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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product Come From?

from Bob Scupp, K5SEP on August 8, 2005
View comments about this article!

Tube Caddy
Where Did the Term and Product Come From?

By Bob Scupp, K5SEP

When TV repair estimates were free TV repairmen like Doctors made house calls. During the hayday of Television from the 1950’s through the 1970’s TV repairmen used Tube Caddies. They were filled with new and used TV replacement tubes and any tools needed for extended work. Some of those tools included a TV plastic tool alignment kit, soldering iron/gun, solder, a variety of wire, etc. The TV repairman usually included some tools like wire cutters/strippers, pliers, an assortment of Philips and regular screwdrivers,etc. Tube Caddies came in several sizes with different features. Some opened from the top like a tool chest and others had front cabinet doors.

So where did the term “Tube Caddy” originate from? More importantly which company registered that trademark and when? I had placed an inquiry on the Antique Wireless Association message board on the Internet. I had a response from Steve Johnson who is an avid restorer and collector of antique radio related items. He had done a word search on the United States Patent Office website using the words “Tube Caddy”. His reply had a direct quote from their records as follows:

Posted by Steve J. (64.9.116.90) on July 21, 2005 at 10:51:13:
In Reply to: Re: Tube Caddy Information Needed! posted by Steve J. on July 21, 2005 at 10:40:36:
Word Mark TUBE CADDY
Goods and Services (EXPIRED) IC 020. US 002. G & S: PLASTIC FABRIC-COVERED CABINET-TYPE BOXES FOR HOLDING AND CARRYING A PLURALITY OF ELECTRONIC TUBES. FIRST USE: 19510126. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19510126
Mark Drawing Code (3) DESIGN PLUS WORDS, LETTERS, AND/OR NUMBERS
Design Search Code 150925
Serial Number 71612578
Filing Date April 13, 1951
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Registration Number 0575310
Registration Date June 2, 1953
Owner (REGISTRANT) ARGOS PRODUCTS COMPANY, INC. CORPORATION INDIANA 310 MAIN STREET GENOA ILLINOIS
Assignment Recorded ASSIGNMENT RECORDED
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Register SUPPLEMENTAL
Renewal 1ST RENEWAL 19730602
Live/Dead Indicator DEAD

You will find pictures of different tube caddies here!

My thanks to Steve Johnson and E-Bay for contributing to this article.

Real radios glow in the dark!

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product Come  
by N4CQR on August 7, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I remember mine. One monster Zenith and my favorite, a small RCA for everyday use. In addition to the contents mentioned above, it also contained an alignment mirror and the ultra cool blue Xcelite
roll-out tool kit and a plethora of Zenith 9-xxx modules. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

Craig
N4CQR - Berea, KY
 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by AA4PB on August 7, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
That brings back memories. Things were so much simpler in those days. You could actually get in there with a scope or meter and troubleshoot individual circuits down to the bad component. Now days its often an "educated guess" because we don't know exactly what's in those custom ICs. When it comes to computers its really that way. I doubt that even Microsoft has any "one" person who knows everything that Windows is doing.
 
Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product Come  
by W4JH on August 7, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Yep, I remember those days well. The TV repairman would come to your house, open his tube caddy and start trying new tubes. Sometimes it took 4 or 5 tube substitutions before he found the defective tube, and then he charged you for all the tubes he had replaced. Then he would set up his alignment mirror so he could see the screen while he reached in the rear of the tv set and made adjustments to get the best picture.

Do you remember the free tube testing machines in drug stores with an inventory of new tubes in the bottom?
 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by WA6BFH on August 7, 2005 Mail this to a friend!

I like the rest am not sure about where the name “tube caddy” came from, I had one though, and also a Hichok tube tester!

Now I was wondering, where did the term tube “cozy” come from? You know what a tube cozy is don’t you? Its one of those foam rubber goodies that you use to help keep your 807 cold!
 
Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product Come  
by N6DRA on August 7, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Not long ago I brought one of my caddies (a Tung-Sol with the cartoon man on the side) home from a trip across the country on a commercial airliner. The homeland security folks just didn't know what to make of it! It was full of tubes and NONE of them knew what they were. Fortunately, they bore easily and didn't want to see EVERY tube! Made for an interesting and long day.

Tim
 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by W6TH on August 7, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
.

Any device for, carrying, or holding an item is called a caddy.

A person carrying a bag of golf clubs is also called a caddy.

In England to carry a few cups of tea is also called a caddy, known better as a tea caddy.

Just plain American lingo.

