Talk:List of vacuum tubes

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List of Tubes[edit]

Where do we stop?

I don't think the originator of this list was thinking about all of the various tube types that are out there when they titled this list. The "List of vacuum tubes" could grow to be quite extensive rivaling other individuals (see the on line resources in the article).

I could see this list growing to include a 'cross reference' (ie 6L6 is a 12L6 is a ???), a 'substitution list' (6SK7 is replaced by 6SS7, etc), a data sheet list (or abbreviated version of data sheet information), typical application (example schematic), et all.

[example abbreviated data sheet information] Tube designation, name, usage, Biasing diagram number [with link to page showing biasing], Outline/profile number [with link to outline page], Heater/Filiment Voltage, H/F Current, Plate Voltage, Plate I, Screen V, Screen I, Plate Z, Trans conductance, Amplification, Zout, Power out.

ie 6ss7, remote-cutoff pentode, class a amp, 2a, 8N, 6.3 0.15, 250, 0.009, 100, 0.002, 1, 1850, null, null, null —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:12, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

And this is just discussing "Receiving tubes". I am leaving open questions about CR Tubes, X-ray tubes, Microwave/Klystron/Traveling wave, and High power transmitter tubes. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:24, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

I believe the intent was just to list the tubes for which there were articles. There's a note to that effect in a comment at the top of the article. GlassFET 22:08, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

7 prefix[edit]

Can anyone provide a reference that a "7" prefix "originally" intended to be a 7-volt filament? I don't have my old tube manual handy but I seem to recall that the "7" just indicated a loctal base. --Wtshymanski (talk) 01:50, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

(It's Loktal, or Loctal; I forget which.) Regards, Nikevich (talk) 22:40, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Not sure why it was done this way, but the "7" prefix tubes are 6.3V, and the "14" prefix tubes are actually 12.6V. The odd numbers simply indicate lock-in base. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bob Weiss (talkcontribs) 01:21, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

Not quite true. Loctal tubes referred to a vibration resistant base designed for mobile use e.g. car radio (c.f. Philco a division of Ford Motor Company). We should show a picture of the octal bulb base with the plastic rod extending down the middle in between equally spaced pins, a raised portion between pins 1 and 8 that fits a groove in the (Bakelite) octal socket. These sockets depended on the metal to metal friction to keep the tubes in the sockets. Loctal had a "pinched" end to keep the tubes clipped in. First metal tubes were Loctal, as more resistant to breakage than glass. Some Television sets and RF Tuners with vertical circuit boards had metal "shields" to keep the tubes in place. The "7" series Loctal tubes were used in older vehicles with 6 volt battery systems. Although the filaments were nominally 6 volt, remember that Lead-acid batteries are 2.25 x 3 = 6.75 volts with the vehicle generator producing 7.2 volts (below hydrogen potential of lead-acid chemistry)(while the vehicle is running)to charge the battery. The high voltage needed to operate the Radio came from a "vibrator"[1] supply (basically an electric spark gap interrupter turning DC to AC). I'm not sure when autos switched to 12 volt batteries (cranking power for larger engines?) however there were Power Tetrodes with 12 volt plate voltage in the "14" volt Loctal series (again with filaments tolerant of normal 14.4 volt automotive battery operating voltage). Again there is no mention or picture of Novatron sockets, 14 pin glass envelopes with higher integration e.g. dual power pentodes or quadruple triodes. This description also skips seminal tubes such as 2C39, an early UHF tube with of course a 6.3 volt filament. Although the tube era was ending, the element design was used in experimental tube "integrated circuits", and similarities found in today's plasma TVs. Addendum. The first water cooled tubes (besides the metal 6L6 upside down in a pan of water ha ha.) And if we are talking about filament voltage we should mention Tungsten, Thoriated Tungsten, Alkali Tungsten, Molybdenum et al. Add Tubes with "0" first letter: rectifiers and voltage regulators. The 2D21 was an important industrial control tube (6.3v heater) gas triode used a bit like an SCR is now. I've got some Phototubes used in old strobe Flash, "0" but some have "1" first digit. Shjacks45 (talk) 05:17, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
Some '7' tubes actually had 7 volt filaments, for example see 7EY6 - it has a 7.2V 600mA filament. Mind you, it's octal. Tlbrr (talk) 07:18, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

