Introduction: DIY Vacuum Tube Socket

This instructable will show you how to build a vacuum tube socket from household trash and some wire. If you like to build electronic devices with vacuum tubes, chances are that you need to obtain some tube sockets, these are ridiculously expensive, even on ebay. It is also a problem if you can't find any sockets to fit the tubes that you have. This DIY tube socket can be built to fit any tube. You can build these for next to nothing.

Here is a youtube video that will go through the building process if you didn't understand the instructable.

Step 1: Materials

  • Paper
  • Vacuum tube (Any one will work)
  • Scrap plastic

Step 2: Tools

  • Soldering Iron
  • Hacksaw
  • Pencil
  • Marker

Step 3: Making the Pin Layout

You will need to scratch some graphite off of your pencil onto the pins of the tube. Make sure that the tops of the pins have a sufficient amount of graphite, then press the tube onto the paper. When you lift up the tube, there should be dots on your paper that correspond to the pins on your tube.

Step 4: Making the Stencil

First, take the paper with the pin dots, and using a nail, puncture every dot on the paper. You should end up with a paper with holes that perfectly match the pins on the tube. Then, insert the tube into the holes to make sure it fits.

Step 5: Preparing the Plastic

First, you will need to find a piece of scrap plastic that is flat. Then, measure the diameter of your tube. Add one centimeter to the diameter and mark a square on the piece of plastic with the length and width of of your measurement calculation. Cut out this square, then sand it and cut off the corners.

Step 6: Using the Stencil

Use the stencil and the marker to mark the pin layout of the tube on the plastic

Step 7: Making Holes

First, you need to add a long tip to your soldering iron to make the best holes. Then, turn on a soldering fan or do this outside because plastic fumes are harmful. After that, use the iron to melt a hole for each marked pin hole. To better understand the best way to do this, watch my video in the intro. Finally, check the tube to make sure it fits and enlarge the holes if necessary.

Step 8: Adding Wires

First, cut the wires to the desired length. Then, strip both ends so the end that goes into the hole is longer. Finally, insert the wires and use hot glue to secure the wires in place.

Step 9: Done!

Your home-made vacuum tube socket is now done and you can use for any tube amplifier or radio that you want to build. Be safe and have fun!

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