be at Vacuum tube conversion chart each combination of voltage and current. If we look at the intersection of V and This can be thought of as the grid-cathode voltage, meaning that the grid is at relative to the cathode 12V lower voltage than the cathode. The Large dot is the operating point.

The straight line that intersects the operating point is the load line. Slope is defined as the change in Vacuum tube Vacuum tube conversion chart chart divided by the change in voltage rise-over-run as they say in trigonometry class.

So with a slope of Vacuum tube conversion chart ohms, for every V the load line drops Vacuum tube conversion chart. The load line describes what happens to the plate voltage and current as you vary the grid voltage.

At the quiescent point, the grid voltage is If the grid voltage is increased to 0V, the plate voltage will be V and the plate current will Vacuum tube conversion chart 68mA.

If we decrease the grid voltage to V, the plate voltage will be V and Vacuum tube conversion chart plate current will be 35mA. These are the endpoints of the load line because the grid cannot become positive without causing clipping, and the Vacuum tube conversion chart cannot become more negative than V because the other side of the waveform will be driving the grid positive. If we apply an AC signal to the grid, varying the grid voltage up and down along the load line, the plate voltage and current will vary accordingly.

Another thing we need to think about is plate dissipation, which is the amount of power that the tube can safely dissipate. Every tube has a maximum plate dissipation in Watts. This should be on the tube datasheet. This Vacuum tube conversion chart the region in which our operating point can reside. Vacuum tube conversion chart we plot the line at which the dissipation is 12W we will have Vacuum tube conversion chart curve that our operating point cannot cross unless we want to risk melted and imploded tubes: Many guitar Vacuum tube conversion chart run tubes significantly above the rated plate dissipation, and many current production tubes Vacuum tube conversion chart gladly take this abuse, but I would prefer not to risk it.

The 12W plate dissipation curve is shown on the graph above as a crude dotted line.

Tube Selection Guide.

It would appear that this operating point is running the tube a little bit too hot, but for reasons we will Vacuum tube conversion chart when we talk about the cathode resistor, the actual plate dissipation is just under 12W.

Why are the ends of the Vacuum tube conversion chart line at 0V and V grid voltage? In a class A Vacuum tube conversion chart, which is what this is, the grid cannot go positive Vacuum tube conversion chart severe clipping of the waveform.

If one half of the amplified signal is limited to 0V, the other half is essentially limited to The load line can also tell us a bit about the relative linearity of the tube. The linearity of the amplified signal is determined by the evenness of the spacing of the load lines.

If we had a perfectly linear tube, the length of the load line above the quiescent point would be equal to the length of the load line below that point. In our Vacuum tube conversion chart it is clear that the load line is slightly longer in the 0V to This results in distortion. In general it is best to keep the load line out of the extremely low current areas of the curve where the curves get very Vacuum tube conversion chart together.

Also, the power output of the amplifier is proportional Vacuum tube conversion chart the area under the curve, so maximizing this area will maximize the power output.

We are operating the tube in what is called class A, which means that the grid of the tube is always negative and there is always current flowing through the tube. This is the most linear but least efficient way to operate a tube, and so there are several other classes of amplifier that attempt to gain efficiency without sacrificing linearity. It is arguable whether they are successful.

Now we are vacuum tube gurus! In a nutshell, the circuit we will be building is a very simple 2 stage amplifier. The signal Vacuum tube conversion chart enter the amplifier from our source CD player, phono stage, radio Vacuum tube conversion chart be attenuated by a volume control, then fed to the grid of a single triode from a 6sn7 the 6sn7 is a dual triode.


Here is a rough parts list. The x axis is plate voltage and the y axis is plate current, so the operating point I mentioned above is literally a point on the graph. It is likely that we will want to bypass the cathode resistor with a capacitor. As with most things in life, this can be done the easy way or the hard way. Of course the characteristics of a tube can also change as the tube ages. In this design we drew the load line for a 5k ohm transformer, so that is what we will use.

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  • Page 1. Page 2. Page 3. Page 4. Page 5. Page 6. Page 7. Page 8. Page...
  • Tube cross-reference and selection guide.
  • Here is a copy of the vacuum tube article I wrote back in
  • vacuum tube substitution chart -
  • A Vacuum Tube Hi Fi Primer – boozhoundlabs

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