Are there purely diode, vacuum tubes?

In summary, the 1b3gt tube dlgoff posts a diagram which shows that the cylindrical plate structure is connected to a small top cap, well away and isolated from the pins, marked as p on the diagram. The black bump at the bottom of the diagram is a locating index on the base socket.
  • #1
Samson4
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I am looking for a very simple and specific vacuum tube. It doesn't have to be high power. I only need a plate that completely surrounds the cathode. No grids would be ideal. Anyone have a parts number or link for something similar to this?
 
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  • #2
Samson4 said:
I am looking for a very simple and specific vacuum tube. It doesn't have to be high power. I only need a plate that completely surrounds the cathode. No grids would be ideal. Anyone have a parts number or link for something similar to this?
Any diode such as 6AL5. Or maybe use a triode and connect the grid to anode. Then 6C4 or 6J5 would be suitable.
 
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  • #3
The 1B3GT Half-Wave Rectifier.
1b3gt~~1.jpg
 
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  • #4
Samson4 said:
I only need a plate that completely surrounds the cathode.

why this requirement ... considering most are such ?

No grids would be ideal

well if it has a grid, it isn't a diode ! :wink: at minimum it's a triodeDave
 
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  • #5
tech99 said:
Any diode such as 6AL5. Or maybe use a triode and connect the grid to anode. Then 6C4 or 6J5 would be suitable.

a slightly rough way to do it, specially when there are many purpose built rectifiers out there :wink:

eg what Don has shown or here's another one

5U4G.jpg


The 5U4G is a twin diode, use one or use both sections, take your pick :wink:
Dave
 
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  • #6
There are so many thermionic diodes to choose from. What is the application?
What is maximum reverse voltage and current? What is maximum forward current?
What frequency? and maximum capacitance between anode and cathode?
 
  • #7
davenn said:
why this requirement ... considering most are such ?
well if it has a grid, it isn't a diode ! :wink: at minimum it's a triode
Dave

Now I have a question. How do anode voltages accelerate the emitted electrons if the plate surrounds the cathode? From my understanding, anything inside a conductor is uninfluenced by electric fields produced by the conductor. Do the plates truly surround the cathode?
 
  • #8
In this pin layout, is M connected to ground?
17ax4_so.png


This is from the 1b3gt tube dlgoff posted. Which pin; if any, is that metal cylinder wired to?
1k3a_sockel.png
 
  • #9
I am looking for a very simple and specific vacuum tube. It doesn't have to be high power. I only need a plate that completely surrounds the cathode. No grids would be ideal. Anyone have a parts number or link for something similar to this?
Now I have a question. How do anode voltages accelerate the emitted electrons if the plate surrounds the cathode? From my understanding, anything inside a conductor is uninfluenced by electric fields produced by the conductor. Do the plates truly surround the cathode?
Am I the only one who finds the above quotes by the same person a bit odd?
 
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  • #10
Averagesupernova said:
Am I the only one who finds the above quotes by the same person a bit odd?

What is odd about them?
 
  • #11
Ummm, well in the first post it seems very important that the plate completely surrounds the cathode. In the other post I quoted it looks as if you were not even sure that tubes are actually constructed in that manner.
 
  • #12
You can find all the answers to you questions in the RCA Tube Manual which you can download for free here. http://www.tubebooks.org/tubedata/RC30.pdf
Page five will give a general understand of vacuum tube diodes which are used as rectifiers.

Pretty much anyone who is experimenting with vacuum tubes will be using this manual. There will be more than a quick glance needed to understand this subject so you should expect to spend a good amount of time to get to understand what you read. As tube diodes are the least complex of the vacuum tubes, tube diodes will be not too hard too understand.

If you get stuck and need help, post here or PM me.