.:
 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by K3AN on August 7, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I was around 10 years old when our family got its first TV: a 14-inch Westinghouse in a wood cabinet that was about the size of a dorm fridge. The repairman and his big caddy seemed to come regularly, and the bills were pretty significant. Then my father bought a little booklet, about the size of the old TV Guide (but thinner), that provided a marvelous troubleshooting procedure consisting of cartoon drawings and simple text. The booklet was titled "Telefixit." With it, we never had another repairman out to the house for the Westinghouse or any of the subsequent tube-type TVs we owned. Instead, we followed the procedures, took the suspect tube to the local drugstore, tested it for free on their machine, and bought the necessary replacement. There was always a great sense of satisfaction when we powered up the TV and once again could enjoy Uncle Milty, Sid Caesar and Walter Cronkite.
 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by KG4RUL on August 7, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I had my first Tube Caddy at age 16! I literally snuck into an adult education class on TV repairs by saying that I was 17 and would be 18 by the end of the course. In truth, I was only 15 (big for my age).

I managed to pass the first year of the course with the second highest grade in the class. When I enrolled for the second year, I was unmasked and thrown out. The instructor showed the school officials my grades and course work and demanded that I be reinstated. Besides, I was acting as his lab assistant and he didn't want to lose me.

Dennis KG4RUL
 
Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product Come  
by K3PRN on August 7, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Yes I also owned one, an RCA. Held tubes for my amateur radio equipment. My electronics mentor, a non ham, serviced TV with one before he joined Westinghouse. Great memoirs.
 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by N6AJR on August 7, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
isn't the Tube Caddy the guy who carries the clubs on a golf match on the TV ??( get it Tube=tv , come on guys it a start!!)
 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by KF4VGX on August 7, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Had an old FCC friend
* Well he said he worked ,retired with the FCC * gave me a tube tester and Caddy in my late twenties.
I gave it away just the same .
Brought back a few nice memories checking all those tubes.
 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by KC8VWM on August 7, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Have you ever seen a fan dipole caddy?

I have a similar "caddy" for my antenna work. It contains items like pl259 connectors, common tools ie wire stripper and multi fit wrench, pliers etc..., butane soldering pens, tape, shrink tubing, coax seal, insulators, ferrite beads, ground straps and hardware, steel wool, VOM, antenna analyzer, etc.

I don't do house calls like TV repairmen, but I have been known to bring it with me when helping friends put up their antennas.

73 Charles - KC8VWM

 
Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product Come  
by KA9NYN on August 7, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I remember using a Sylvania tube caddy, given to me by a friend of my Dad's, as my model rocketry field kit. Way back in 1967.... geeez, am I old.
HIHI.

It worked great, and i used it until I went into the Air Force in 1974.

Nostalgia.

73,

Dave
 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by WA6BFH on August 7, 2005 Mail this to a friend!

I bring my tube cozy with me. I bring it along with the large ice-chest of 807’s that I have on the little trailer behind my electric scooter. It can be long hot work, running over the toes of walking hams (the general proletariat all slimy and gray). Yup, my philosophy and economics professors were right. Anything can be an indicator or icon of the elite in our society!

Long live the cold 807, and the electric scooter! Festival, festival!

 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by KC0KBH on August 7, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I just bought a 1985 Kawasaki 185 four wheeler. It is pretty small, and can't handle a whole lot of pulling. The joke now is that on an upcoming hayride, I pull the beer trailer. :)
 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by W7DUD on August 8, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I remember, in about 1962, my Blue tube caddy. I think it was an RCA, but a lot of the guys had GE tube caddys (Orange color?). My Caddy got a lot of use. I was working in a used appliance and furniture store, and along with selling and delivering appliances and furniture, I repaired TV sets etc. The Boss put an ad in the local newspaper advertizing $5.00 service calls. Needless to say, I had no time for any other work for several months (the TV repair was a one-man operation).

I used to carry the tube caddy, a 'PIC' probe (to allow viewing of the TV picture on an Oscilloscope), VTVM, Color bar and dot generator, Xelite tooles, soldering iron, and a small EICO oscilloscope to the homes. A soldering gun was essential, along with more assorted stuff. The tube substitution manual was my best friend. If I was lucky, I had a Sams Photofact Folder for the set in question. The 'DOGS' were sets the could not be repaired in the home, and were taken back to the shop. I usually needed help to load the console sets onto the company pick-up truck, along with the used furniture and appliances I was picking up or delivering that day. I continued doing 'Bench' service work for several years, in a high volume shop. I learned a lot of Electronics, it helped carry me through a satisfying Electronics career

It was a fun and very exciting time for an 18 year old who was newly married. My tube caddy has only a few tubes now. In later years, I 'robbed' it in order to build countless electronic projects.
 
Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product Come  
by KD7EZE on August 8, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I have one idemtical to the one in your second and third pics, and with almost as many tubes, mostly new. I don't know what it's worth if anything, but I would consider parting with it if you're a collector.

 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by W7DUD on August 8, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
In addition to the stuff above, I carried a Hickok tube tester. General troubleshooting was done by tube substitution. Most sets were easy to repair, from their symptoms. A horizontal line generally meant that the vertical oscillator tube was bad. Black screen, and absence of the familiar Horizontal Oscillator sound from the back of the set usually meant a bad Horizontal Oscillator tube ( the horizontal oscillator waveform was also used to generate the picture tube anode high voltage). Snow in the picture was probably a bad tuner tube. A weak picture (without noise) was often found to be a bad or weak IF amplifier tube.

Most sets could be repaired within about 1/2 hour. The 'DOG' sets, taken to the shop, had things like bad coupling or filter capacitors, 'cooked' resistors, or transformer failures.
 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by WD8CQB on August 8, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Tubetester?...I used to ride my bike a few miles to use the one at Radio-shack when "pinging" for the bad tube with a pencil was'nt enough. If they still had tube-testers in drug stores and in a corner of almost every radio-shack. You'd probably have to spend .50 to check each tube, these day's.
 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by K0IZ on August 8, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Don't forget the degaussing coil (for color TV's).
 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by AG4RQ on August 8, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
The first TV in my household when I was a kid was an RCA Victor 16” black and white console set in a mahogany cabinet. It was a piece of living room furniture. This TV was from 1948 and was VHF only. I remember always having to get up and tweak the knobs when the picture started to roll. My parents had a service contract with RCA. Every time the set wasn’t working, I remember the TV repairman coming over with his tube caddy. Most of the time, all it took was a tube to get it working again. I do remember a couple of times when the repairman had to take the chassis back to the shop. That meant no TV for a few days. Unlike W7DUD’s account of things, the whole cabinet was never taken out of the home. The guy would just remove the chassis and take that with him.

To a small child (me in the late fifties and early sixties), the TV repairman was “God”. He would open the back of the set, pull a tube and replace it from his tube caddy. All it took was a few minutes, and the TV was as good as new. I used to want to be a TV repairman just like him when I grew up.

In a way, I did. My first job as a radio tech after graduating electronics school in the early eighties was with the Florida Dept. of Transportation in their radio shop. The Road Maintenance Division was radio-equipped. Each vehicle had a mobile radio, and each local office had a base station. My “service area” in DOT was southeastern Florida from Vero Beach to the Keys. DOT used 6m business band for their radio communication.

When I worked there in 1983, I remember a lot of old tube equipment. Most of the radios were GE hybrids from 1969. They were all solid state except for a pair of tube finals. About 1/3 of the radios were old all-tube GEs from 1963 and old Motorolas from 1959. Needless to say, whenever I did my repairs in the field, I drove a van equipped with all kinds of tools, a drill, a VOM, a wattmeter, soldering iron and a tube caddy. I don’t think any of the tubes in the caddy were new. It was just a matter of trying a different tube, hoping that the one from the caddy was better than the one I took out of the radio. If it worked, great! I would log that radio as “repaired”. If not, I would remove it from its vehicle and take it back to the shop. The tube caddy that I had in the van was sparse. It only had the particular tubes that were needed for the 3 different radios that DOT used. By the way, the tube caddy I used at DOT was all black with no company name on it.

Reading this article and the posted responses brought back a lot of memories. Thanks for the memories.

73 de Mark
AG4RQ
 
Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product Come  
by WA0ZZG on August 8, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Anyone remember what the most common tube in you caddy
was? Mine was the 6GH8. Got them in strips of five
for under a dollar each.
Anyone remember what it was like to change the High
Voltage regulatar tube in the early color TV's? I
still have scars on my hand.
Dave...
 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by W7DUD on August 8, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
AG4RO is correct. The Degaussing Coil could 'magically' clean up a strange looking color picture. We did take the chassis out of some of the sets returned to the shop. My memory is fading on some of the small details. Don't forget the 'pocket protector', Mine usually contained a couple of favorite small tools, and a pen to write the job up. We used to charge a 100 percent markup on tubes, plus the service call charge, for quick jobs.

