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 Post subject: How do you inventory your Vacuum Tubes?
PostPosted: May Tue 27, 2014 12:32 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 2885
Location: Advance, NC USA
How do you inventory your Vacuum Tubes?

When I need a specific Vacuum Tube, I search an Excel Spreadsheet and/or
a series of photos. For loose tubes, I search an Excel Spreadsheet to
narrow the search down to which box has the loose tube is in. For boxed
tubes, I examine a series of pictures which I can zoom in on using
my PC - like this:

Box16:
Attachment:
Inventory-Box16-640.jpg
Inventory-Box16-640.jpg [ 207.76 KiB | Viewed 15822 times ]


Caddy-01:
Attachment:
Inventory-Caddy-1-640.jpg
Inventory-Caddy-1-640.jpg [ 215.89 KiB | Viewed 15822 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: How do you inventory your Vacuum Tubes?
PostPosted: May Tue 27, 2014 2:14 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 3827
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
spreadsheet, although I do not have a big stock of tubes, just buy what I need, and keep a few common types on hand.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you inventory your Vacuum Tubes?
PostPosted: May Tue 27, 2014 5:20 pm 
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Location: Olympia WA USA
The NOS ones that are sorted & verified NOS are on an Open Office spreadsheet and stored in numbered "archive type" boxes.

The used & tested good ones are stored in bin boxes.

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 Post subject: Re: How do you inventory your Vacuum Tubes?
PostPosted: May Tue 27, 2014 6:26 pm 
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Posts: 16895
Location: S. Dartmouth MA 02748-1225 USA
I don't inventory :?

Tubes are stored in a specific manner. If the tube I need is not there, I don't have it...

How often do I order tubes? Just a half dozen times in the past 10 years. I needed 99's, 120's, 200's, 201's and DV3's. I couldn't pass up a deal on a quad of 10's either...

I maintain three major groupings of tubes:

1 - bulk storage of untested, loose tubes.
2 - tested loose tubes.
3 - new, boxed tubes.

Each group is subdivided into types based on era and envelope/basing.

Transmitting and special purpose are all lumped together.

With 30k+ tubes and attic/crawl space storage there is no other practical way to manage the accumulation. I can't call it an inventory :roll:

What would be very helpful to reduce some of the sheer bulk of all this is a master list of TV types that as of 2014 that have no practical audio/ham/experimenter use. I know I don't need 1V2's, 1X2's, 3A3's, OTOH the 6GH8's and 6EU7's have become interesting. I know that a list must be out there, just as the list of known desirable tubes is, I have that list...

FWIW I just gave away close to 1k tubes this past weekend, I was going to cherry pick but the incentive to take the all the tubes would have gone away...

Chas

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 Post subject: Re: How do you inventory your Vacuum Tubes?
PostPosted: May Wed 28, 2014 12:02 am 
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Location: Illinois
I'm with Chas - no inventory. I store various tube types separately, often in plastic storage bags. For example: 6-V octals, 12-V octals, loktals, miniatures, rectifiers, 4-pin, etc. NIB are in a tube caddy. Even if you have a detailed inventory, you still have to have some way to physically find the one you want. An inventory just tells whether you have it or not.

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 Post subject: Re: How do you inventory your Vacuum Tubes?
PostPosted: May Thu 29, 2014 4:06 am 
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Posts: 468
I break the problem down into two parts:

Storage management
Inventory records

For storage, I sorted my sizable (but not 30K collection :shock: OMG!) into banker boxes that stack easily. They are physicall sorted mostly along usage lines but some by type. These categories made sense to me at the time:

-Antique radio
-Common AA5 tubes
-ham radio (of iterest to..)
-DIY tubes (of interest to..)
-Audio tubes(i.e. interest to the hi-fi audio crowd).
-Tubes used in *MY* test equipment
-12a-7s, 6sn7s
-Audio power tubes
-all Loctals
-rectifiers (all types)
-Useless junk (mostly color tv/oddballs).
- & various 'parking lot' boxes for new arrivals yet to be evaluated and logged.

