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 Post subject: Supreme Tube Tester Model 85 Missing Bulb Cover?
PostPosted: Jul Mon 09, 2018 9:25 pm 
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Location: York, PA
Just got this tube tester. The socket is lying in the cabinet. But what goes in the socket? It looks like a clear dome covers it. Is that correct? Thanks,
Ken


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 Post subject: Re: Supreme Tube Tester Model 85 Missing Bulb Cover?
PostPosted: Jul Mon 09, 2018 9:37 pm 
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Location: Mountains of Mourne. Ireland.
image→ https://www.radiolaguy.com/images/equipment/Supreme_85(fs)-p.jpg
from https://www.radiolaguy.com/Showcase/Tes ... Tester.htm

Greg.

Edit: schematic + data...
https://stevenjohnson.com/supreme/tubetesters.htm


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 Post subject: Re: Supreme Tube Tester Model 85 Missing Bulb Cover?
PostPosted: Jul Mon 09, 2018 9:46 pm 
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Location: York, PA
Hi, I already found that link. But never saw anything like it. Is it a screw in bulb of some sort? They refer to it as a neon. Not familiar with it. I need info. to try and track one down. Thanks,
Ken

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 Post subject: Re: Supreme Tube Tester Model 85 Missing Bulb Cover?
PostPosted: Jul Mon 09, 2018 9:57 pm 
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Location: York, PA
Would this work?


https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Chicago-Mi ... Sw8Sta6lDW

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 Post subject: Re: Supreme Tube Tester Model 85 Missing Bulb Cover?
PostPosted: Jul Tue 10, 2018 12:21 am 
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Location: Sunbury, Ohio 43074
It is a neon. If you are unsuccessful finding which one, I'll pull my 85 out from wherever it's hiding and see what number is on the neon bulb in there. PM me this evening or tomorrow morning if you need me to take a look at mine

Barry

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 Post subject: Re: Supreme Tube Tester Model 85 Missing Bulb Cover?
PostPosted: Jul Tue 10, 2018 12:56 am 
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Location: RI, 02885
Ken, it's a Neon Lamp rated at 115V/2W. I've attached pix. There is no number on mine. I have both configurations of the 85, early and late. Neither lamp has a number on the bulb. Use the pix to request one in classified.


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 Post subject: Re: Supreme Tube Tester Model 85 Missing Bulb Cover?
PostPosted: Jul Tue 10, 2018 2:43 am 
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Alternatives... + recommended adjustments.
viewtopic.php?t=134117

89 leakage indicator photo→ http://www.myvintagetv.com/testers/supreme_89d-p.jpg

Greg.


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 Post subject: Re: Supreme Tube Tester Model 85 Missing Bulb Cover?
PostPosted: Jul Tue 10, 2018 2:48 am 
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Location: York, PA
Thanks. I thought it was some strange device I had never seen. Thank goodness it is just a bulb.

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 Post subject: Re: Supreme Tube Tester Model 85 Missing Bulb Cover?
PostPosted: Jul Tue 10, 2018 2:53 am 
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Joined: Feb Sun 01, 2015 1:03 am
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Location: York, PA
This is close but only 1/4 watt. Since I do not plan to actually use the tester, this might be ok.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Chicago-Mi ... Sw8Sta6lDW

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 Post subject: Re: Supreme Tube Tester Model 85 Missing Bulb Cover?
PostPosted: Jul Tue 10, 2018 4:59 am 
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Location: RI, 02885
The NE-34 will work. According to my Signalite Glow Lamp Reference, that is a 90-115V @ 2W bulb. The bulb configuration is correct.

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 Post subject: Re: Supreme Tube Tester Model 85 Missing Bulb Cover?
PostPosted: Jul Tue 10, 2018 2:19 pm 
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Location: forked river , n.j. , usa
https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Chicago-Mi ... Sw8Sta6lDW


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 Post subject: Re: Supreme Tube Tester Model 85 Missing Bulb Cover?
PostPosted: Jul Tue 10, 2018 2:45 pm 
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Joined: Feb Sun 01, 2015 1:03 am
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Location: York, PA
I only found the bulb on eBay and that guy is almost sold out. Are these bulbs hard to find? Should I stock up?

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York, PA


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 Post subject: Re: Supreme Tube Tester Model 85 Missing Bulb Cover?
PostPosted: Jul Tue 10, 2018 2:58 pm 
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Joined: Nov Wed 30, 2016 7:35 pm
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Location: Sunbury, Ohio 43074
only way to find out is search Ebay, and other sources such as surplus electronics. IF a lot pop up, it's not rare. If none do, it's either rare, or no one is bothering to list them. I don't know that you'd need to stock up anyway... they last decades if not more so once your missing one is replaced it will outlast you most likely.