Some of the 'good' shops had a rig to wheel the chassis out of the house, and into the truck. No such luck at 'Steves trading Post'.

Changing the High voltage regulator, or rectifier was a challange. I think a regulator was a 6BK4, and I think a rectifier was perhaps a 1B3. The 'charged up' picture tube was a constant threat. Discharging it in small quarters, or even removing the anode leade was inherently dangerous also. It did not look 'professional' to get 'lit-up' by the charge on the picture tube, in front of customers. But it seemed to happen now and then, in spite of a prior picture tube discharge.
 
Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product Come  
by WA4CCH on August 8, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
well guys remember the old rca with the metal crt????
God I Hated them could never change a tube without getting bit ..... you forgot the small bottle of glass cleaner used to clean the screen and the used tube's that you put in the next guys tv NO you mean someone would do that yes there may have dishonest tv repairmen i made my first service call at age 15 in a 1950? willis jeep wagoner in pinellis park fl 6 ft tall 130 lbs soaking wet carrying a fifty lb tube caddy what a sight was working for pinellis tv service moved back to atlanta ga opened my own shop at age 16 and ended up with three shops in the atlanta area one in fairburn ga and in union city ga i worked of others in between shops so i have seen every type tube caddy made maby one day i give you'all the rest of the story

73 de chuck
 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by W7DUD on August 8, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Chuck:

The metal picture tubes were pretty dangerous to handle. I used to ground a screwdriver with a wire, and work the flat end under the picture tube anode cap. I discovered that even after 2 complete discharges (very noisy), the thing was still not discharged. It had real 'staying' power.

I remember carrying a worn out 'discharged' glass 27 inch picture tube from the house out to the truck. About halfway there, on the sidewalk, I got hit with a world class jolt. I think I passed a 'Macho' milestone, as I held onto the very heavy tube, did a jerky dance, and just kept walking. No problem. The little girl who followed me to the truck with her Mom said "Wow cool". If I had been alone, I would have reverted to some self comforting language.
 
Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product Come  
by WA9AFM on August 8, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I've still got my RCA tube caddy! I aquired it my junior year in college for $5.00. It was the last one left and the parts dealer just wanted to get rid of it. It makes a great portable 'junk box', or should I say 'junk' caddy.
 
Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product Come  
by N3AIU on August 8, 2005 Mail this to a friend!

What's a tube? I'm just kidding, but I'd bet that some youngsters wouldn't know the answer to that question. And don't forget, the British call them valves.

73, Nick N3AIU
 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by KC7JDS on August 8, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Memories...
I remember I had one, yellow top & brown bottom, I forget the brand name on it. I used it to carry mics & cables, batteries & such for portable recording on my reel-to-reel deck. I was big into that then. I'm sure I still have the deck & a lot of tapes I did from that time, but box, mics, cables, & stands are all gone many long years ago.
Sigh.....

B Woodman
kc7jds
 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by W2LYS on August 8, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
No, Microsoft doesn't have any one person that knows the entire code. Windows, and any modern OS, has too vast of a code base for any one person to know the entire thing. When they put together a new OS, many different people are responsible for bits and pieces of the code. They work on their little bits of code, and check them into a central server.

A couple years back I was invited to some briefings at their corporate campus. Very interesting... even got to stand in the room where XP was compiled. I even had to touch the machine that did it... just put a finger on the CPU box to say I did so...
 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by W5HTW on August 9, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
All of us who did tv service work had the caddies. I worked for a fellow who had a van with probably six caddies along the side of it. Maybe more. Even back then, the tube inventory in those caddies was probably $2,000. I was the bench guy, but did some service calls in my own car, so also carried a couple of caddies with the common tubes. But I owned only one of those caddies myself, and it was the big RCA model. Most of the tubes in it belonged to the shop, not to me.

Most of us could recognize a problem pretty easily by the picture, so if you had a Sams on the set, you could quickly tell what tubes to try changing. Didn't have to go through a bunch of tubes, so we didn't just go in and change out maybe five or six tubes and bill the customer. We changed what had to be changed and that's all. Guess a lot of shops did shotgun them.

We carried very few items of test equipment on a service call. A mirror on a tripod, a VOM, a tube tester, and a dot/bar generator was about it. A small tool caddy, couple of cheater cords, and a flashlight. If you couldn't locate the problem with those items (and you rarely used the VOM) the set went to the shop. Couldn't make money sitting around someone's home and trying to solve a problem that required pulling the chassis. I could carry all I needed in my new 63 Valiant. But if the set had to go to the shop, my boss and I would come back together in the van and pick it up. We did not charge for the service call in that case, but only for the shop call. We were pretty fair, not ripoff artists.

