VALVE BASICS


Posted on Feb 4, 2014

If you look into the bottom of a valve you will see the wires from each electrode and you can see the valve base pins to which they are connected. For this reason I will not give any valve data or pin-outs. These are widely available from other sources and most pin-outs can be worked out visually. I do not know why it is called a DIODE. With only two electrodes I reckon it should be called a BIODE. Basically, when


VALVE BASICS
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an electrode (CATHODE) is placed in a vacuum, coated with Barium Oxide and heated to several hundred degrees, the electrons on its surface become more agitated and form a cloud around the cathode`s surface. From this cloud of electrons it is easy to attract electrons to a positively charged electrode (ANODE). The anode only needs to be placed in the same vacuum as the cathode. Electrons will flow from the heated cathode to the relatively cool anode, but electrons will NOT flow from the anode to the cathode because there is no Barium Oxide coating on the anode and it is too cold. We have formed a DIODE valve. Here are the circuit symbols. The cathode is a bit of filament wire coated with Barium Oxide and a current is passed through it to make it get hot. One of the two filament terminals is used as the cathode connection. This method of heating a valve cathode was most often used in battery portable equipment and HT rectifier valves. The filament voltage is normally 1. 4 volts for battery valves such as 1T4, 1L4, 1S4, DF91, DL91 etc. Directly heated HT rectifier valves commonly used 5 volts to heat them. Early valves used only 2. 5 volts for the filament. A huge disadvantage of a directly heated diode is that current flowing from cathode to anode is added to the filament current. If this current becomes too large then the filament can become too hot and burn out, just like an overloaded torch-bulb. The non-coated filament...




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