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 Post subject: Re: Supreme Tube Tester Model 85 Missing Bulb Cover?
PostPosted: Jul Thu 12, 2018 9:46 pm 
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Originally an AR-1 110 volt Neon bulb. Then renamed NE-34:

https://stevenjohnson.com/catalogs/ge-ml-catalogo24.htm

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 Post subject: Re: Supreme Tube Tester Model 85 Missing Bulb Cover?
PostPosted: Jul Fri 13, 2018 12:47 am 
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Joined: Feb Sun 01, 2015 1:03 am
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Location: York, PA
Thanks for the info. everyone.

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York, PA


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 Post subject: Re: Supreme Tube Tester Model 85 Missing Bulb Cover?
PostPosted: Jul Fri 13, 2018 4:14 am 
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Joined: Apr Tue 19, 2011 6:24 am
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"Originally an AR-1 110 volt Neon bulb. Then renamed NE-34..."

NOT SO.

The AR-1 was and still is an argon-filled device. The NE-34 was and still is a neon-filled device. They both employ similar S-14 (sign bulb) envelopes and medium screw Edison bases, hence their presentation together in some outline drawings in device-makers data.These are ancient toys, well worth appreciating.

What you found on eBay is what you need, and at a fair price, unless you have luck at a swapmeet: https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Chicago-Mi%20...%20Sw8Sta6lDW

Note that the AR-1 has wholly distinct spectral characteristics and is NOT a renamed neon lamp. It glows a deep violet and was often used as an inexpensive, though short-lived source of UV-A radiation. In essence, it is a low power "black light" with some visible output. The violet glow is lovely, but these bulbs only last a few hundreds of hours before growing dim. They cost more than their neon counterparts and are rather scarce collectibles today, fewer having been made, relatively few surviving unscathed to the present.

The brighter NE-34 has a ballast resistor built into the base, allowing direct operation at 105-125V AC or DC, drawing about 18 mils. It found much use in industrial equipment and controls during the middle of the last century. They give a very pleasing orange glow on AC and last for many thousands of hours.

The old NE-34 designation was superseded in the 1960s by "R2A", an American Standards Association designation which has found only modest acceptance, the NE-prefix remaining customary for neon-gas lamps. The fill is not always pure neon with small amounts of other gases included in some cases.

The AR-1, (~ later called W1A by the ASA and almost nobody else at first) likewise has a built in resistor ballast, and draws about 17 mA: http://www.lamptech.co.uk/Spec%20Sheets/D%20G%20Ar%20GE%20AR1.htm.

With DC applied, obviously only one electrode lights on either type. Note that the luminous efficiency is about 0.06 lumens/mA under normal AC conditions, so an NE-34 should produce ~1 lumen when brand new. Who knows what it will do in a tube tester, but you surely will not need sunglasses. Putting an AR-1 in your model 85 might be a unique customization, but it won't test tubes any better.

I had two AR-1s bought on NYC's Radio Row as a kid, but "used them up". Holding an argon bulb to the tip of a 2 meter whip antenna while transmitting produced a rather exciting display, and after too many times, a cracked bulb. Neon bulbs survived better at 146Mc/s (as it was then) ionizing brilliant red-orange with some purple from their mixed gas fill and extreme excitation.. . (I've never outgrown my love of glow tubes and the like, and had professional fun with rather special ones long ago. However, being a 16 year old ham was way better - everything was new and exciting, and hands-on was the only way to learn this stuff before college - smoke, big sparks and RF burns notwithstanding. Most of today's kids remain clueless with no easy opportunities to do crazy stuff, nor is it much tolerated anymore.)

---

If you'll put that NE-34 neon bulb in your wonderful old tube checker, you will have fun with it. You can actually learn a lot about leakage in some tubes under test by watching the glow pattern. It's the only proper way to restore your Supreme 85. Go for it!

Best of luck,

OTH

edit 1x to fix error. // oth


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 Post subject: Re: Supreme Tube Tester Model 85 Missing Bulb Cover?
PostPosted: Jul Fri 13, 2018 2:32 pm 
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Joined: Feb Sun 01, 2015 1:03 am
Posts: 472
Location: York, PA
Hi, thanks. Unfortunately it did not come with anything but the tester. Just trying to get it to a nice display piece. Maybe , one day, I will come across the rest of the tester.

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 Post subject: Re: Supreme Tube Tester Model 85 Missing Bulb Cover?
PostPosted: Jul Sat 14, 2018 12:33 am 
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OTH wrote:
"Originally an AR-1 110 volt Neon bulb. Then renamed NE-34..."

NOT SO.

The AR-1 was and still is an argon-filled device. The NE-34 was and still is a neon-filled device. They both employ similar S-14 (sign bulb) envelopes and medium screw Edison bases, hence their presentation together in some outline drawings in device-makers data.These are ancient toys, well worth appreciating.