I still see tube caddies now and then at hamfests. Usually they are in pretty rough condition.

Ed
 
Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product Come  
by KC0NPF on August 9, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
heh, i've still got'em, a GE and an RCA, both open from the top (fold down) and both are, for the most part, loaded with tubes.. kinda cool actually, i have used them to repair a couple pieces of tube gear i have (unfortunately none are ham-related) and i've also supplied a friend with tubes for making a guitar amp.. good stuff.

KC0NPF
 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by K5SEP on August 9, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
W4JH


Yes, I sure do remember the days of tube testers in drug stores. In fact from 1977 through 1993 I worked for Electronic Parts Company in Albuquerque, New Mexico. When I first started we had three floor model tube testers in one corner of the store. Then sometime later one had a burnt out power transformer and was taken away for parts. We were down to two for many years. Many part-timers (those who repaired TV/radio etc. out of their homes and individuals) could test tubes for free! I remember certain times when there were actually some small lines of people waiting!

Thank you for your comments!

Best 73's,

Bob K5SEP
 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by K5SEP on August 9, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
KC8VWM-

When I worked for Electronic Parts Company as mentioned in my previous post, we stocked and could order kits similar to the one you mentioned. We were an authorized dealer for many of the top line electronic products and parts of their day.

Thank you for your comments!

Best 73's,

Bob K5SEP
 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by K5SEP on August 9, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
K3PRN-

My hometown for 26 years was Passaic, New Jersey. Then I was WN2CXS and finally WA2CXS. I lived about 20 miles North of Harrison, New Jersey where RCA had it's main production facility. Never visited the plant and of course now I am years too late!

Thanks for your comments!

Best 73's,

Bob K5SEP
 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by KB2FCV on August 9, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I used to own a Caddy.. red 64 convertible with fins and a white top.. oh wait! wrong kind of Caddy :)

Very nice article. TV Repairmen were a little before my time, but I'm sure I would have been there to watch them work if I were around at that time. I've seen the tube caddys at hamfests before but never knew what they were, I always figured they were some kind of promotional thing from the tube manufacturer. Some of those caddys are real nice, they'd look good in a collection. 73,

James KB2FCV
 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by K5SEP on August 9, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
AG4RQ-

I now have several old black and white TV's. Many were just given to me as the owners just wanted to unload them. I am a lifetime member of the New Mexico Radio Collectors Club for three years. That is where most came from. My oldest is 1949 Hoffman floor model (oak veneer) in excellent condition. It still has excellent raster, contrast and brightness. The original owners got it when they were married in 49 and up until me were the only owners for 56 years!
I also have a mid 1950's Admiral in a mahogany veneer which is a tabletop model. Another is an early 1960's 19" B & W portable by Sears Silvertone (Sears and Roebuck). Both have the same video quality the Hoffman does!

Why trash them out if they still work this well? Perhaps I can find someone who cannot afford a TV and would not mind inheriting one of the two in the previous paragraph.

Thanks for you comments!

Bob K5SEP
 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by K5SEP on August 9, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
KD7EZE-

While employed at Electronic Parts Company we normally did not stock tube caddies. They were special order and, if you were not a repairman with a tax number and charge account, paid a deposit in advance. This in case the person changed their mind after it was received. This way we receive some compensation for return shipping charges depending on management decision.

We stocked a combination of RCA, GE, Sylvania (later ECG) tubes with some other lesser known brands.

Thanks for your comments!

Best 73's,

Bob K5SEP
 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by K5SEP on August 9, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
K0IZ-

At Electronic Parts Company we stocked at least two different sizes of degaussing coils. A small one and larger one that could suck the CRT inside out!

Thanks for reminding me.

Best 73's,

Bob K5SEP
 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by K5SEP on August 9, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
W7DUD-

At EP company I was the unlucky one who was "volunteered" to check all CRT duds being returned for credit! After purchasing a rebuilt CRT from a video exchange in the Denver area, they would have to wait before leaving the store. I took the CRT dud in our back receiving area where I would zap the pins on the neck with a static tester. If the CRT neck glowed blue it was under seal with no air. If it however glowed pink-red it was leaky with air and was immediately returned with no credit given. In this way it minimized our chances of being "stuck". I believe the company was GC Video in Denver and they would send a tractor trailer once per month to pick up the CRT duds.