A few corrections[edit]

I think it was "Loktal", btw, but don't have anywhere near the energy needed to do the research. The "plastic rod" was called a locating lug, I'm reasonably sure; the feature that keyed it, so it could be inserted only one way (of eight), would be called a rib.
Car radio B+ supplies did use a vibrator, but it was not inductive kick that generated the high voltage. These vibrators had a flat spring (leaf spring) (one might call it a reed) that operated contacts on both sides. It was kept vibrating by a drive coil, buzzer/doorbell-style, with series-connected contacts operated by the leaf spring. The end of the spring had a piece of iron attached, and the coil was beyond the end of the spring; it attracted sidewise, so to speak
DC from the car's electrical system went to the center contact. As the spring swung back and forth, its contacts fed the DC first to one end and then the other end of a center-tapped transformer primary.
The secondary AC was (iirc) sometimes rectified (by a tube -- an 0Z4?), or else a second set of contacts also operated by the leaf spring. This second set did synchronous rectification.
Across the secondary was a capacitor with an atypical capacitance (such as maybe 0.008 μF) to minimize arcing at the secondary-rectifier contacts. I never found out how that value was determined; it might have resonated with the secondary inductance. IIrc, failure of that capacitor drastically shortened the life of the vibrator.
Not sure, but I believe the vibrator's frequency was 115 Hz or so. (Yes, I'm well aware that 115 V AC used to be the standard for household and office power.)
If the engine were stopped, and the surroundings were quiet, you could hear the hum of the vibrator. Its insides were probably supported by resilient mounting; I never took one apart.
An inductive-kick scheme would generate a whopping amount of RF, which would require lots of shielding and filtering. That would be costly. Nikevich (talk) 08:19, 11 December 2011 (UTC)

Hearing-aid tubes[edit]

Under the heading "1.25 Volt filament subminiature tubes", it seems to me that hearing-aid tubes should be included, but I'm not sure enough to have done the edit. There surely were many such hearing aids in use, in their time! Regards, Nikevich (talk) 22:40, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Unfortunately submini tubes weren't made available until after WWII. I have had access to military surplus electronics with the tube types you mention. Like the fluorescent displays in autos they have a ruggedized low temperature filament which unfortunately had low emission which also meant they have a very low transconductance. The macro size elements didn't help, and only support was at the tube seal so microphonics was an issue. The internal elements were actually larger than a Nuvistor. These tubes were used for high speed digital switching at RF speed. Filaments still used 10 mA and B battery still above 22 volts. By the mid 50's, when these (expensive) tubes were made, there were transistors quite capable of handling audio frequencies at lower power levels and impedance. The RCA Tube Manual mentions 1R5 amplifier but its the size of a shoe box. Shjacks45 (talk) 07:18, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
If you mean that a 1R5 was the size of a shoe box, you're kidding. Shoes for kittens, maybe. (^_^) Regards, Nikevich (talk) 08:19, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
There are some Mullard-Philips types in the DF and DL sections. --Mkratz (talk) 03:48, 26 April 2013 (UTC)


Missing explanation[edit]

The odd tube voltages were usually to allow all filaments to be run in one string from 120 volts to avoid the cost of a transformer. The "five tube radio" (12BE6, 12AU6, 12AV6, 35CW4, 50C5) added up to 120 volts and ran .15 Amp through each filament, the larger heater elements of power tubes used more power equals volts times amps. Unmentioned consideration was only these selected tubes had heater insulation to withstand shorting at 120 volts. The 17DQ6 (not mentioned) was a common power tube on 450 mA filament strings which also necessitated 2CW4 Nuvistor (also .45A filament); especially as semiconductor Diodes etc. removed some of the tubes in the string. Shjacks45 (talk) 06:47, 2 August 2011 (UTC)


