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!


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.


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…


Moving valves

For many years the majority of my valves have been stored up in our roof space and I had no idea where anything was. Finally, a few months ago I decided to buy some large plastic storage bins off ebay – 12 of them – and begin to store the valves more properly in the garage.

I am now up to 24 of these bins with 19 full and 714 valves to go. Not all of those will go into the bins as the larger ones will just go onto or under the shelving.

So hopefully in a couple of months time all the valves will be out of the roof space and stored where I can find them. Woo. This has only taken me forever…

Farewell to some monsters…

After many years the RD150YB, my huge and heavy transmitting triode, and the 150/6G Mercury Arc Rectifier are destined for a new home. As part of my shrinking of the collection, these two have really got to go. It will be a shame to part with them, but then over the years they have just sat in the corner of the garage, the triode in its huge crate and the MAR on a shelf above, covered by a door for safety purposes. If I ever need to move the collection, these two would be left behind. I am keeping the CATs, so I still have the CAT10 but as that has had an abusive life I don’t mind transporting it on its side – the RD150YB has spent its life sitting upright in its crate and needs to remain so such that the filament and grid assembly does not bend under their own weight.

So, if you want to see the pics of these two, hurry as those will be removed once the valves leave here.

Recently some other old favourites departed here, including the MT9L and SAL-39 and TAL12/35. All have gone to new, caring homes!