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 Post subject: Re: How do you inventory your Vacuum Tubes?
PostPosted: Sep Sun 21, 2014 11:15 am 
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I use that solution


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 Post subject: Re: How do you inventory your Vacuum Tubes?
PostPosted: Sep Mon 22, 2014 12:58 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Cambridge MN USA
That's a clever way of doing it too- everything is in proper order regardless of size. The only drawback is there's a lot of wasted space.

Scott Todd


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 Post subject: Re: How do you inventory your Vacuum Tubes?
PostPosted: Sep Mon 22, 2014 1:06 am 
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Joined: Feb Thu 08, 2007 2:32 pm
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Location: 06457
Basically by size and the years they were in use. I get rid of TV tubes.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you inventory your Vacuum Tubes?
PostPosted: Sep Mon 22, 2014 1:20 am 
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Joined: Jul Sun 21, 2013 12:21 am
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Location: Vieques,PR 00765 USA
I'm lo-tech but did finally prepare a worksheet to help me find things. I've got small batches of tubes tucked away everywhere and it has been a pain to find them when I need them. Now I look at the sheet and know where to go!

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 Post subject: Re: How do you inventory your Vacuum Tubes?
PostPosted: Sep Tue 30, 2014 12:21 am 
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Location: Pocasset, Cape Cod, MA
Way too much work to keep an inventory list. Tubes are all in cardboard bins, strictly alphanumerically, with overflow in grocery bags in the attic (same numbering system). If it isn't in the bin I don't have it.

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 Post subject: Re: How do you inventory your Vacuum Tubes?
PostPosted: Sep Tue 30, 2014 1:02 am 
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Joined: Feb Thu 08, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 9618
Location: 06457
Alan Douglas wrote:
Way too much work to keep an inventory list. Tubes are all in cardboard bins, strictly alphanumerically, with overflow in grocery bags in the attic (same numbering system). If it isn't in the bin I don't have it.

Attachment:
tube storage.jpg

+1 on the time and work, simplier in the bins or trays,. No library system here. :)


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 Post subject: Re: How do you inventory your Vacuum Tubes?
PostPosted: Oct Thu 02, 2014 1:58 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 4327
Location: Kansas
My tubes are stored in identified boxes, with a list of tubes for each box on a page in a loose-leaf binder. Page # of the biinder hand-printed on box for a cross-reference. Each page in the binder (for each box) has tubes listed alphanumerically. Simple and works for me! :) Do I have that tube??? Look in the binder. Very low tech and I don't have to take a computer to my shop area. When I use one of them, I line/cross it out.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you inventory your Vacuum Tubes?
PostPosted: Oct Thu 02, 2014 2:21 am 
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Joined: Jul Mon 26, 2010 8:30 pm
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Location: Annapolis, MD
In the early years, there was one large box. Need a tube---dig in the box.

54 years later, there are more boxes, but the system has not changed much---things are sorted as follows:
Big pin--2 digit types
Big pin--3 digit
Octal
Large Octal

I do like the idea of random assignment to boxes with a master list to find things (this is how computer memory works)

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"Voltage is fun to watch, but it's the CURRENT that does the work."


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 Post subject: Re: How do you inventory your Vacuum Tubes?
PostPosted: Nov Tue 11, 2014 4:37 pm 
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Joined: Feb Mon 04, 2008 3:20 am
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Location: Coopersville, MI 49404-9643
Hi Gang!

I've got too many tubes to keep an inventory. The new tubes I keep in alphanumeric order by size (mini, octal, loctal, larger octal and antique) in paper shipping cartons. That is the box you would get 10 reams of standard letter size paper in. I use the bottom and tops as trays. They make two 17" by 11" trays 4" high. Your average size tube box will all fit in them if you sort by tube box size size. 170 mini's, 110 octal/loctal and 88 large octal/antique tubes per tray. I label the front of the boxes with the range of numbers that the box contains, i.e. 6AB4 thru 6AU6. I do that on a blank 5" by 8" index card that is folded in half and stuck in the front of the tray. All these trays of tubes are on 12" deep Rubbermaid wire shelving spaced 5 inches apart. The antiques tubes require 7 inch spacing because of the height of the tube boxes Used tubes go in bins on shelves by size/series as well. The bins I use are 17" deep and 4" high. I use the wire shelves here as well, 5 inches apart. I have varying widths of bins depending on the number of the tubes that I have. I put the tube type that's in the bin on a sticky note. That way I can change bin sizes without a lot of work and bunches of rewriting on the bins. On the floor under the shelves are 12" square boxes that have large numbers of tubes that are a single number, i.e., 50L6, 35Z5, etc. I don't keep odd voltage tubes other than the ones that are of actual use. This tube inventory takes up its own 16 foot square room. It's much faster to go look to see what I have than to inventory it. When I buy a bunch of tubes, I just sort them into the appropriate bins/boxes and pitch what I don't need or want. It's amazing, too, that after a while, I KNOW what I have and what I don't.