Except for the last two categories, these are all tracked in an excel workbook listed by type#, comments and storage location. I can find a tube pretty fast or whether I don't have it. Took a project to set this up but well worth it.

Regards,
Grid2


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 Post subject: Re: How do you inventory your Vacuum Tubes?
PostPosted: May Thu 29, 2014 5:15 am 
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Joined: Jun Sat 09, 2007 8:14 am
Posts: 5110
Location: Melbourne, Florida
Getting organized spoils the fun of rooting around in boxes of loose tubes and finding one you didn't know you had while you were looking for a different type.

RRM


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 Post subject: Re: How do you inventory your Vacuum Tubes?
PostPosted: May Thu 29, 2014 12:58 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Advance, NC USA
I did state I keep an inventory on an Excel Spreadsheet, but actually like Frank stated he does I
really use an Open Office Spreadsheet.

One other thing I do is that I load my Spreadsheet and photos of tube boxes on my Nook tablet
that I can take with me to the workshop for locating a specific tube. I don't know how many
tubes I have but I do have 23 boxes of tubes of various types. I work on both Radios and TVs and
still sometimes can't find specific tubes I need.

Updating the Spreadsheet is a time consuming PITA. I try to keep it updated as I extract tubes
but often get lazy. Updating the photos of the boxed tubes is very easy - I just take my cell phone
to my stash and take pictures.

Carl


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 Post subject: Re: How do you inventory your Vacuum Tubes?
PostPosted: Jun Thu 19, 2014 1:16 am 
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Joined: Feb Thu 08, 2007 2:32 pm
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Location: 06457
Tubes are kept in cardboard beer trays. Write on the sides what in the tray, simple solution.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you inventory your Vacuum Tubes?
PostPosted: Jun Thu 19, 2014 1:37 am 
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Location: Advance, NC USA
hoffies2 wrote:
Tubes are kept in cardboard beer trays. Write on the sides what in the tray, simple solution.


Cardboard beer trays? Can you post a picture?

Carl


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 Post subject: Re: How do you inventory your Vacuum Tubes?
PostPosted: Jun Thu 19, 2014 3:08 am 
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Joined: Feb Thu 08, 2007 2:32 pm
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Location: 06457
cwmoser wrote:
hoffies2 wrote:
Tubes are kept in cardboard beer trays. Write on the sides what in the tray, simple solution.


Cardboard beer trays? Can you post a picture?

Carl

Not till I go over to the next town where my old workshop is located. Won't be till next week.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you inventory your Vacuum Tubes?
PostPosted: Jun Thu 19, 2014 4:37 pm 
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Joined: Sep Fri 07, 2007 2:27 am
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Location: Grand Chute, Wisconsin
Commonly known as "beer flats".

https://www.google.com/search?q=cardboa ... 3LwiIMclJM


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 Post subject: Re: How do you inventory your Vacuum Tubes?
PostPosted: Jun Sun 29, 2014 3:54 pm 
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Joined: Dec Sat 22, 2007 7:12 am
Posts: 2464
Location: Austin, Texas
I have around 165 radios and I always buy a spare set for each radio after restoration. I then store them numerically in 2 tube caddies and a box. My .02:)-Gearhead222


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 Post subject: Re: How do you inventory your Vacuum Tubes?
PostPosted: Jun Sun 29, 2014 4:52 pm 
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Location: Roanoke, VA
I have a number of tube caddys, but not enough to hold all of my inventory, the balance of which is in boxes. Inventory of some boxes is not yet complete. The caddys and boxes are numbered, and the individual tubes bear stickers with unique numbers. I use an Excel spreadsheet for inventory. Each line lists the tube type, new or used, the measured gm of used tubes, when and where acquired and cost (if I had recorded that), sticker number, and caddy/box number. I have other spreadsheets for other types of parts, including NOS replacement dial belts, Benjamin, Meissner and Miller NOS RF/IF parts, NOS and used transformers and chokes, and boxed NOS parts from Philco and other manufacturers.

