Posted on Feb 6, 2014

The number 83 rectifier tube is a mercury vapor type rectifier that is designed to operate on a vertical plane with the base pins pointing towards the center of the planet. It is supposed to be transported and stored with the pins pointing toward the center of the planet. It`s not supposed to be jarred or shaken either. What a wonderful candidate to mount on its side in a portable

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instrument that gets banged around, huh Sadly, once common 83`s have gotten expensive and can be a little tough to find at times. One of the things you can do to help extend the life of yours is to always let the tester warm up for a few minutes before using it. Turn it on, set the line adjustment and leave it alone for a few minutes. If the tester has been moved since it was last used, let it warm up for ten or fifteen minutes before using it. This greatly decreases the chances of an internal flashover in the tube from condensed mercury being splashed where it shouldn`t be and creating a short. It also allows any splashed or condensed mercury that is on the coated filament to evaporate before nailing it with a B+ load and ruining areas of the the coating which will lower the emission of the tube. Do that enough and you`re replacing the tube. Also, always try to use a "balanced" 83 if you are replacing one. You want one with as similar test values on each of the two plates as you can get. If they are way out, it can cause calibration problems. There`s not a whole hell of a lot to say about this one other than they should last just about forever unless physically damaged. The ruggedized 5Y3GTWB is the best way to go if you need to replace yours but don`t worry about it if all you can find is a regular 5Y3GT. I`ve got three 50+ year old I-177 testers and a 1953 TV-7 that all have their original 5Y3GT which all test and work...

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