The problem was that some CRT duds retained this static charge. As I had my hands around those 25AP22 CRT's putting it into the box it discharged. Since my hands were in the box I had no where to go and it lite up my life!

Surprised I could remember that after all these years!
The electro-shock therapy probably made it easier (HI-HI!!!).

Best 73's,

Bob K5SEP
 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by K5SEP on August 9, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
WA0ZZG-

Boy I sure do remember those 6GH8's! EP used to run dealer specials on them by the: 1) small sleeve of five, 2)small carton and 4) entire shipping box. Magnavox was noted for using quite a number of 6GH8's in their TV schematic designs. I often refer to them as
"TV RF fuses" as they were noted for many failures for several reasons.

Thank you for the RF fuse memories!

Best 73's,

Bob K5SEP
 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by G6HVY on August 9, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I was too young for a tube caddy, and I don't remember the term at all - even though I worked during school holidays at an old-fashioned back street TV repair shop on tube (well, valve) gear in the early 80s when there was still a lot of old stuff in use. I don't think it was a UK term. For those who've never had to repair UK dual-standard valve TVs, you've missed a whole world of pain (one open frame switch that had to do RF, IF, demod, frame and line circuit work. You bought Servisol by the gallon!). As for the first colour sets - ah, but that's another story.

I suppose the equivalent in these digital days is a code caddy. I could call the USB flash drive on my keyring that: it's got copies of various utilities, patches and other files that need to be replaced on computers that have trashed their Windows. I'm just about to make the thing bootable, too. OK, so the whole thing is about the size of an acorn tube - but it does have the modern equivalents of replaceable parts, tools and cleansing agents. Oh, and as it's a 256 megabyte drive: at one transistor per bit and eight bits per byte, it has somewhat over a billion active components in it.

Assuming a tube has a volume of around thirty cubic centimetres, that means a billion of them would take around a thousand cubic metres, or a room around ten metres per side. Wouldn't want to lug that out to a repair.

R
 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by K5SEP on August 9, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
N3AIU-

Yes sir the British did indeed call them valves after the Fleming valve, cathode and anode diode tube (1904 by Sir Ambrose J. Fleming). Hard to believe it has been over one hundred years. Then in 1906 Lee DeForest successfully invented the "Audion" which added a grid for regulation and amplification at it's input.

Thanks for the reminder!

Best 73's,

Bob K5SEP
 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by AG4RQ on August 9, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
K5SEP
Bob,
More on the subject of memories--
Unfortunately I don’t have any of the old tube toys that were around the house when I was a kid. I remember the 1948 RCA console TV that I described in my earlier post. I was watching Winchell-Mahoney Time on it when the lights went out in 1965. I also remember the Admiral tube portable AM radio that worked on either AC or batteries, the second TV which was another RCA “portable” B&W 16” from 1964, and the tube portable phonograph. The console TV quit in 1969, the portable TV quit in 1980, the Admiral radio quit in the early seventies and the fate of the phonograph escapes me.

I distinctly remember the picture on the console TV was weak and washed out in its last years. That set got a lot of use during its 21-year life.

The televisions that you mention can still be used today if they are in working condition. Hook them up to cable or satellite TV with a converter, and set the tuner on the TV for channel 3.

The oldest working antique I have is a black rotary telephone from either the late thirties or early forties. The particular model of telephone that I have first came out in 1937. When I was a little boy, such a telephone sat on a small table near the front door. That phone was all plastic with a straight rubber cord. I assume that phone was from 1948, like the TV, as that was the year that my parents moved into their first apartment. The phone that I have today has a metal base with a Bakelite handset, so it has to be older than my childhood phone. Unfortunately, my phone was refurbished at some time by the phone company. It has a plastic coiled cord similar to what telephones from the sixties and early seventies had.

I bought my phone at an antique shop 10 years ago. I couldn’t resist it because it is so much like the phone I grew up with. It works just fine and sees daily use. I took the spade lugs off and put a modular plug on it. I use it daily and nobody has any idea what I’m talking to them on.

The old black rotary phone that I grew up with unfortunately was removed from my premises in 1966 when my father requested an extension phone. When the telephone man saw the antique, he insisted on replacing it with an up-to-date model. Being 12 at the time, I didn’t understand because the old phone worked just fine. But, we all know what he did with that phone after he took it out. It either became part of his private collection or wound up at an antique shop.

I notice that you’re originally from Passaic, NJ. I’m originally from NYC – born and raised in Stuyvesant Town in Manhattan.