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 Post subject: Re: How do you inventory your Vacuum Tubes?
PostPosted: Jun Sun 29, 2014 5:32 pm 
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Joined: Mar Sun 11, 2007 6:55 am
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Location: Mission Viejo, southern California
I have them sorted by tube number. The system I've read about which seems best for people with thousands of tubes is not to sort them, but to just label the containers in which they are located, then have a database, which can just be a simple list. Of course, that requires typing all of them into the list. To make it simple, I'd suggest creating a list of all of the tube types, then entering the location(s) of the ones you have: 5Y3: box 7, box 10, box 57, box 32.

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 Post subject: Re: How do you inventory your Vacuum Tubes?
PostPosted: Jun Mon 30, 2014 4:28 am 
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Location: Olympia WA USA
FStephen-
Exactly what I am still working on.
I am up to 6200 different types and varations, with at least another thousand or two more to go, as a guess. This project has encompassed 3 years now, in my "spare" time.
I have added at least 500 more to the list over the last month.

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 Post subject: Re: How do you inventory your Vacuum Tubes?
PostPosted: Jun Mon 30, 2014 2:13 pm 
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Joined: Feb Thu 08, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 9618
Location: 06457
I keep only the tubes that are commonly used in superhet and DC radios. If I need a tube the local radio museum board member gives them to me. We swap tubes at times. My tubes are kept in beer flats numbered on sides. This is a simple way that doesn't tie up years of documentation. Time is prescious. :(


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 Post subject: Re: How do you inventory your Vacuum Tubes?
PostPosted: Jul Tue 29, 2014 12:50 am 
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Joined: Oct Thu 18, 2007 11:34 am
Posts: 3969
Location: Port Orchard, Wa 98366
I was looking at ULINE for box prices. I have 5 each 24X18X5 to store my tubes in. But its too big to handle.
So I found some boxes that are 12X18X5 that run about $1.18 each in lots of 25.Plus shipping. That's a lot less than Banker Boxes.
I have my tubes in numerical order. and a list that is printed out by a friend who gave me the tubes for free. In all about 2000+.

So I will add them to Excel97 to start with. But I will transfer all of them into Access97. The Database once set up is so much more user friendly.
I have just input my electrolytic caps, and Metalized Polyester Film caps in to Excel. 425 caps today.
I will add resistors, transistors, Library and trade books.
With Access I will be able to link inventories by buttons and have an easy to Form that will make all my inventories easy to modify. Even to the point of real-time alerts on low inventory.

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 Post subject: Re: How do you inventory your Vacuum Tubes?
PostPosted: Sep Sun 21, 2014 3:23 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 1501
Location: Cambridge MN USA
Rubbermaid "Keepers" or equivalent Sterilite plastic boxes. That way if the basement floods the cartons stay dry.

Sorted first by box size: mini (6CB6, 6BQ5); small GT (5Y3, 6V6); large GT (5U4, 6L6GC); "G" (6BG6, 807, 201A); and for those of us who are hams and/or into transmitting types as well: small jumbo (866, 811), large jumbo (211, 872). The really large stuff like 833As go into bigger containers. A few tubes like the 80 were made in many different envelope sizes starting from the G all the way down to the small GT. Each gets filed according to its box size and a notation made on the spread sheet.

Then each size is sorted by number- 0A2, 1T4, 2D21, 6AU6, etc. within each size group. The neat thing about the Keepers boxes is they're clear, so write the tube numbers contained in the boxes on a sticky-note just below the sticky strip so the number is showing outward. I might have 0A2 through 3V4 in one box, 6AU6-6DJ8 in another.

Then everything is entered into a spread sheet. Yes, they're a lot of work, but trust me, do it, and print it out and take the list with you when you go to a hamfest or swapmeet! Can't tell you the number of tubes I DIDN'T buy because I had a way to remember how many I actually had. Long before I had this system, I could never remember how many 866s I had. When I aggregated them all together from all the different boxes and bags I had them in, I found I had an entire Keepers box worth of them.

Scott Todd


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 Post subject: Re: How do you inventory your Vacuum Tubes?
PostPosted: Sep Sun 21, 2014 3:25 am 
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Location: Maryland 20709, USA
I like the picture idea. I've never tried that.

This could be pretty fast if the tubes are put in the storage boxes in alpha-numeric order initially.

- Leigh

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