What To Do With A Plethora Of Vacuum Tubes?

This past weekend, I went to an indoor flea market. Besides some large octal and novar tubes, he sold me a bag of oh 30-50 small vacuum tubes. Now, I need a project to incorporate these tubes into.


A theremin

A 1920’s Style Deathray

A large AM/FM radio

I ask your help in coming up with more ideas and building them.

Need I say it? A Guitar amp!!

Awwww, Wordman, EVERYONE does amps!

I don’t know what level of technical expertise you’re working with, but here are plans for a mini Tesla coil, and right here are plans for a theremin. It looks as though there are a lot of projects here if you scroll down to Vacuum Tubes.

I think incorporating them into a death ray would be AWESOMEST. I don’t know how that kind of thing would be accomplished, as I know as much about how to play with vacuum tubes as I do about rocket surgery. But I know it would LOOK utterly cool.

post a list. there are many dozens of tube types.

I want an interocitor, dammit.

The bag I bought Saturday has the following in it. Sadly, something funky seems to be going on with my tube tester.

The tubes are as follows

6KT8 (5 of these)

6GH8A (12 of these)

8FQ7 (5 of these)

8CG7 8FQ7 (2 of these)

4BZ6 (7 of these)

6BZ6 (6 of these

ETA This leaves out my previously bought tubes (about 20 of those all tested and working. I just can’t remember where I put them all)

More Tubes


12AVG (X 2)

12BA6 (X2)

35W4 (X2)


5DC5 (X2)








Flux capacitor.

build or repair a tv. they are tv tubes in message 6.

Wow! An actual plethora!

Build a single-sideband radio. Or how about a really large flipflop? :slight_smile:

radio tubes

Is all they are good for television and radio projects? What about the Bamtrat theremin linked to earlier?

Illudium Q-36 explosive space modulator?

Wow, that’s quite a plethora. I’d offer a few suggestions, but my knowledge of tubes is weak enough that I don’t know which of those are useful for what. I’ll do some research and get back to you.

Where’s the kaboom? There was supposed to be an earth-shattering kaboom!

You know this gets my vote.

Great thread title/poster combo

Tubes are cool. :cool:

I’ve always wanted to build a Class A stereo amplifier using tubes.

A few resources for ya:



I think your goal is entirely off base. It is akin to saying that you bought a box of a dozen old car and appliance parts, and now you want to use these mixed parts to make a brand farm tractor. Your idea is “backwards”.

I have a bunch, lots, of old vacuum tubes, but I use them to fix my collection of old, existing, radios, tvs, and record players.

It would never enter my head to grab a random box of tube and try to make something from them. Each tube does a different thing. You cant interchange tubes. The odds that you could grab a random group of tubes that just happen to be the exact mix of what is needed to make a radio, tv, or whatever, is very remote.

Besides, did you even test these tubes? Do they work according to specs? Do you have a vacuum tube tester?

What you should do with them, is sell or give them to somebody who fixes antique televisions and radios so they actually get used productively.

Spoken like someone who never took three quarters of: A riding tractor, a VW Super Beetle, a swingset, and a dinghy, and made a go-kart and hovercraft.

They were the same thing, the hovercraft part didn’t work so well.

(Note: I only had about 1/3 to 3/4ths of any one of those objects.)