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 Post subject: Re: How do you inventory your Vacuum Tubes?
PostPosted: Nov Sun 23, 2014 7:55 am 
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Joined: Dec Thu 26, 2013 9:30 am
Posts: 53
I recently found a way to sort and actually find my tubes for use. I started with all 6 in one area and 12s in another. Then when looking for a tube I started separating into 6a b c etc.. in their own baggies. Then I went back and separated from 6a? So I have baggies narrowing down to the 3rd which makes it easy for me to find the tubes I need having to only go through 10 to 20 tubes. Baggies can hold maybe 4 or 5 different types when not a high quantity. It's still a work in progress but I have fixed 4 radios with the tubes I have on hand so slowly paying for itself.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you inventory your Vacuum Tubes?
PostPosted: Dec Tue 09, 2014 4:03 am 
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Joined: Dec Tue 09, 2014 3:12 am
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I use Google Drive spreadsheets to inventory tubes. For the ones I am interested in, I include test data and notes such factory codes, date codes, condition of box, recent prices, subs, etc. Other tubes just get a simple model / manufacturer and count type of database. For the physical storage part I tend to keep tubes sorted by type and whether tested / untested in bins and tubs.

Oh, I label tube boxes by utilizing stickers on the underside of the flap for tested tubes. It is only a number that correlates to the particular tube in the database and Gm readings.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you inventory your Vacuum Tubes?
PostPosted: Dec Sat 12, 2020 10:36 pm 
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Joined: Apr Sun 30, 2006 2:28 pm
Posts: 25
Location: Rhode Island, USA
I usually search through about 15 different boxes and two tube caddies found
on two different floors of my home every time I need a tube. I finally got tired
of that and spent several days last week putting things in order. My new system (not
yet finished) is similar to many suggestions I have read here.
I began by assigning a number to each box of tubes. I wrote the number on index
cards and taped these to two sides of each box. Then I recorded all the tube for that box
in a notebook. I separates the notes into 3 columns: 6 volt, 12 volt, and Other. I used hash
marks next to tube numbers to record quantities when I had more than one of each. Half
way through this task I began putting all tubes in sandwich bags. A notecard list of what is
in each bag goes inside. I can fit 3-8 tubes in each bag.
So far I have 9 large boxes of varying quantities. Some of my especially nice tubes are boxed
in in a number of transparent “wet mop” boxes that my wife saves for me. I still have to list
those and another caddy. I only put boxed tubes in the caddies.

Next I will make an Excel spreadsheet and pre-load it with all possible tube types (see below).
Then I can input quantities and location for each tube. A simple search will return all quantities
and locations for any tube.
I have also used the tube data (again, see below) to create an Access database for all
radios in my collection. I put about 30 fields for tube complement
(a couple radios have a lot of tubes)in the database. Each field
has a lookup table so that as soon as I begin typing the tube number comes up.
..............

There is another thread on this site that is relevant to this discussion.
One member provided links to two Excel spreadsheets that contain
very complete listings of thousands of tubes along with typical in-circuit
function. See that discussion and links here: https://antiqueradios.com/forums/viewto ... ubes+Excel

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 Post subject: Re: How do you inventory your Vacuum Tubes?
PostPosted: Jan Mon 04, 2021 4:20 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 1501
Location: Cambridge MN USA
W8ZV wrote:
When I buy a bunch of tubes, I just sort them into the appropriate bins/boxes and pitch what I don't need or want. It's amazing, too, that after a while, I KNOW what I have and what I don't.


Hope you don't end up pitching some valuable industrial types that way. I try to make sure I have plenty of spares for any piece of even occasionally active broadcast gear.

Scott Todd


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 Post subject: Re: How do you inventory your Vacuum Tubes?
PostPosted: Jan Thu 21, 2021 8:44 pm 
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Joined: Apr Wed 24, 2013 10:08 pm
Posts: 1489
Location: Highland & Livonia, MI
I use a system similar to what Alan uses. I have around 1500 good tubes that are listed in an inventory sheet (partial shown below). They are organized into boxes so no more than 100 are mixed in one place.

