Okay, yeah, they are way retro-cooler than solid-state shit. However, most of you are too young to have experienced the heyday of the electronic tube/valve, but there was a time when these objects sat in the places transistors and integrated circuits would eventually occupy. They were a remnant of the 19th century which lasted in use well into my adulthood. Younguns who are still baffled may compare them with the black chips on their electronica, except really limited, but the Edison Effect is still wicked cool.
Anyway, if a radio or TV was on the fritz (another technical term) I had to pull the tubes and test them on the machine by the front door of the pharmacy. Odds were 50:50 that they would fail the test, good or not, wasting my money.
Much later, I went into the shop, claiming that my cat had barfed on the XYZ tube and I needed a new one.
“How do you know that’s the right one,” asked the tech.
“Because it’s arcing (producing a visual flash–which it was NOT supposed to do, ever) even when I turn the TV off.”
People who were familiar with repairing crappy tech grew taciturn. Today one cannot visually determine the bad chip unless it is REALLY bad and starts melting.
Tomorrow my challenge will be cooling a brilliant video projector on a seagoing yacht and deciding the more economical route: cooling it with the ambient, and salty, air, or creating an entirely-new HVAC zone that gets filtered, cool air but never gets warm air. The former buys a new $25K projector every year. The latter lets the latter survive a few years but creates a new HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) zone without the warm air, which is expensive.
Appendix A: Yes, I’m back dismissing $25K as a minor yearly expense. I love this business!
Appendix B: True story: On typical jobs I define on the drawings the heat created by a projector and note that the zone needs to draw off X amount of heat. On one job the HVAC guys simply made the projector housing another HVAC zone so the projector was cooled in the summer but warmed in the winter. It was ages before we figured out why the projector kept getting so hot it shut down in the winter.