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Who remembers....

ChuckcChuckc Posts: 4,398 Captain
The self-service tube tester machines at the stores in the 70's? There was one in the local Safeway in Phoenix when I was a kid. I even remember Dad using it once or twice.


  • coldaircoldair Posts: 11,498 Officer
    nice to have if you use tube amps
  • SchmidtySchmidty Posts: 6,814 Admiral

    ...but a bit further back for me...
  • phlatsphilphlatsphil Posts: 14,632 AG
    Chuckc wrote: »
    The self-service tube tester machines at the stores in the 70's? There was one in the local Safeway in Phoenix when I was a kid. I even remember Dad using it once or twice.

    In the '60s too. I used 'em a few times as a teenager when I thought I could I fix our TVs.
  • HeatwaveHeatwave Posts: 1,997 Captain
    Why would you take your TUB to the store ? I dont get it...
  • ByFlyByFly Posts: 112 Deckhand
    Yup. I remember using one in the 1950's at Stephensons Hardware in Detroit on Seven Mile Road near Stahelin Ave. Checked a couple tubes for Mom for our Muntz TV with the Blond wood cabinet.

    As an aside;

    At that time the favorite item on top of the TV or a table close by was a red and black painted oriental (word used at that time) woman sitting on a large pillow with a Pagoda roof shaped red lamp shade, the rising power stem up to the light bulb would bend over to the above center top of her head, maybe with tassels at each corner.

    In addition (or by itself) hanging above the TV, would have been a painting print of a black Leopard posed on a tree branch with a red background and some large tropical leaves from an out of scene plant
  • cadmancadman Home of the Gators Posts: 31,616 AG
    Remember them well. I used to get old radios and fix them when I was around 12 years old. I got an old one from the 40s working once.

    My dad and I even repaired a couple of T.V.s with them. Now you just buy a new TV when the old one dies.

    Mini Mart Magnate

    I am just here for my amusement. 

  • mindyabinessmindyabiness Posts: 6,164 Admiral
    There was one in the Rexall drug store near where I grew up as a kid. It was just to the left of entry to the store. I was drawn to it like a moth to a light. All those analogue dials, test lights, wires and meters.......
    I can remember looking into the back of the TV when it was on and just being amazed at all of the dust covered amber-blue tubes glowing and the smell of hot dust. The TV was bigger than the washing machine.
    Remember looking at the white dot on the CRT get smaller and dimmer until you could not tell if it was still there?
    Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon... No matter how good you are, the bird is going to crap on the board and strut around like it won anyway.
  • cadmancadman Home of the Gators Posts: 31,616 AG
    Remember the old test pattern when the station signed off for the day.

    Mini Mart Magnate

    I am just here for my amusement. 

  • MenziesMenzies Posts: 19,289 AG
    This is the one we had. it never changed for decades.


    Test Card F is a test card that was created by the BBC and used on television in the United Kingdom and in countries elsewhere in the world for more than four decades. Like other test cards, it was usually shown while no programmes were being broadcast. It was the first to be transmitted in colour in the UK and the first to feature a person,[1] and has become an iconic British image regularly subject to parody.

    The central image on the card shows eight-year-old Carole Hersee (born 1958)[2] playing noughts and crosses with a clown doll, Bubbles the Clown, surrounded by various greyscales and colour test signals needed to ensure a correct picture. It was first broadcast on 2 July 1967 (the day after the first colour pictures appeared to the public on television) on BBC2.

    The card was developed by a BBC engineer, George Hersee (1924–2001), father of the girl in the central image. It was frequently broadcast during downtime on BBC1 until that channel went fully 24 hours in November 1997, and on BBC Two until its downtime was replaced entirely by Pages from Ceefax in 1998, after which it was only seen during engineering work, and was last seen in this role in 1999. The card was also seen on ITV in the 1970s. It was also seen on Sveriges Television in an unknown time period.[3]

    In the digital age Test Card F and its variants are very infrequently broadcast, as downtime in schedules has largely become a thing of the past. Several variations of TCF have been screened, among them Test Card J (digitally enhanced), Test Card W (widescreen) and its high definition variant, which is sometimes erroneously referred to as Test Card X.

