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Reviews For: Military TV-7 Tube Tester

Category: Tools & Test Equipment for the amateur radio work bench

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Review Summary For : Military TV-7 Tube Tester
Reviews: 5MSRP:
Tube Tester used by the military based on a design by Hickok.
Product is not in production
More Info: http://
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
EB5AGV Rating: 2014-05-25
Military quality, good performance Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have a TV-7C/U (the Canadian version, which is in fact a plain TV-7/U) and it performs flawlessly since the day I got it, which was several years ago (around 1995 or so)

I even have a page devoted to it on my WEB, with lots of settings and other useful info for it:

It has served me nicely for all these years, checking some hundreds of tubes, without a glitch.

If you can find one at a reasonable price, grab it!

W4VFZ Rating: 2013-09-19
Owner since 1960s Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I was "given" a TV-7 tube tester in the 1960s, and (being an old vacuum tube man) have used it extensively ever since. Recently managed to destroy several of the readily available 1/4 carbon resistors ("pilot error"), so went through a complete rebfurbishing and calibration procedure, plus updating the data sheets.

This machine is built to Mil Specs (like a tank) including hermetically sealed transformer, NO electrolytics, and ceramic rotary switches. I've seen them go for nealy a kilo-buck on Ebay, so if you can get one, grab it. I see comments about $200 to re-calibrate it! NOT if you have any savy. Parts are still available and lots of information at EB5AGV's web site.
W8AAZ Rating: 2009-03-19
Mil grade super solid Time Owned: more than 12 months.
These are great testers if you get one that is not a basket case or has a fatal flaw. If the meter is bad, fuggedaboutit. Gives good test results that are widely accepted by others but like they say, all you can say is a tube tests at maybe 30 versus a minimum acceptable of 18? What is that? Not in micromhos, but if you give TV-7 test results on a tube you are selling, buyers accept it as gospel. I had to align mine and got some good online instructions. No two agree fully but will be very close if aligned. I am happy with mine. I just use an old Heath tester for sweep tubes or whatever will not test on this. CD's of all test data and manuals are available on ebay and all over. These are beloved by users for several reasons.
K3HVG Rating: 2008-05-20
Rock of Gibraltar Time Owned: more than 12 months.
The TV-7( ) series tube checkers are, by any standard, arguably the most usable and reliable of the tester of the lot. Parts are available and calibration, even the original TV-7, is doable in the average hamshack. Sweep tubes can, indeed, be checked by the TV-7 with any of several 9/12 pin, after-market adaptor sets from (e.g.: Dan Nelson various providers. The going price may appear high but a good one will give excellent service for a long time.
N4OZI Rating: 2003-07-24
Excellent Tube Tester! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
The TV-7 series are built like tanks and seems to me, to be one of the best designed tube testers ever made. They are based on a Hickok design and are great for testing real old tubes prior to WWII. It will test many, but not all, tubes made after WWII.

They come in different models like the TV-7/U, TV-7A/U, and the TV-7B/U. The TV-7D/U is a little different than the others with a little bit more range to test tubes. The TV-7D/U is also collected by the audio tube folks so they command higher prices.

An important note here is that the TV-7 does not test most sweep tubes. That will require a tube tester of a later design since the TV-7 pre-dates sweep tubes. It will, however test the more common ham tubes like the 6146, 807, 6L6, and 811A.

Its does use a 0-120 quality scale rather than reading true GMhos, which seems to be a major hangup with some people. (There are translation tables out there to overcome this.)

If your ham shack has boatanchors in it, then it's a great investment. I've got two that I've had for years now and they've never let me down.