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 Post subject: Are old valves dangerous
PostPosted: Feb Thu 14, 2019 8:14 pm 
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I am useing some old valves in an art project.
Some have a gold coating on the outside, I wish to scrape this off, will it kill me?


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 Post subject: Re: Are old valves dangerous
PostPosted: Feb Fri 15, 2019 12:20 am 
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Timtim wrote:
I am useing some old valves in an art project. Some have a gold coating on the outside, I wish to scrape this off, will it kill me?
Yep. Deader than a door nail! No, I'm just kidding. :D

First welcome to the forums.

In all honesty, I don't remember ever seeing any values (vacuum tubes)that are gold colored on the outside. Is there any chance of you posting a picture (may have to wait until tomorrow - 800 pixels or less on longest side, jpg file, right below where you posted your text).

It would be best to be sure about what you are dealing with before giving a definitive answer.

In general the only valves (tubes) to be concerned about are (were) Mercury Vapor rectifiers precisely because those contain a small amount of Mercury which is of no concern unless you break the valve (tube). It's not much more of a concern than dealing with fluorescent lights that also contain Mercury.

Anything on the outside should be no issue.

Most tubes also have a mirror like inner coating which cannot be removed (it's inside the glass). This is deposited as part of the manufacturing process for the purpose of insuring that there is a good vacuum within the tube for the lifetime of the tube.

Best of luck on your art project.

Curtis Eickerman

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 Post subject: Re: Are old valves dangerous
PostPosted: Feb Fri 15, 2019 12:32 am 
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Many European tubes have a spray-on shield which is colored gold or silver. I have also seen black.
It should be left in place if possible. Many of these tubes have the type number printed only on the shield.

Bob

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 Post subject: Re: Are old valves dangerous
PostPosted: Feb Fri 15, 2019 2:39 am 
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Vintage tubes like that may have an outside shield that could be a lead conductive coating. See if you get any ohms reading by touching probe to shield and another spot on shield. If you do get a reading is most likely not good for you. Label it " Do Not Eat " such as lead paint on old homes.


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 Post subject: Re: Are old valves dangerous
PostPosted: Feb Fri 15, 2019 7:21 am 
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You may want to post the tube numbers, some of them may be worth their weight in gold.

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Are old valves dangerous
PostPosted: Feb Fri 15, 2019 8:50 am 
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I usually call in a HAZMAT team to dispose of them....sometimes even SWAT.

But seriously, the only tubes that I know of that could even remotely be construed as dangerous would be mercury vapor rectifiers, and even that is stretching it

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 Post subject: Re: Are old valves dangerous
PostPosted: Feb Fri 15, 2019 5:17 pm 
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I came across an old WW2 German tube with the gold, it's quite a stand out.
As well as some with black and a greenish looking band.


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File comment: Old WW2 German Tubes (OPTA, Valvo, Telefunken), 1944-1945
oldtubes.jpg
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 Post subject: Re: Are old valves dangerous
PostPosted: Feb Fri 15, 2019 8:31 pm 
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All tubes contain extremely dangerous materials and should be forwarded to me for disposal (good ones only please).

RRM


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 Post subject: Re: Are old valves dangerous
PostPosted: Feb Fri 15, 2019 10:45 pm 
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There are some tubes that contain radioactive materials. They will usually have a radio active symbol but not always. Voltage regulators are one type.

https://www.orau.org/ptp/collection/consumer%20products/electrontubes.htm

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 Post subject: Re: Are old valves dangerous
PostPosted: Feb Fri 15, 2019 11:12 pm 
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very dangerous if swallowed

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 Post subject: Re: Are old valves dangerous
PostPosted: Feb Fri 15, 2019 11:18 pm 
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glue_ru wrote:
very dangerous if swallowed

So chewing the tube is less so?

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 Post subject: Re: Are old valves dangerous
PostPosted: Feb Sat 16, 2019 1:02 am 
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Quote:
Voltage regulators are one type.


Ordinary (civilian) VR tubes do not contain radioactive materials nor mercury for that matter. There were, however, military and industrial versions of certain VR tubes which contained trace amounts of radioactive gas to improve starting in full darkness and/or low temperatures. They're not a problem either unless you break them open and inhale the contents.

