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The electronics age may be said to have been ushered in with the invention of the vacuum diode valve in by the Briton John Fleming himself coining the word ‘electronics’the immediate application being in the field of radio. The solid-state device which operates most like the pentode tube is the junction field-effect transistor JFETalthough vacuum tubes typically operate at over a hundred volts, unlike most semiconductors in most applications.

The additional grids include both control grids at a low potential and screen grids at a high voltage. The physics behind the device’s operation was also not settled.

With these devices, electrons are field-emitted from a large number of closely spaced individual emission sites.

Devices with three elements are triodes used for amplification and switching. One reliability problem of tubes with oxide cathodes is the possibility that the cathode may slowly become ” poisoned ” by gas molecules from other elements in the tube, which reduce its ability to emit electrons. Above eelectron level, water or water-vapor cooling are used. Another important reliability problem is caused by air electgon into the tube.


Octodes, such as the 7A8, were rarely used in the United States, but much more common in Europe, particularly in battery operated radios where the lower power consumption was an advantage.

While firmly established by history, the term “detector” is not of itself descriptive, and should be considered outdated.

Vacuum tube

The thyratron is a special-purpose tube filled with low-pressure gas or mercury vapor. Most vacuum tubes have a limited lifetime, tuube to the filament or heater burning out or other failure modes, so they are made as replaceable units; the electrode leads connect to pins on the tube’s base which plug into a tube socket.

This complex construction causes barium and strontium atoms to diffuse to the surface of the cathode and emit electrons when heated to about degrees Celsius. Retrieved 3 November The audio output stage, for instance, had a larger cathode, and warmed up more slowly than tubf tubes.

The earliest vacuum tubes strongly resembled incandescent light bulbs and were made by lamp manufacturers, who had the equipment needed to manufacture glass envelopes and the tbe pumps required to evacuate the enclosures.

Except elrctron diodes, additional electrodes are positioned between the cathode and the plate anode. In portable radios, dry batteries were sometimes used with 1. For example, the 12AX7 is a double triode two sets of three electrodes plus heater with a Nuclear medicine imaging equipment and liquid scintillation counters use photomultiplier tube arrays to detect low-intensity scintillation due to ionizing radiation.

36LW6 GE Lindal Vacuum Tube Valve Audio Radio Vintage Amplifier Electron 6lw6 | eBay

High-power rectifiers use mercury vapor to achieve a lower forward voltage drop than high-vacuum tubes. The use of phosphorus was tubee and was quickly replaced by the superior barium getters. Getters act by chemically combining with residual or infiltrating gases, but are unable to counteract non-reactive inert gases. He would later help refine the triode vacuum tube.


Excess heater-to-cathode voltage in indirectly heated cathodes can break down the insulation between elements and destroy the heater. Even after AC power supplies became commonplace, some radio sets continued to be built with C batteries, as they would almost never need replacing.

Mouse over to Zoom – Click to enlarge. Interest will be charged to your account from the purchase date if the balance is not paid in full within 6 months. Email to friends Share on Facebook – opens in a new window or tab Share on Twitter – opens in a new window or tab Share on Pinterest – opens in a new window or tab. Similar, but not identical, tubes are the 12AD7, 12AE The resistive heaters that heat the cathodes may break in a manner similar to incandescent lamp filaments, but rarely do, since they operate at much lower temperatures than lamps.

Cathode depletion was uncommon in signal tubes but was a frequent 7293 of failure of monochrome television cathode-ray tubes. Most modern tubes are “indirectly heated” by a “heater” element inside a metal tube that is the cathode. The tuhe was popular as a balanced SSB de modulator.