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Author Topic: Where to pick up 12BY7/A tubes?  (Read 11005 times)
AB2T
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Posts: 246




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« on: August 21, 2010, 04:12:44 PM »

I'm restoring a Kenwood TS-830S.  I'm treating it to a whole new set of tubes.  Where should I go to buy 12BY7/A driver tubes?  Is there any brand that is particularly good?

The rig currently has a beat up pair of GE 6146B finals. I'm going with a NOS pair of Sylvania 6146W finals.  I think the 12BY7A is the 30+ year old original.  I'm surprised it lasted this long.

73, Jordan   

 
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N3QE
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Posts: 5567




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« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2010, 05:51:38 PM »

Most places that have 6146W's will also have 12BY7's too. e.g. rfparts.com, or any of the other ham radio tube suppliers.

The 12BY7 was fundamentally a TV tube and places like ESRC and Antique Electronic Supply will have them.

You may want to re-neutralize the finals and driver with the new tubes. For some folks this is a big deal, but really it isn't.

You shouldn't be surprised the tubes lasted 30 years. If not abused they can last pretty much forever.

The most common things I've found to destroy tubes in or driving the final compartment, are fires in the final compartment. Chokes and blocking capacitors can fail catastrophically arcing over internally or to a nearby point and sending up a spark fest and taking out the tubes as collateral damage.
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KD8HMO
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Posts: 269




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« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2010, 07:42:58 AM »

I have a nice, mint TS 520S thats still going strong with the original 2001A tubes in it. According to the paperwork, it was purchased in 1978, so 32 years? Thats not bad at all...
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KA5N
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Posts: 4380




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« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2010, 10:15:35 AM »

I wouldn't change finals if existing ones are putting out anywhere near full power.  I'm still using orignial finals in my TS-830.  12BY7 drivers don't last as long. 

Allen
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K2OWK
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Posts: 1279




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« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2010, 12:33:35 PM »

Hello, 12BY7 tubes are available also on EBay. They usually sell for a good price, but be sure you buy them from a reliable seller with 100% good feedback. I purchased three 6146 finals for my Heathkit SB401 transmitter for less then $15.00 with shipping, and five 6CL6 drivers for $10.00 with shipping. These tubes were tested by the seller and guaranteed to be good. Both sellers had 100% good feedback and a record of more the 5000 sales. This is just a suggestion. IF you want new tubes they are available new from many sellers. Just Google 12BY7 tube and you will get thousands of locations. New tubes are usually made in Russia. New old stock are available in RCA, GE, Motorola and Etc and I find they are all good.
Regards,
73s
K2OWK
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N8CMQ
Member

Posts: 723




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« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2010, 09:46:34 PM »

I'm restoring a Kenwood TS-830S.  I'm treating it to a whole new set of tubes.  Where should I go to buy 12BY7/A driver tubes?  Is there any brand that is particularly good?

The rig currently has a beat up pair of GE 6146B finals. I'm going with a NOS pair of Sylvania 6146W finals.  I think the 12BY7A is the 30+ year old original.  I'm surprised it lasted this long.

73, Jordan   

 

If you do want a new tube, and not a "New/Old Stock" tube, you will pay about $15 and shipping. I bought a NOS for $7 at the local radio supply store. But, if your rig is working, keep the tubes you have!
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N8CMQ   Jeff Retired...
KD4EUH
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Posts: 39




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« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2010, 10:54:01 AM »

AB2T--I tried to email you about the tubes.  Please email me  jlovett1112@comcast.net.  I may have an offer you can't refuse.

Thanks
John
KD4EUH
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N2EY
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Posts: 5048




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« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2010, 02:45:00 PM »

The rig currently has a beat up pair of GE 6146B finals. I'm going with a NOS pair of Sylvania 6146W finals.  I think the 12BY7A is the 30+ year old original.  I'm surprised it lasted this long.

How well does the rig work now, with the existing tubes? If you can still get ~90 watts or so out on most bands, they're probably fine.

Some bottles will go on and on practically forever if not abused. In 43 years of hamming I've had very, very few tube failures - and most of my tubes were used when I got them.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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KE4DRN
Member

Posts: 3746




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« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2010, 04:57:12 PM »

hi,

I agree, if the radio works fine leave the tubes alone,
if you ever need to replace the driver, save it, it
may work just fine in another radio.

If you replace only the driver tube you do not need to
neutralize the finals.

I got driver $10 and final tubes $36 pair  (JAN GE Circa 1985) from

http://www.surplussales.com/Tubes-Sock-Acc/TubeSpecials.html

Join other Kenwood TS-5xx and 8xx fans

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TS-520_820_530_830/

73 james
« Last Edit: August 23, 2010, 05:01:06 PM by James » Logged
W7ETA
Member

Posts: 2527




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« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2010, 01:25:36 AM »

If you want a tested 12BY7 try Jim McShane: http://pages.prodigy.net/jimmcshane/tubes.htm

Jim restores and modifies Citation audio amplifiers, sell some parts, and sells a lot of tubes.  The CItation amps use 12BY7s.  If your aren't planning on running that rig a lot over many years, you might only need one 12BY7.

A few years ago, I hunted eBay for 12By7s and wound up buying a 5 pack of them, more than a life time supply.

73
Bob
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