Cheers,

Billy
 
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  • #13
Samson4 said:
Now I have a question. How do anode voltages accelerate the emitted electrons if the plate surrounds the cathode?

because of the big potential difference between the plate ( anode) and the filament (cathode)

Samson4 said:
From my understanding, anything inside a conductor is uninfluenced by electric fields produced by the conductor.

totally different situation, doesn't relate to what is happening in a tubeDave
 
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  • #14
Samson4 said:
In this pin layout, is M connected to ground?
Probably. It is an external electrostatic screen or metal envelope. The plate or anode is, a.

Samson4 said:
This is from the 1b3gt tube dlgoff posted. Which pin; if any, is that metal cylinder wired to?
The cylindrical plate structure is connected to a small top cap, well away and isolated from the pins, marked as p on the diagram. The black bump at the bottom of the diagram is a locating index on the base socket.The slender filament heated cathode is mounted on a central axis. The tubular anode plate surrounds the cathode, so the heat due to the accelerated electrons impacting the inside of the anode, can be radiated from the larger area of the tubular anode, outwards through the glass envelope.
Electric fields close to the cathode are critical to electron emission. For a triode, the control grid is placed very close to the cathode. The fields inside a capacitor or coaxial cable are all internal, similarly, the electric fields between the cathode and the inside of the tubular anode of a vacuum tube are self-screened which reduces the effects of external electric noise and so reduces interference with other nearby components and signals.
It was Lee DeForest who first investigated the triode amplifier. He discovered the effect when placing an antenna wire against the outside of the glass envelope of a thermionic diode that was being used as a wireless signal detector. It became his “Audion” in 1905.
It is lucky he was not using a tubular anode electrode, but something more resembling the separated anode “plate” still used in tube diagrams.
 
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  • #15
Baluncore said:
Probably. It is an external electrostatic screen or metal envelope. The plate or anode is, a.

The cylindrical plate structure is connected to a small top cap, well away and isolated from the pins, marked as p on the diagram. The black bump at the bottom of the diagram is a locating index on the base socket.The slender filament heated cathode is mounted on a central axis. The tubular anode plate surrounds the cathode, so the heat due to the accelerated electrons impacting the inside of the anode, can be radiated from the larger area of the tubular anode, outwards through the glass envelope.
Electric fields close to the cathode are critical to electron emission. For a triode, the control grid is placed very close to the cathode. The fields inside a capacitor or coaxial cable are all internal, similarly, the electric fields between the cathode and the inside of the tubular anode of a vacuum tube are self-screened which reduces the effects of external electric noise and so reduces interference with other nearby components and signals.
It was Lee DeForest who first investigated the triode amplifier. He discovered the effect when placing an antenna wire against the outside of the glass envelope of a thermionic diode that was being used as a wireless signal detector. It became his “Audion” in 1905.
It is lucky he was not using a tubular anode electrode, but something more resembling the separated anode “plate” still used in tube diagrams.

Thank you very much. This is exactly what I was looking for. Back to pin M in the layout. Does it stand to reason that I could turn on such a tube with a negative anode so that the electrons are attracted to the electrostatic screen? Then they would charge up the outer surface of the screen. Is this all reasonable?
 
  • #16
Samson4 said:
Does it stand to reason that I could turn on such a tube with a negative anode so that the electrons are attracted to the electrostatic screen? Then they would charge up the outer surface of the screen. Is this all reasonable?

if the plate is negative, then the electrons from the filament (cathode) will be repelled and the tube won't work
 
  • #17
davenn said:
if the plate is negative, then the electrons from the filament (cathode) will be repelled and the tube won't work

But this tube has an indirectly heated cathode. If I connect the cathode and the anode to the same negative potential, wouldn't all field lines will end on the screen connected to M?
 
  • #18
Samson4 said:
But this tube has an indirectly heated cathode. If I connect the cathode and the anode to the same negative potential, wouldn't all field lines will end on the screen connected to M?

not sure
I see absolutely no point in doing that ??
 
  • #19
davenn said:
not sure
I see absolutely no point in doing that ??

Quiet source of high voltage dc current with very simply circuitry. My electrostatic generator is very loud and flybacks need smoothing caps etc.
 