In the numbering system used, 12AV6, the last digit represents the number of connections, the heater counts as one. So K (Cathode), Grid, Plate (of Triode), first diode plate, second diode plate, heater pair...= 6 elements. 6BE6 is heater pair, cathode(K)/shield grid, grid 1, grid 3, grids 2+4, plate ... = 6 elements. [1] has a list of Compactron tubes like 6D10 is a three triode, 12AT7 is a dual triode. pictures at [2] Shjacks45 (talk) 07:49, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

Cool. Is that actually standardized somewhere? A 35W4 has only 3 connections, though - heater, anode, cathode. --Wtshymanski (talk) 13:23, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
We remember the 35Z5-GT with its tapped heater to provide power for a #47 (6V, iirc) bayonet-base dial lamp. Have forgotten whether the 35W4 had such a tap. Best, Nikevich (talk) 08:23, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
A 35W4 does have a tapped heater, and in this case each heater section counts as an active element, so 4 is the correct suffix. However, having said that, the numbering is somewhat inconsistent on the point with some tubes having a tapped heater counted only once. See RETMA tube designation for more. DieSwartzPunkt (talk) 14:27, 17 March 2014 (UTC)


This page is a mess![edit]

Frankly, I don't know enough about how "the Wikipedia system" is supposed to work these days to make anything bigger than a minor edit, and usually I can't be bothered to look up references. However,I am going to edit this page to remove a potentially dangerous situation. An EF80 and an E80F are NOT pin compatible devices, and using one instead of the other is likely to cause damage. An E80F may be successfully substituted for an EF86. Verification can be found by studying the relevant data sheets, available from .

This is one glaring inaccuracy that "jumps up and bites me". There are a lot of other minor points that I can see need work, and I hate to think how many other problems there are with types I am unfamiliar with. The best resolution would be if I re-wrote a lot of the page material and published it on another site, so that others editing this page can use my work as a reference. I could write it here, but that would be taken down as lacking citations - 40 years of mucking about with valves is not enough evidence. Comments invited... — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dotfret (talkcontribs) 19:51, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

I fixed one instance (at "6L6") of a decades-old stubbornly-persistent misunderstanding about beam power tubes. There must be many other instances! Anybody care to fix the rest? These are not pentodes. Pentodes have three grids—control, screen, and suppressor. Beam power tubes have no suppressor grid. As to why, read the Wikipedia article about the 6L6, which has an interesting explanation. (Anybody care to find a link to the classic illustration of the simple electron optics of a beam tetrode? Fairly sure it was in the RCA Receiving Tube Manuals.) This misunderstanding probably dates back to the introduction of the 6L6. Nikevich (talk) 08:32, 11 December 2011 (UTC)

Mission needs clarifying[edit]

I don't think this page purports to be a catch-all comprehensive tube listing; most visiting these days will be for modern audio or antique restoration purposes. As pointed out, equivalents should probably not be covered by this list, there's plenty of documentation elsewhere, particularly on individual tube pages.

The most surprising omission here is PCL82 and PCL84. In terms of numbers produced they have to be on the charts just for the volume of TVs that used them. Plus, the PCL82 is still a popular one-tube (per channel) instant amp device. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kenif (talkcontribs) 22:52, 29 August 2011 (UTC)

Relying on individual tube pages is risky, they may always go 410. WP:NOTCATALOG explicitely refers to sales catalogs, but tubes are an obsolete technology nowhere on sale anymore (with few exceptions), about which detailed encyclopedic knowledge is in chronic danger of disappearing forever. This list is an almanac.--Mkratz (talk) 12:12, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

OC71 etc.[edit]

It was nice to find the OC71 in Wikipedia, but it is not a vacuum tube. (talk) 22:21, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

Semiconductor devices are not vacuum tubes[edit]