The boxes are sorted by voltage and type, e.g.:

octal 6v
octal 12v
octal other voltage
4-pin
5-pin
6-pin
7-pin
7-pin miniature 6v
9-pin miniature 6v
.
.
etc.

It really depends on how many tubes you have and how easily you'd like access to them.
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File comment: Partial snapshot of inventory page
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 Post subject: Re: How do you inventory your Vacuum Tubes?
PostPosted: Feb Wed 10, 2021 7:39 pm 
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Joined: Jul Sat 15, 2006 3:54 am
Posts: 3322
Location: Zeeland MI
I just use an Open Office (TM) word processing program; I have my unboxed octal, loctal and 7 &9 pin in Numerical/Alphabet order in plastic holders that relays in them at one time. I got them from where I worked in the electical/electronics department when the stockroom would empty one out. When I take one out for a project, I just open the document and remove that tube from the list. Eventually, I will then move stock around to fill in the empty spots.
Now, my older tubes of the 4,5,6 pin style I have in original boxes, or most often, empty electrical parts boxes or Crystal Lite powder containers. Those are in a few separate drawers.
RW


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 Post subject: Re: How do you inventory your Vacuum Tubes?
PostPosted: Mar Wed 24, 2021 6:43 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 1530
Location: Auburn, AL
Retired Radio Man wrote:
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


I always love finding things that I forgot that I have. It's like going shopping for new loot, but it doesn't cost anything.

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filling in the gaps in my education...


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 Post subject: Re: How do you inventory your Vacuum Tubes?
PostPosted: Mar Wed 24, 2021 6:54 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 1530
Location: Auburn, AL
I'd encourage anyone who is "pitching" tubes they don't think are useful, to put them in a box and offer them up to someone else. If I had tossed everything I didn't think was useful 20 years ago, I'd be a little mad at myself today. I keep coming across bizarre tubes that don't have practical use in many situations, but could be interesting to use anyway. like 4 diodes in a single 9 pin mini tube. even the oddball and plentiful variety of triode/pentode tubes can be interesting for home brew radios/transmitters/audio effect, etc.

Unless a tube is totally shorted, or totally dead on emissions, or open filament, I won't toss. and even then, I save for someone who is looking for dead tubes to use for decorative or who knows what purpose.

I've been wanting a database with datasheets pictures, and info on the particular tubes I have in my collection/stock, but I'm not sure I have the patience to go through and actually build something like that. Instead, I have them roughly sorted by type, (rectifiers, diodes, triodes, pentodes, power tubes, dual triodes 9pin and 8 pin) for untested piles, they tend to get sorted by pins, so 9 pin mini, 7 pin mini, octals, with most older tubes all lumped together. If I have a bunch of some type, I'll put them in their own box/bag in the bigger box containing that type of tube.

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filling in the gaps in my education...


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 Post subject: Re: How do you inventory your Vacuum Tubes?
PostPosted: Mar Wed 24, 2021 7:49 pm 
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Location: 13 Critchley Avenue, PO Box 36, Monteith Ont, P0K 1P0
I have mine in cardboard boxes labeled A, B, C, etc and then recorded on a spreadsheet. I also have boxes of unsorted tubes. Periodically I go thru' mine and give any I don't want to a guy in Timmins who trades, sells etc. He always offers 'something" in exchange, but I don't take much. I just like to see them go to someone who will do something positive with them and at least offers something in exchange.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you inventory your Vacuum Tubes?
PostPosted: Mar Thu 25, 2021 2:45 am 
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Joined: Jul Mon 26, 2010 8:30 pm
Posts: 30037
Location: Annapolis, MD
I bought a large supply of Pizza Boxes, with the intent of filling them with tubes + the relevant inventory sheet. So far, only 2 boxes are filled, and there are some notes pencilled on the box giving at least a HINT of what's inside.

In the process, I discovered that I somehow acquired a type 24 tube---NOT a 24A

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"Voltage is fun to watch, but it's the CURRENT that does the work."


Last edited by pixellany on Mar Thu 25, 2021 2:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: How do you inventory your Vacuum Tubes?
PostPosted: Mar Thu 25, 2021 2:47 am 
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Joined: Jul Mon 26, 2010 8:30 pm
Posts: 30037
Location: Annapolis, MD
anchorman wrote:
Retired Radio Man wrote:
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


I always love finding things that I forgot that I have. It's like going shopping for new loot, but it doesn't cost anything.

Women "go shopping" in their closet. We go shopping in our caves.....

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-Mark
"Voltage is fun to watch, but it's the CURRENT that does the work."


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