For art projects, I would avoid any tube types which contain mercury vapor. They're not all that numerous, but given the hysteria over the substance today, accidental breakage of even a small tube in a school or a public place would likely result in a major kerfuffle. The ones to avoid are UHF and microwave tubes, and medium to large size RF power tubes which contain beryllium oxide insulators and separators. Beryllium oxide is a white ceramic material which was frequently used in tubes which operated at extremely high temperatures because it has excellent thermal conductivity. If small particles or dust from the breakage or machining of beryllium oxide parts are inhaled, serious health consequences can result.

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 Post subject: Re: Are old valves dangerous
PostPosted: Feb Sun 17, 2019 2:05 am 
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For anyone that cares, just might be a good idea before you use old tubes or valves for art projects or deface them or set them on a fence post and shoot them off, to tell us exactly what you have, beforehand, and we can tell you if they are worth something. Thankyou.


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 Post subject: Re: Are old valves dangerous
PostPosted: Feb Sun 17, 2019 3:07 am 
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wazz wrote:
For anyone that cares, just might be a good idea before you use old tubes or valves for art projects or deface them or set them on a fence post and shoot them off, to tell us exactly what you have, beforehand, and we can tell you if they are worth something. Thankyou.


Furshur, Totally Tubular Man! :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Are old valves dangerous
PostPosted: Feb Mon 18, 2019 12:01 am 
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When my daughter was in university majoring in industrial interior design, I supplied her with colorful circuit boards from bank alarm panels and other related equipment to use in art projects. No problems, except if one wanted to go into panic mode over the lead in the solder on the boards. Nobody died, as far as I know...

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 Post subject: Re: Are old valves dangerous
PostPosted: Feb Mon 18, 2019 12:10 am 
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Hi all.
Thanks for the info.
I now realise people care about these things ( they ain't making them any more !)
My project is non destructive ( mounting them in a metal cage and lighting from behind, looks cool !)
They will live to fight another day.
Here's a list ( they are all probably European, as I'm in “at the moment not so” Great Britain
( it was odd to wake up and find out half of my countrymen are terrified, petty racists,
but I guess you guys know all about that !!! )

Mullard - PY33(?). Fc4. TDD2A. ECL82. PM22. ECL80. EL80. EL84. E**81. EH81. ECH81. ECC85. EF89.
Mazda - AC/2/PEN. TP21. VP14
Brimar - S152. SR4GY(?).
Marconi - Ecc83
Zaeux - E281
Pinnacle - ECL80
Unidentifiable - 238C8. NS.

A pic of the coated ones I was going to strip. Or not

‘Make the world great again’

Cheers, Tim


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 Post subject: Re: Are old valves dangerous
PostPosted: Feb Mon 18, 2019 12:19 am 
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The Marconi - Ecc83 is going for around $100 on Ebay, you should check some of your other numbers on Ebay.

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Are old valves dangerous
PostPosted: Feb Mon 18, 2019 2:08 am 
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easyrider8 wrote:
The Marconi - Ecc83 is going for around $100 on Ebay, you should check some of your other numbers on Ebay.

Dave


Asking price or actual sold price?

I’ve found that tube prices are all over the place, but tested good tubes will sell for higher, generally. The better the physical condition, the better, as well (can you read the label clearly). Those labels on the older tubes will wipe right off.

Also, the audiophile community will generally pay more for some of those “premium” vintage tubes.


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 Post subject: Re: Are old valves dangerous
PostPosted: Feb Mon 18, 2019 2:25 am 
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Sold price, some more some less.

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Are old valves dangerous
PostPosted: Feb Mon 18, 2019 6:10 am 
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Mullard EL84, just an example, is a 6BQ5 type used in < guitar amps > and < audio amps >.

New Old Stock (NOS) Mullard EL84's are listed at the Tube Depot for $199 each.
Your used old Mullard EL84 could fetch $100 on eBay, maybe. It needs to be tested.

The new ones go for $16.50, but are relabelled Russian or Chinese copies.

NOS ECL82 - RCA $30, unknown brand NOS - $50, a good used Mullard ECL82 - $20 or 30 for the name.

https://www.tubedepot.com/t/tubes/power ... -6bq5-7189

Type your tube names into the search box and check out the prices. Remember used tubes (UOS tubes) will sell for about half the price of New NOS.

My advice is to put all those Mullards aside until you have looked them up in the tube vendor catalogs.
There are vintage radio clubs in the UK, and radio tubes are always in demand.
For your art projects, old TV tubes are best, minimal demand for them.
Save those gold plated tubes for collectors, and get some TV tubes at a flea market.

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Last edited by westcoastjohn on Feb Mon 18, 2019 6:48 am, edited 4 times in total.

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