I have removed the long list of semiconductor devices because they are not, by any stretch of the imagination, vacuum tubes. Mullard and Philips devices may well have been numbered using the Mullard/Philips designation system for vacuum tubes, but that was only because Mullard and Philips had not yet devised a system for semiconductor devices. Further, semiconductor devices did happen to fit in with the 'O' prefix for no heater. But in spite of that they are still not vacuum tubes. DieSwartzPunkt (talk) 14:19, 17 March 2014 (UTC)

As above. --Wtshymanski (talk) 14:28, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
My thanks. You beat me to it by a couple of minutes. DieSwartzPunkt (talk) 14:31, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
And again. --Wtshymanski (talk) 18:59, 4 January 2015 (UTC)

CV numbering system[edit]

What 'CV' stands for has been done to death elsewhere.

When the CV numbering system was first introduced somewhere around the second world war, the letters 'CV' did originally stand for 'common valve'. However, after the war, the services decided that they wanted to distinguish between valves that were designed by commercial companies and valves that were designed 'in house' by government research and development establishments. Thus, three designators came into use. 'CV' which now meant 'civilian valve' identifying valves designed by civilian companies. 'E' which designated experimental valves. 'M' for 'military' designating government designed valves (usually starting development as an 'E'). Many fan sites still quote some of the older reference material with the (now) incorrect 'common valve' meaning of CV.

Ordinary valves such as the EF80 were given a CV designation (in this case CV1376) for ease of keeping an inventory of stock. Where a civilian company developed a special quality valve such as the E80F (developed from the ordinary EF80 - though not interchangeable with it) then such a valve gets a CV number (in this case CV2729). There is a popular myth that special quality valves always have a 4000 series CV number. It became the case after unified part numbering schemes were introduced, but not before.

Where a government R&D establishment designs a valve it gets (initially) an 'E' designation and then an 'M' designation. One such example is the M8083. When this was placed with Mullard for production, Mullard also produced a non special quality version for general use, and this was given the Mullard-Philips designation 'EF91'. The EF91 was adopted by the services for non critical applications and became the CV138. America too adopted the design as the 6AM6. America aslo adopted the M8083 as their 6064.

The waters were severely muddied when each service decided to adopt a unified part numbering scheme (that is: unified to each service not across srvices). There was an inevitable overlap of the CV numbering and the M numbering. Accordingly, it was decided that every M valve would be given a CV number. The M8083 was given the alternate number CV4014. This then allowed each service that used the valve to give it their own unified part number. The example that I have in front of me has 'AM REF 10CV4014' on the end of the box (AM is 'Air Ministry', the other two services had their own schemes). The valve inside is marked with both the M and the CV number (non M valves are only marked with the CV number). Eventually, when all three services were combined under the Ministry of Defence, they adopted the NATO wide part numbering scheme and the above valve would be given the stock number 5960-99-000-4014, the last 4 digits being the CV number. Semiconductors were also included in the scheme, services semiconductors being marked with a CV number and given the appropriate Nato stock number. Thus Nato stock number 5960-99-000-7040 is a CV7040 which is a silicon rectifier diode.

I spent most of my working life with services parts and numbering schemes. I still have a fully functional valve sine wave oscillator with 1 CV4033 and 2 M8083/CV4014valves.

6N1P 6Н1П Dual triode, similar to 6DJ8/ECC88[edit]

This is not the case, 6N1P is not very close to 6DJ8 in specifications, se my post at diyaudio: or my website: (norwegian). It has no western equivalent, but is very similar to 6BQ7/6BK7. In a russian book on western substitutes for russian tubes it is listed as a possible replacement for ECC81/82, and not at all as an equivalent for 6DJ8/ECC88. The russian equivalent for ECC88/6DJ8 is 6N23P. Tormiversen (talk) 06:43, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

Grown quite big[edit]

Maybe moving sublists to their own pages would help browsing a master list this long, in style of Template:List of films by letter? --Mr. Magoo (talk) 22:39, 19 February 2016 (UTC)

The point is to be able to search the list with the local browser search. Can't do that with the list split up. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2003:88:6942:1500:D5E8:B338:F923:1B35 (talk) 15:22, 29 December 2016 (UTC)

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