Removed valves

I have been trimming the collection for some time now and disposing of valves which helps maintain this virtual museum and also reduces the amount of storage space needed. It also helped me finally focus on what I want to collect, rather than just anything and everything.

But someone mentioned to me a whole back that people may still want to see these. As the main pages only display what I actually own, once removed a valve’s web page is removed too.

So I have been making PDFs of the more unusual valves as I remove them and these are now held at http://vacuumtube.info/oldvalves/ – it is simply an automatically generated list of PDF documents, each one of which is basically the valve page saved as a PDF via Safari.

Update – about this WordPress

I have been using WordPress recently to drive parts of the website and also to record new exhibits and so on. However, this has the drawback that every time the home page was called it would also call WordPress. Although this is common practice there is really no need for the simple text entries involved. I have now written scripts and modified the database to handle this without needing WordPress.

The content in here remains valid for now but will be removed once I am sure it has all been copied across correctly. After that, I will probably keep this here as a general blog, which is, after all what WordPress is good at.

The German collection

My thinning of the German collection is under way with some having gone onto my disposals page and others onto eBay or into a crate ready for the next local sale in November. This section of the collection can be seen here. Not all of the valves will go, the two Gema valves and the RD4Ma for example will most likely be staying here.

The Russians are leaving

After a lot of thought I have decided that the Russian valves in the collection are to go. There are some quite fascinating types there, and thousands that I don’t have. While I have a few I’ll always want others and this is no longer the way I plan to expand my collection.

The collection of old had four themes: CV and military stuff; German; Russian; and then everything else. I got over the ‘everything else’ business a while ago when I originally decided to concentrate more on CV and British military types. But I carried on expanding the Russian and German collections. I will find some way to preserve the more interesting or unusual pages somewhere before I remove them from the website.

I am undecided about the German valves but I suspect these will also go. Some are quite rare. Any Russian / German valve collectors out there?

The Russians are now all removed and the Germans can be seen here

Random imagery

Deleting valves finally broke the random image display that appears down the left of the home page. That was a rather old script I wrote that had 32 images pre-defined and selected a sequence of 5. So I’ve re-written the script. It now dips into the valve database and generates 5 random images from any of the valves. Pity some thumbnails are rather fat!

No prizes for getting 5 valves all the same… it should always generate 5 but there are one or two bogus lines in the database still so you may get less, and I’ve left it to chance whether you end up with more than one the same!

Makeovers

Moving the valves out of the roof space and into proper storage boxes gives me a chance to re-do the pictures of some of the older exhibits. So, CV378, CV430, CV1934 and CV5008 have had a makeover. Also, the CX1140 was destined to be removed but I can see a faint CV marking on that concurs with what it should be. So it’s been renamed CV8563 and tidied up. The CV number is written on the base in ink but I had not looked over it carefully to see if there was a trace of the actual mark, and there is.

Valve list ordering

I finally got round to ordering the valve list such that searches come out in a better order, for example searching on cv*. In a way it’s a bit of a cheat because to do in in SQL was getting very complicated and so I wrote a script which orders the index and writes an index number which SQL then sorts on.

It’s not perfect – valves which being CVX end up at the end of the CV list rather than where they should be numerically – but it’s a lot better than it was.

ex-exhibits

Someone asked me if I could have a section for valves which I have disposed of. I am not yet sure what the best way to do this would be because once a valve goes it’s database entry goes which wipes it from the website. This website has always been about my physical collection, not just a set of photos. (well, ok, it is really just a set of photos but you know what I mean)

Saving images of ex-valves is straightforward but it would just be a pile of pictures, no index or text. I have experimented with converting web pages to PDFs so I only need to store the one file. Other than that I’m not sure what method will fit with the overall site yet.

On the plus side, once I trim the current collection to just the CVs and military types as planned there should then be no further deletions.

Amateur radio

I’ve had an interest in amateur radio since I was young. I’ve had all sorts of radios, built radios, wired all manner of aerial but never got round to taking the exam. Then the exam changed from the old class-B / class-A business to the new foundation/intermediate/advanced. Still I never took the exam.

Then I got interested and decided I would. So I wanted to find out where I could take the foundation exam. I contacted a large society and got nowhere. I tried the local clubs and never got an answer. So I gave up.

I just decided to look again. Apparently the nearest clubs where I might take the exam are at least 10 miles away and meet on evenings when I am busy. One club has a calendar, the latest event in which is some time back in 2013.

So I won’t bother…