Killer heptodes from beyond the planet Klystron

So I'm trying to learn about valves as research for my column in Engadget next Saturday, and I stumbled across The Virtual Valve Museum, which has loads of pictures of wierd valves, including this Mercury Arc Rectifier. Just imagine finding that hiding out in the back of your guitar amp! Also, if you've just formed a band and are looking for a name, visit the site. It has sections on Heil Tubes, Micropups, Strobotrons, Surge Arrestors, Thyratrons, Trigger Tubes, Glow Modulators, Heptodes, Nuvistors, and, of course, Klystrons.


Comments:
Sweet Jesus! Can you imagine taking a guitar amp apart and finding THAT thing? Damn.
 
that is one impressive bit of glass-blowing. show me the person who made this, & I'll buy them a beer. on second thoughts, perhaps they'd find a regular beer glass rather boring....
 
Ahhh, this takes me back...
Whilst I was at college in the mid 80s, we had a nutty teacher who used to bring us stuff to play with..
One day he bought us a very similar look mercury valve rectifier...

We also got to play with Klystrons and magnetrons on a regular basis (it was a Radar/Telecomms course), imagine 30Kv at 10Amps, that's 300KW!! now THATs a guitar amp!

Ahh, they were the days, before Heath and Safety Law ;-)
 
Ahhh, this takes me back...
Whilst I was at college in the mid 80s, we had a nutty teacher who used to bring us stuff to play with..
One day he bought us a very similar look mercury valve rectifier...

We also got to play with Klystrons and magnetrons on a regular basis (it was a Radar/Telecomms course), imagine 30Kv at 10Amps, that's 300KW!! now THATs a guitar amp!

Ahh, they were the days, before Heath and Safety Law ;-)
 
Looks like one could read fortunes from it. I wonder what practical reasons could be for making it shaped like that.
 
"what practical reasons could be for making it shaped like that": the big bulb condenses mercury that evaporates during operation. The arms are set up like that to prevent arcs from forming between them. The number of arms depends on the AC coming in to the device.

I love these big old tubes. I would personally love to see one of these pulsating on the top of a Star Trek-style world controlling computer, should there ever be one.
 
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