  • #20
Samson4,

Any DC current coming from a tube diode will need filtering the same as would be the case with a silicon diode. All that comes out of a tube diode is pulsating DC. Connecting up a tube in a non standard way will most like destroy the tube and perhaps blow up in you face, set the house on fire...well...those are the minor issues that could come to pass...lol

Most tubes are high voltage devices, connected from the mains by a step up transformer designed to provide the correct voltage needed by the tube. Nothing about this is simple or cheep and has the real danger of getting you killed if you mess something up.

Please proceed with due caution if you go forward with this sort of stuff.

Cheers,

Billy
 
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  • #21
Samson4 said:
Quiet source of high voltage dc current with very simply circuitry. My electrostatic generator is very loud and flybacks need smoothing caps etc.
Quiet electrically or acoustically? Audio noise is usually generated by physical movement in magnetic components. Magnetostriction in a magnetic core or movement of windings on the core can often be a problem.

EHT flyback rectifiers are often made from chains of diodes with parallel resistors to equilibrate the reverse voltages across the many diodes. They are called “stick rectifiers”. The 1B3GT shown by dlgoff in post #3 was designed for use in EHT generators for B&W TV. It was replaced by semiconductor stick rectifiers.
Flyback diodes often need snubber networks made from series connected R and C. Snubbers restrict dv/dt and prevent voltage spikes that may damage semiconductor components or insulation.

Samson4 said:
Back to pin M in the layout. Does it stand to reason that I could turn on such a tube with a negative anode so that the electrons are attracted to the electrostatic screen? Then they would charge up the outer surface of the screen. Is this all reasonable?
Avoid the word “screen” as that refers to an internal grid close to the plate. The black circle, M, in the diagram is not strictly an electrode. It may be a metal sleeve inside and/or outside the vacuum envelope.

I think you are trying to use an inappropriate component do something you have not clearly specified. If you knew more about thermionic vacuum tubes you might see better ways of resolving your design requirements. It is highly unlikely that you will find neat low cost technical solutions by random assemblages of components you do not yet understand.

There is a wealth of knowledge available from the members of PF. If you specify your project and the problems you are having, you will receive several good suggestions from members, probably along with a better understanding of your design challenge. If you could ask the right question, you could answer it yourself. When you explain a project or problem to others, you will actually get to understand it better yourself. Give it a try here.
 
  • #22
Quiet in the sense that when I power on my van de graaff, the room sounds like a textile factory. I am simply trying to replicate the mechanism of the van de graaff with a low power tube. A van de graaff deposits charges on the inside of a metal dome. I want to see if the same can be done with a simple thermionic tube.
This is the tube I believe to be of use.
s-l400.jpg


198.png


Notice that the pin M is connected to the mesh surrounding both anodes and cathodes. The filament requires .1 amps at 19 volts. I plan to connect pins k and d to a negative potential to accelerate emitted electrons to the inside of the mesh. In this regard, I only want to see if the mesh will act like the dome of a van de graaff.
The total power input wouldn't exceed 2 watts. If I am using 19 volts and am able to achieve 100 volts at pin M, I'd consider that a big success.
 
  • #23
Surface leakage across the glass base, or voltage breakdown between the pins will severely limit the voltages possible.
 
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  • #24
Baluncore said:
Surface leakage across the glass base, or voltage breakdown between the pins will severely limit the voltages possible.

I agree, I'm only hoping for 100 volts. But, do you agree this could work? It will be fun to test anyway.
 
  • #25
Connect d1 and d2 to m, ground k1 and k2, heat the filament. Some electrons will be emitted from the heated k, to reach d and so drive it negative. That will repel future electron migration and so limit the voltage.

How will you use 19V to pump charge onto the capacitance of the outer mesh ?
Remember that the filaments should be operated at a similar voltage to the k voltage.
What makes the vacuum tube better than a tin can ?
 