73 de Mark
AG4RQ

 
Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product Come  
by NT4XT on August 9, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Good thing for this article. I was imagining a small shallow plastic basket type "caddy" with the cheap extruded handle in the middle, found often these days in "Dollar" stores. Filled with caulk cartridges, toothpaste style tubes, (oil-paints/dialectric grease compounds, etc) and other pliable paste-gel type products. hi.
 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by KC8VWM on August 9, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
NT4XT,

I was thinking along the lines of a person holding a golf club bag full of tubes.

HiHi.
 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by W7DUD on August 9, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
AG4RQ:

The talk of old telephones brings back memories of our first rotary dial telephone. In Provo, UT, we did not have rotory phones initially. My friend and I salvaged transformers, some type of small black vacuum tube, and I think a capacitor, from the discarded telephones in the trash bin at the local phone company.

We mounted the components on a square 8 inch by 8 inch pine board. We constructed the dial by cutting out an aluminum disk. Ten holes were drilled around the disk, to allow it to be rotated around a nail in the center. The disk was mounted with its flat side parallel to the board. Ten small vertical nails through the disk edge, adjacent to the holes, each opened a homemade, normally closed, contact as the disk was turned with a pen or pencil. If you inserted a pencil 3 holes from the contact, and rotated the disk, the number 3 was dialed etc. After a bit of practice, you could dial any telephone number. It was a bit tricky, since the wheel did not rotate back again, after each digit was dialed. It worked great as my personal extension telephone.
 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by W7DUD on August 9, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
We used the handsets from the salvaged telephones, with our homemade dial setup. We probably put the digits 0-9 around the aluminum disk, on the board. I think we had a dial 'stop', that stopped the rotation, after the pencil passed the dialing contact, so that we didn't 'overrun' the desired digit. That had to have been about 50 years ago!
 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by W5DRH on August 9, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I don't remember if it was called a "cozy" but my caddy included a foam rubber cover that was small on one end and large on the other to slip over HOT tubes so that you would not burn your fingers when pulling them out of the socket. No time to wait for them to cool down on service calls.


WA6BFH wrote:

Now I was wondering, where did the term tube “cozy” come from? You know what a tube cozy is don’t you? Its one of those foam rubber goodies that you use to help keep your 807 cold!

 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by N6AJR on August 9, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I remember a friend who lived in a boarding house, and they had a lock on the O on the phone so you could not call out long distance. Back then the only way to call long distance wwas to have an operator place the call.

What he did was "tap" the hang up button 10 times qiuckly and the operator would come right up. the old rotary phones only made clicks for each number .

you can still dial this way from any phone, but use shprt numbers, it gets tireing real fast. sort of like code with the finger on the hang up button. try a 4 1 1 and see if information doesn't answer..

tap tap tap tap ... tap ... tap

 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by WB2WIK on August 9, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I grew up thinking a Caddy was either a Fleetwood or an El Dorado.

My Japanese friend reported he was having eye surgery, so I asked him if he had cateracts. He said, "No, I have a Rincoln."

This is going downhill...

 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by KE2IV on August 9, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
"RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C Reply
by K3AN on August 7, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I was around 10 years old when our family got its first TV: a 14-inch Westinghouse in a wood cabinet that was about the size of a dorm fridge. The repairman and his big caddy seemed to come regularly, and the bills were pretty significant. Then my father bought a little booklet, about the size of the old TV Guide (but thinner), that provided a marvelous troubleshooting procedure consisting of cartoon drawings and simple text. The booklet was titled "Telefixit."


Now do you look like your Daddy? Or, do you look like the repairman? :-)

Just kidding, of course, but couldn't resist the jokester reply to the straitman!
 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by KC8VWM on August 9, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
lol Steve
 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by K5SEP on August 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
KE2IV-

Great reference material from the past! Thanks!

I know that smaller sized tube substitution manuals were also a standard with some TV/Radio repairman. That was also kept in the tube caddy!

Bob K5SEP
 
Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product Come  
by K3UOD on August 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
The TV repairman was definitely the local hero back in those days. I saw a tube caddy for sale at a hamfest two weeks ago. It was full of tubes. However, towards the end of the tube age, most TV tubes were specialized and had little value for ham radio. A TV chassis from the 50's or early 60's was a treasure trove. It could provide a chassis, power transformer, rectifier, filter caps, oscillator, power amp (can you say 6DQ6?), and a crystal socket (actually, a crystal could be plugged into an octal tube socket). All you needed was a hand wound coil and a tuning cap from an "All American 5" radio and you could build a 50-70 W CW transmitter.

