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LED "Vacuum" Tubes
I have found mercury tubes in various vintage shops. They are very interesting in their size, shape and design and can be tempting to the unexpecting artist. In regard to Barium, it is found in abundance in nature however it can be harmful to humans depending on the exposure they may have. People with the greatest risk to barium exposure with additional health effects are those that work with barium. Most of the health risks that they can undergo are caused by breathing in air that contains barium sulphate or barium carbonate.Many hazardous waste sites contain certain amounts of barium. People that live near them may be exposed to harmful levels. The exposure will than be caused by breathing dust, eating soil or plants, or drinking water that is polluted with barium. Skin contact may also occur.The health effects of barium depend upon the water-solubility of the compounds. Barium compounds that dissolve in water can be harmful to human health. The uptake of continuous amounts of barium that is water-soluble may cause paralyses and in some cases even death.Small amounts of water-soluble barium may cause a person to experience breathing difficulties, increased blood pressures, heart rhythm changes, stomach irritation, muscle weakness, changes in nerve reflexes, swelling of brains and liver, kidney and heart damage.I don't mean to sound so paranoid but the chemicals used in these devices were never intended to be accessible to humans when they were maid back in the early half of 20th century. I am curious what people are using to power the LEDs. There is a whole other list of dangers when using Lithium cell batteries.
Yes....it is a nice thing to insert led lights in a tube, but of course care in handling...as Jim says some of them have inside quite dangerous elements (metals)
Yep. I found one of my old 12ax7 tubes and a socket for it, as well as an amber 3mm LED, a handful of resistors, some vodka, and an old phone charger. The socket had a pin in the center, but was easy to pull out. Looks amazing lit from the hole in the socket. The vodka was delicious. Now I'm thinking of trying some green, red, or blue LEDs just for grins. I'm going to need more vodka. - MartyK1
Hi, You don't even have to drill the tube, just use a small SMD led with a couple of very thin wires and then just glue the led to the bottom of the tube, you can get a really amazing look without ruining everything, in fact, you can still use the tube because everything is so small there is no problem. Of course it has to deall with the heat. Most tube sockets have a hole in the center anyway. You just insert a 3mm orange or amber led on there and away you go. In fact this is what I did with my hybrid tube headphone amp. It looks amazing at night. I can send you a picture if you want. Cheers :) - dragontirex
Small receiving tubes use barium getters, which result in that silvery stuff in the top of the tube that turns white when it goes to air. Not toxic, but don't eat it. Mercury tubes are industrial types, pretty rare. I had some ignitrons that contained pounds of mercury. Fluorescent lamp tubes contain small amounts. - jimvandamme
Nice well presented instructable but please don't destroy working tubes (but if you are make it the cheap old Russian tubes because there are literally warehouses full of them). - Hugh2001
BTTF Time Clock
Thank you. I love your project.
The glass used for test tubes (pyrex) is a lot harder than the one used for bottles, they are made to endure more stress and heat so you won't be able to use the same procedures than with bottles. You'll probably need a glass cutter with an adapter for tubes. - SentencedToLive
Method #2 is even more enjoyable! Voted. - chefspenser
great, thank you.
Jim, Great, thank you.Jim
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