  • #26
Baluncore said:
Connect d1 and d2 to m, ground k1 and k2, heat the filament. Some electrons will be emitted from the heated k, to reach d and so drive it negative. That will repel future electron migration and so limit the voltage. I was thinking to connect d1, d2, k1, k2 all to negative potential. This way, the electrons won't reach d, they'll accelerate towards the mesh. Any that move towards D, will accelerate away from d. D may have to be slightly higher than k to account for the kinetic energy of the emitted electrons.

How will you use 19V to pump charge onto the capacitance of the outer mesh ?
Remember that the filaments should be operated at a similar voltage to the k voltage
.
The filament is indirectly heated by 19 volts at .1 amps. I will start by using -19 volts for k and D as well. I'll make adjustments if this is not enough but I think it's plenty.
The mesh could be charged to -100 volts but the electric field isn't going to effect the electrons inside it.

What makes the vacuum tube better than a tin can ?
What do you mean? A tin can isn't in a highly exhausted glass tube. I can't expect the filament to survive for long in the atmosphere. If this works, I'll see how much a custom tube will run me. With some spherical components and a heavy duty filament, I'd like to see the kinds of voltages achievable with a couple 9 volt batteries.
 
  • #27
The internal construction will have the two cathodes, each inside an anode tube, both surrounded by the mesh, m. The filament will be an oxide insulated tape in the form of an inverted 'W' that internally heats the thin cathode tubes. It passes up and then down each cathode tube.

I see little point in tying k1k2 and d1d2 as the electron emission from the heated k1k2 is then short circuited to d1d2. If you make k1k2d1d2 = –19V then will the filament terminals f & f will be connected to 19V and presumably 0V ?

Samson4 said:
This way, the electrons won't reach d, they'll accelerate towards the mesh.
Any electrons that reach the mesh will drive the mesh voltage down until it repels as many electrons as it attracts.

Samson4 said:
The mesh could be charged to -100 volts but the electric field isn't going to effect the electrons inside it.
Charged relative to what? The electric field inside the mesh is inside it relative to the bundled electrodes. The outside of the mesh is insulated by the cold vacuum and glass envelope from the outside world.
Any voltage that you apply between m and the k1k2d1d2 bundle to accelerate or attract electrons will clamp the voltage on m relative to the bundle.

Please draw a circuit diagram to show what you have not specified. At the moment it looks like you are trying to lift yourself by your own conceptual bootlaces.
 
  • #28
Baluncore said:
The internal construction will have the two cathodes, each inside an anode tube, both surrounded by the mesh, m. The filament will be an oxide insulated tape in the form of an inverted 'W' that internally heats the thin cathode tubes. It passes up and then down each cathode tube.
Are you sure that each cathode is inside an anode tube? If this is true then I can understand why I'm not making sense. I know the pin layouts are simplifications but this is a big let down. Although, I still don't understand how an inner electrode can be influenced by a concentric outer cylinder.

Baluncore said:
Any electrons that reach the mesh will drive the mesh voltage down until it repels as many electrons as it attracts.
How will the mesh voltage repel electrons? If it's purpose is electric shielding, why wouldn't it behave like a faraday cage?

Baluncore said:
Charged relative to what? The electric field inside the mesh is inside it relative to the bundled electrodes. The outside of the mesh is insulated by the cold vacuum and glass envelope from the outside world.
Charged relative to my multimeter. I understand that k1k2d1d2 would have field lines all extending to the mesh M if k wasn't surrounded by d. But: since you say it is, then this is all wrong.

Baluncore said:
Any voltage that you apply between m and the k1k2d1d2 bundle to accelerate or attract electrons will clamp the voltage on m relative to the bundle.
What do you mean by this?
 
  • #29
Samson4 said:
Are you sure that each cathode is inside an anode tube?
Yes. It is the only sensible rigid construction that is capable of dissipating the anode heat. I have taken many dead vacuum tubes apart to study the construction and the internal failure mechanism that stopped them. The concentric construction seems to be universal.