"So where did the term “Tube Caddy” originate from?"

If your question actually regards the use of the word "caddy", a trip to an old fashioned paper dictionary will settle the matter quite nicely.

I imagine that the name tube "cozy" comes from the resemblance to a tea cozy, which is just a cover to keep a tea pot warm.
 
Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product Come  
by W7COI on August 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Started working on B&W TVs in 1959. Lugged around an RCA (Red & Black) caddy and a Sylvania. I can still remember some of the tube manufacturer's codes and warranty dating systems. Went on to color tv with more and more tubes. Became one of the first Certified Electronics Technicians ( CET #WA17 ). Pretty much saw the end of the era of TV service in the middle 80's. Gave away many garbage bags full of new tubes and parts, along with the caddys. Oldest set I had was an Admiral with channel ONE on it! It went with the rest of the "junk". Seems like a long time ago!
 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by K5SEP on August 11, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
W7COI-

Good information on tube warranty code information!

The electron tube manufacturer code information was very similar to Source Date Codes on electronic components such as speakers, variable capacitors and variable potentiometers. I recently wrote an article for the New Mexico Radio Collectors Club newsletter about this subject. You can use Source Date Codes to more accurately determine the age of any electronic instrument made. After finishing a re-write I will post it to E-Ham.Net!

Thanks for the post and reminder!

Bob K5SEP

 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by WA6BFH on August 11, 2005 Mail this to a friend!

W7COI, I "work" channel 1 regularly!
 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by AA3RT on August 13, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Ah, what "fond" memories! My father, a Brooklyn boy and WWII veteran, used his GI Bill to attend the Delehanty Institute of Electronics in New York. He then worked for RCA in the late 1940's, installing antennas for televisions in Brooklyn. In the early 1950's he relocated to western New York. After the economic downturn of the late 1950's he decided to make use of his electronics training and went into business for himself as a TV repairman. I remember accompanying him on television repair calls-as the eldest son, I was the "strong back, weak mind" that had the honor of carrying the tube caddies from the truck into the customer's home and back. I also got to help carry TV sets when repairs couldn't be accomplished while at the customers house.

I remember carrying both a Tung-Sol caddy and and one lettered for RCA. Learned to use the tube tester at about eight years old. (A valuable skill in today's job market-hihi.) Why does a 6BQ6 stick out in my mind?

Thanks for the photos and reminiscences folks-brought back some bittersweet memories. 73
 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by K5SEP on August 15, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
AA3RT-

Funny you should mention Brooklyn. My dad was born and raised in Brighton Beach! After he was discharged from the Army in 1946 he lived there until 1948. At that time he married my mother and they both moved to North Jersey and finally Passaic where I was raised the first 26 years of my life.

I have very fond memories back in the late 1960's as a new radio amateur (WN2CXS, WA2CXS). Many times I would take a friend and visit "Radio Row" in lower Manhattan. If there was anything you could not find any where else, you would find it there! For those who may not be familiar with this, it was a small district of TV/Radio repair shops, electronic surplus stores and discount electronic stores for years. It is a smaller section of where the World Trade Center was located. If you Google search "Radio Row" you will find some websites with photos of the way it used to be.

Thanks for your post!

Bob K5SEP
 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by KG4NZR on August 15, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
AA3RT said:
"...accompanying him on television repair calls-as the eldest son, I was the "strong back, weak mind" that had the honor of carrying the tube caddies from the truck into the customer's home and back. I also got to help carry TV sets when repairs couldn't be accomplished while at the customers house."

Ah, yes! I held that distinction for a few years myself. I swore my father carried rocks in those two RCA caddies (one of which was a red one like the one pictured in the article). Actually, they contained, along with hundreds of tubes, a mind boggling assortment of tools including a Weller soldering gun with at least a half-dozen rolls of solder, a Simpson VOM, a small Eico tube tester, and assorted other stuff that has escaped my memory over the last 40-plus years. As the "caddy caddy", it was my job to know the location of each and every tube and tool. That was a tough job for a 14-year old.
 
RE: Tube Caddy -- Where Did the Term and Product C  
by K5SEP on August 18, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
KG4NZR-

Having worked for sixteen years at Electronic Parts Company in Albuquerque, I understand your pain!

Makes it sound like as a "caddy caddy" you might be related to the early 50's Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis film "The Caddy". Yes indeed everything including the kitchen sink (for fixing leaky grids!) might be in it.

Thank you for the post and sharing memories!

Best 73's,

Bob K5SEP
 
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