    Up until the UK's digital switchover, the testcard made an annual appearance during the annual RBS (rebroadcast standby)[4] Test Transmissions and, until 2013, during the BBC HD preview loop, which used Test Card W.
    Maybe if we tell people that the brain is an App, they will start using it.
  • surfmansurfman WC FLPosts: 5,981 Admiral
    Everything is just throwaway nowadays, got a 55" Toshiba smart tv, hook it up and the first thing it wants to do is a firmware upgrade. The motherboard takes a crap. Call Best Buy the send out a tech says mother board is dead, orders part. Part comes in tech installs tv working again, for about 2 hours then dies again. Call Best buy they said bring it back for an exchange. R&R.

    My Dad built a record player from a Heath kit and it had tubes in it, I remember the testers but can't tell were they were located, could have been the grocery store or event the local hardware store. A lot has changed since those days.
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  • DBRYANDBRYAN Posts: 4,415 Captain
    Chuckc wrote: »
    The self-service tube tester machines at the stores in the 70's? There was one in the local Safeway in Phoenix when I was a kid. I even remember Dad using it once or twice.

    I do.
  • GardawgGardawg Posts: 9,469 Admiral

    “Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves.

    Heres Tom with the Weather.”
  • GrizGriz Palm Beach Gardens, FloridaPosts: 9,896 Admin
    The early bird may get the worm, but the Second Mouse gets the cheese. SW

  • SchmidtySchmidty Posts: 6,814 Admiral
    I don't know why...

    But it appears that mostly all males born in the 40's and 50's came out of the chute with ingrained knowledge of how to fix the family B&W TV set.

    We had the tv repair man come to the house once and my father told me to pay attention to what he was doing....after that it mysteriously became my job cause no way in this world was that cheapo gonna fork over $8.50 for anything...even for a ring side seat to see Jebus walk on water.

    I stayed the in-house TV repairman until I enlisted......
  • Baits OutBaits Out Posts: 12,331 AG
    Interesting memories.

    As a kid we also had a Muntz TV in a blond cabinet. Johnnie Miller was our TV repair
    man and came by the house every couple months. He and my father became friends
    and would sit in the kitchen and drink and talk for an hour or two after he fixed the TV.
    Used to marvel at his shop, where he had about 20 TVs going in addition to the one
    he had on his bench.

    Every once in awhile he would get up to adjust one until it worked well enough to call
    the owner to pick-up or be home for delivery.

    Tubes were sold by the convenience store down the street from our house.

    I also "built" a Heathkit stereo amplifier. Then an FM receiver. Worked great until
    the matched set of push-pull amplifier tubes failed and I could not find replacements.



    CORRECTION: The kits I assembled were Fisher.

    A southeast Florida laid back beach bum and volunteer bikini assessor who lives on island time. 
  • Reptile DysfunctionReptile Dysfunction LP - Edge of the Known UniversePosts: 3,301 Captain
    Vacuum tubes are readily available at this point in time, sometimes with higher quality than ever.

    They have always been needed for some applications, good guitar amps would be the first instance I can think of, I'm sure there have always been others.

    Here are you few places...

    www.tubedepot.com (my favorite)


    "If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free" - P. J. O'Rourke
  • onthefiftyonthefifty Posts: 4,093 Captain
    Wow, hadn't thought about this in a long time. I had a Sonar Model "H" CB when I was a kid. Tubes and crystals. I believe the tube tester was at Radio Shack in NPB. Here's a look at a Model H...
  • Larry MacLarry Mac Posts: 5,466 Admiral
    cadman wrote: »
    Remember the old test pattern when the station signed off for the day.
    Preceded by a patriotic National Anthem

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  • RollinRollin Posts: 1,546 Captain
    Rexall drugs is where I got mine. It was amazing how long you could keep an old black and white going by replacing tubes. Good memories.
  • NickhoogNickhoog Posts: 835 Officer
    Gardawg wrote: »

    This is what I remember....
    Used to put the good ones in to see it light up...
  • ChuckcChuckc Posts: 4,398 Captain
    cadman wrote: »
    Remember the old test pattern when the station signed off for the day.

    How racist.
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