Samson4 said:
Although, I still don't understand how an inner electrode can be influenced by a concentric outer cylinder.
The gap between the two is a capacitor. The environment of the inner cylinder is the outer cylinder. The outer cylinder is open at the ends so charge can pass between the inside and outside surfaces.

Samson4 said:
How will the mesh voltage repel electrons? If it's purpose is electric shielding, why wouldn't it behave like a faraday cage?
It's purpose may have been shielding, but you are using it as a cylindrical plate electrode.

Samson4 said:
Charged relative to my multimeter.
A multimeter has two terminals. Any voltage is the difference in voltage measured between two points. Voltage is meaningless if you do not identify the reference.

Samson4 said:
Any voltage that you apply between m and the k1k2d1d2 bundle to accelerate or attract electrons will clamp the voltage on m relative to the bundle.
What do you mean by this?
Draw the circuit diagram. Show the connections between all the participating electrodes and show both sides of the DC supply. Only then can we understand what you are considering. You might discover that what you are contemplating is actually impossible.
 
  • #30
Baluncore said:
Draw the circuit diagram. Show the connections between all the participating electrodes and show both sides of the DC supply. Only then can we understand what you are considering. You might discover that what you are contemplating is actually impossible.

I now see that it's the dual diode setup that is impossible for this use. The anode does have to attract or repel electrons just as you say. But maybe, a tube with a grid can be coerced into working in the manner I need. I need a tube similar to this, just a triode with a concentric plate.
D1.jpg


Perhaps a grounded grid and a cathode negative enough in relation to the grid to accelerate the electrons past the grid.
I will research more of these tube designs and come up with a circuit.
 
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  • #31
You can test your idea with any triode.
Heat the cathode as usual. All things are relative, so tie the cathode to a negative DC bias voltage, say -9V. Ground the grid and use ground as the reference voltage. Now the space charge will be accelerated through the grid and some will accumulate on the electrically floating cylindrical plate electrode.

The plate will take up a negative voltage determined by the accumulation of electrons. Once the voltage on the plate falls to that of the cathode, electrons passing through the grid will turn around before reaching the plate, then fall back through the grid towards the cathode, until they end up on the grid.

In theory the voltage on the floating plate will be limited to somewhere between the cathode and the grid voltage. The effect feeds back on itself to self regulate the negative voltage excursion possible on the plate. It is therefore not really possible to generate a voltage outside the bounds of the DC supply available.
 
  • #32
The OP may not be aware that the Van de Graaff belt forces the charges mechanically into the sphere, against electrostatic repulsion. The motor does a lot of work getting the charges up there and in (I have burned out a few Van de Graaff motors). Not sure how you would do this in a sealed electron tube.
 

1. Are diode vacuum tubes still used in modern technology?

Yes, diode vacuum tubes are still used in some modern technology, particularly in high-power applications such as radio and television transmitters, microwave ovens, and some audio amplifiers.

2. How do diode vacuum tubes work?

Diode vacuum tubes work by using a vacuum-sealed glass tube containing two electrodes - a cathode and an anode. When a voltage is applied to the cathode, it releases electrons which are attracted to the anode, creating a flow of electricity.

3. What are the advantages of using diode vacuum tubes?

Diode vacuum tubes have several advantages, including their ability to handle high power and high voltages, their durability, and their resistance to electromagnetic interference. They are also relatively inexpensive to produce.

4. What are the disadvantages of using diode vacuum tubes?

Some of the disadvantages of diode vacuum tubes include their large size and weight, their tendency to produce heat, and their susceptibility to damage from shock or vibration. They also require a warm-up period before they can function properly.

5. Are there any alternative technologies to diode vacuum tubes?

Yes, there are alternative technologies to diode vacuum tubes, such as solid-state diodes and transistors. These technologies are smaller, lighter, and more energy-efficient, making them more suitable for most modern applications. However, diode vacuum tubes are still preferred in certain high-power and high-frequency applications.

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