What you found on eBay is what you need, and at a fair price, unless you have luck at a swapmeet: https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Chicago-Mi%20...%20Sw8Sta6lDW

Note that the AR-1 has wholly distinct spectral characteristics and is NOT a renamed neon lamp. It glows a deep violet and was often used as an inexpensive, though short-lived source of UV-A radiation. In essence, it is a low power "black light" with some visible output. The violet glow is lovely, but these bulbs only last a few hundreds of hours before growing dim. They cost more than their neon counterparts and are rather scarce collectibles today, fewer having been made, relatively few surviving unscathed to the present.

The brighter NE-34 has a ballast resistor built into the base, allowing direct operation at 105-125V AC or DC, drawing about 18 mils. It found much use in industrial equipment and controls during the middle of the last century. They give a very pleasing orange glow on AC and last for many thousands of hours.


OTH

edit 1x to fix error. // oth



Yes, you are correct. The NE-34 was not a renamed AR-1. I should have said the NE-34 replaced the AR-1 in some Supreme units. I have found several early units with the AR-1 installed. Whether they were replaced at some point or were original is debatable. The AR-1's must have been very common. They both are 2 watts/18 mils.. The schematics calls out a neon so finding a NE-34 or the newer R2A designation would work.
Still, finding several AR-1 bulbs used over the years I suspect some might be original. It would be interesting to swap them out and see if they both show similar indication.

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 Post subject: Re: Supreme Tube Tester Model 85 Missing Bulb Cover?
PostPosted: Jul Sat 14, 2018 1:01 am 
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Joined: Feb Sun 01, 2015 1:03 am
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Location: York, PA
The Ar-1's are $26 on eBay used. Pretty pricey.

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 Post subject: Re: Supreme Tube Tester Model 85 Missing Bulb Cover?
PostPosted: Jul Sat 14, 2018 8:44 am 
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Joined: Apr Tue 19, 2011 6:24 am
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Location: 07470
Steve Johnson writes about his initial error above: "... I should have said the NE-34 replaced the AR-1 in some Supreme units. I have found several early units with the AR-1 installed. ..." {italics added by OTH for emphasis.}

IF ANYONE ELSE HAS A TUBE TESTER EMPLOYING AN ARGON LAMP LEAKAGE INDICATOR, PLEASE LET US KNOW.

My experience differs markedly. So does my opinion:

It might seem that Mr. Johnson has it backward about which bulb was the original. I believe the NE-34 equipped the original equipment, and if someone later replaced it with an argon lamp, that's fine and good if it works well for them.

Never, ever in six decades of using, and 22 years of collecting, have I seen argon lamps used as original equipment in any commercial tube tester. Likewise, I've not encountered any used as aftermarket replacements for the original neon lamps. Violet is just plain hard to see in normal light.

Without speculating about how many early Supreme units are still around, and of those, how many might have violet ray bulbs installed by whomever, the following should challenge the notion that argon lamps were ever popular in tube testers of any type:

Argon lamps, even in the 1930s and 1940s, would have been found disadvantageous by an equipment designer.
Reasons for this can be "readily seen" :

(1) Orange light from neon lamps is far easier to see in high ambient light than is the violet glow of an argon lamp of comparable size and construction. This is because the human eye has reduced sensitivity at shorter (blue-violet) wavelengths in day vision with warmer colors being more readily seen.
Our retinas use photopic "cone vision" for normal daylight conditions, and shift to "rod" or scotopic vision in nighttime or very low light situations *.

No sane OEM would offer a tube tester with a hard-to-see leakage indicator; it is a competitive disadvantage, even if Violet is otherwise pleasing to many**.

(2) The starting voltage of argon lamps is about 5 volts higher than their neon equivalents (~90VDC vs. ~85VDC, and 65VAC vs. 60 VAC respectively). This difference may affect sensitivity in a simple tube leakage-test circuit, and it seems worth thinking about. Ionization voltage is involved. Variations in glow patterns seem to depend on the relative leakage currents in a tube under test.

(3) Neon lamps were likely more readily available than their argon equivalents and produced in greater volumes. No electronic instrument OEM would choose a more costly lamp unless it conferred a substantial advantage. Replacement neon lamps such as the NE-34 were also more readily available I suspect.

Whatever, Supreme's mid-30s testers are things of beauty and wonder, well worth preserving. I encourage Keneye to do more with his than just shelve it. If not, perhaps he might offer it in ARF's Classified section so someone can make it live again..

Comments and corrections are invited.

OTH


*(Rod vision is more sensitive in low light, more sensitive to blue light, for seeing by moonlight and starlight, etc. Rod vision cannot differentiate colors and provides less visual acuity. Again, in normally-lit surroundings "cone" vision allows neon's glow to be more easily seen than argon's violet emission. Unless literally working in the dark, people with a clue test tubes using their photopic vision. )

**Old-timers will understand it just ain't true that "... Violet Gives Willingly" in this particular instance.

{edited 1x to slightly modify content and emphasize part of the quote, even though nobody else may care. I think this thread is justifiably dead. /OTH }


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