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 Post subject: Is this a good deal? HeathKit TC-1 for $50
PostPosted: May Wed 15, 2019 7:00 am 
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Joined: Apr Wed 18, 2018 10:06 pm
Posts: 132
Location: Batesville, Indiana 47006
Before I buy this, I just wanted to get some advice. Will this tester test most tubes? It has the 4 pin which a need, I'm worried there will still be some newer tubes I can't test. He's only asking $50 for it, sounds like a good deal to me. What do you guy think?

Here's the item Description
"This tube tester works just as it should. All of the carbon resistors have been replaced with more accurate metal film resistors. Comes with the original construction/owners manual and a 600 DPI copy of the tube data book for 1975/1976. This includes all tubes going back to the UX-00A, UX-01A and UX-199 tubes. It also covers many other tubes such as 12AX7, 45, 50, 6550, 8417, EL34, and Western Electric tubes such ase 300B & 274A. The wooden case is in very good original condition."


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 Post subject: Re: Is this a good deal? HeathKit TC-1 for $50
PostPosted: May Wed 15, 2019 7:04 am 
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Joined: Apr Wed 18, 2018 10:06 pm
Posts: 132
Location: Batesville, Indiana 47006
I also have another question. I have a lot of tubes that need a good cleaning, but I'm afraid to wipe them down because the number usually disappear. Is it still worth the same money if I accidentally wipe the numbers off, as long as I label them. Is there something I can use that won't take the numbers off? Thanks guy! -John


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 Post subject: Re: Is this a good deal? HeathKit TC-1 for $50
PostPosted: May Wed 15, 2019 9:04 am 
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Location: SoCal, 91387
Just put a piece of clear cellophane tape over the numbers before you clean them. Leave the tape on after that (so removing it doesn't lift the numbers).

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 Post subject: Re: Is this a good deal? HeathKit TC-1 for $50
PostPosted: May Wed 15, 2019 11:55 am 
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Joined: Nov Wed 30, 2016 7:35 pm
Posts: 4199
Location: Sunbury, Ohio 43074
If it works $50 sounds about right. Looks not too beat up. Ask for some interior photos and make sure the roll chart works. I wouldn’t pay more tho considering shipping may be around that also

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 Post subject: Re: Is this a good deal? HeathKit TC-1 for $50
PostPosted: May Wed 15, 2019 2:12 pm 
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Joined: Sep Fri 07, 2007 2:27 am
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Location: Grand Chute, Wisconsin
https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R ... =1&_sop=16


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 Post subject: Re: Is this a good deal? HeathKit TC-1 for $50
PostPosted: May Wed 15, 2019 3:36 pm 
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Joined: Nov Wed 30, 2016 7:35 pm
Posts: 4199
Location: Sunbury, Ohio 43074
Holy High Prices, Batman!! $150+ for a TC-1??? Do they think it's a TT-1? I've picked up two of the TC-1 for in the $40s at auction ... hmmmmm

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 Post subject: Re: Is this a good deal? HeathKit TC-1 for $50
PostPosted: May Wed 15, 2019 4:00 pm 
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Joined: May Thu 14, 2015 4:15 pm
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Location: Dallas, TX
You probably should have put this in the Test Equipment section.
$50 is a fair price. I'm pretty sure it is an emission tester not a dynamic tester as stated in the ebay ads. Without add on adapters I don't think any tester will handle the entire range of tubes from the '20 up to the late '70s. This one will not test 12 pin Compactrons, Nuvistors, or 8 pin Novars and Magnovals. You would need a later model tester for those.

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 Post subject: Re: Is this a good deal? HeathKit TC-1 for $50
PostPosted: May Thu 16, 2019 12:05 pm 
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Joined: Jun Fri 19, 2009 6:34 pm
Posts: 8475
Location: Long Island
$50 for a TC-1 in good condition with the manuals is a nice deal. There is test and socket adapter data available for it to test just about every receiving tube you will ever run across.

“Dynamc” in tube testers merely means AC voltages are used to get the readings, as opposed to static readings obtained with DC voltages. This is a basic emission tester, meaning that the grids are connected to the plate and all tubes are tested for emission as diodes. All Heathkit tube testers except the TT-1 used this system, as did most other manufacturers for their smaller, more portable models. Since 95% or more of all tube problems are due to worn-out cathodes and shorts, these make good testers for culling dud tubes with obvious defects. But the price you pay for simplicity and low cost is that these testers may miss more unusual problems like broken or microphonic internal grid connections.

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 Post subject: Re: Is this a good deal? HeathKit TC-1 for $50
PostPosted: May Thu 16, 2019 10:22 pm 
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Joined: Oct Thu 04, 2018 2:11 pm
Posts: 103
Location: Suburban Chicago
The price is about right. I've seen them go for a little less on eBay and I see people asking for way, way too much for them on eBay. I doubt that they sell at those prices unless there is a large supply of clueless buyers out there! But you would have to be patient to get one for much less than $50 and then they are likely to be in worse condition and would not have been refurbished. Of course the last is only a plus if the person doing the work did it right....

I have a TC-2 which is basically the same and it will test most tubes you would want to test just as it is. Looks like I paid $52 for mine and the one you are looking at is a little nicer. It does not have a compactron socket but you can add one if you come up with some way to connect it to the test signals. Some models of the Conar testers had 12 switches and compactron sockets so I believe you can use their tube test charts to test compactrons and other newer tubes.

I am not treating mine as a valuable antique so I am currently in the process of modifying it to do what I want it do do. I am adding a compactron socket in the empty (but plugged) hole and I am adding a pair of ON-ON-ON toggle switches to control pins 11 and 12. Pin 10 can connect to the top cap switch (K) of course. But I am also going to embed a uTracer 3+ in mine so I will be doing more extensive modifications to it. I'm not even sure I needed the uTracer but like most engineers I am a gadget freak and I just had to get one!!

I think that most of us are testing tubes for the same reasons that home repairmen (and women!) did back when tubes were still the only game in town. This type of tube tester is so common today because they were so affordable, so useful, and so common back then. If you have specialized testing that you want or need to do then you need to buy a more capable and generally much more expensive tester. I think the TC-1 will do quite well for you however.


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