Projects  gtz  Racks  Pedalboards

  Contact  Industry Links

 

TTT-3 TUBE TESTER & TRACER

[Powered by uTracer 3+]

 

 

The TTT-3 is a custom implementation of Ronald Dekker's uTracer 3+

The TTT-3 is a Tube Tester - Curve Tracer that allows the user to verify the performance of Vacuum Tubes in comparison to the Manufacturer's specifications. This is useful for matching Power tubes, checking and verifying the performance of separate triodes within preamplifier tubes.

Ronald's design is based on a microprocessor controlled unit that interfaces the uTracer, over serial connection, to the uTracer's custom GUI running on a Windows Computer.

The uTracer 3+ allows Hi Voltage testing up to 400 VDC.

There is a quick-Test mode that allows the user to enter the baseline specifications of a specific tube, as outlined in a tube's manufacturer's spec-sheet, and verify the performance in comparison. The results are displayed as a percentage of the manufacturer's specs in the GUI.

plot

 

Since this specific tester was only going to test Guitar Amplifier Power and preamp tubes, there are only three tube sockets on the tester. (This is in comparison to other vintage tube-testers that have many sockets to allow testing of many different tubes.)

  • There is one Octal socket for testing 8-pin based tubes like 6L6GC or EL-34.
  • There is one Noval socket for testing 9-pin Power Tubes like the EL-84.
  • There is one Noval socket for testing 9-pin Preamp Tubes like the 12AX7, etc.

 

TYPICAL TUBE TESTER

sockets

 

TTT-3 TUBE TESTER

ttt3

The tester is housed in a Waterproof case with a custom laser-engraved panel. There is a 22 VDC Laptop Power Supply mounted to the case that feeds power to the uTracer circuitry and provides enough current for the Heater circuit. (There is an allowance for using an external Heater Supply)

In addition to the three tube sockets, the front panel has the following features...

  • Power Switch with LED "ON" Indicator
  • HI-VOLTAGE [HI-TENSION] "ON" LED Indicator
  • Internal/ External Heater supply switch with banana jacks for external supply
  • A pushbutton switch to select specific triodes in a dual-triode tube
  • USB-B Female Jack for connection of the uTracer to a laptop computer
  • Fuse Holders for DC input and External Heater Circuit Fuses
  • A separate DC input Jack.

 

Here are the particulars of the design...

_____________________________________________________________

WATERPROOF CASE

The case is a Seahorse© #SE-120 Waterproof Case

rom

 

_____________________________________________________________

LASER ENGRAVED PANEL

The front panel was designed in CorelDraw© and laser-engraved by AD Engraving in Toronto on a 0.040" thick black-anodized aluminum panel.

 

The Panel is a mere 8-1/4" x 5-3/4" !!

 

rear

**Thanks to MESA BOOGIE© for the TUBE TOWN FAMILY Graphic that graces their Office and fits the Tube Tester's Mystique perfectly.

 

_____________________________________________________________

TUBE SOCKETS

Tube Sockets are made of Micalex and manufactured by BELTON©.

eeprom

 

_____________________________________________________________

SWITCHES

The Power and Heater Switches are C&K© DPDT Toggle Switches.

sw

 

The Preamp Triode Selector Switch is a 4PDT PCB mounted push-button switch.

sw

 

_____________________________________________________________

INDICATORS

The Indicators are RED LED with KEYSTONE© Low Profile Cap/ Lens.

opa

 

_____________________________________________________________

USB CONNECTOR

The USB-B type Female jack is transitioned to the Nbglin Factory RS232 to USB adapter using a small chassis jumper. The RS232 to USB adapter is based on the FT232BM USB UART and has no problems interfacing with Windows-based computers.

ac

ac

 

_____________________________________________________________

CIRCUIT BOARD

The Circuit Board and all of the parts are supplied as a kit from Ronald Dekker. The instructions are clear, but unless you have some electronics background, plan to 'stuff' the circuit board and test the unit in stages over 2 to 3 days.

ac

 

Some of the components were mounted on the back-side of the PCB to ensure that the top-side was as low-profile as possible. This was necessary since the case had limited depth.

ac

ac

 

_____________________________________________________________

POWER SUPPLY

The 22 VDC Laptop Power Supply is mounted to the case via a cut-out and the power enters the case and connects directly to the power switch/ Fuse. The Power Supply provides enough current for the uTracer circuit and Tube Heater circuit.

ac

 

There is an allowance for using an external Heater Supply via two Banana Jacks and a selector switch.

ac

wiring

 

_____________________________________________________________

FINISHING TOUCHES

The Project is capped off with a nice decal and a lid compartment for External Heater Wires and the USB cable.

ac

ac

ac