About this site

Your webmaster has generated this site in an attempt to interest people unaware of thermionic devices (electronic "valves" or "tubes") in this excellent, if old, technology and to encourage experimentation with valve circuits. It is also hoped that experienced people will stop by for a look and maybe swap stories with the author about their projects.

You webmaster certainly does not know everything (some would say anything :) and so if you have any comments or corrections please email me at:   andrew@thermionic.org   [To use this address please select and copy it into a new message or re-type it.]

I'm writing the site HTML by "hand" using a text editor and so the site does not have many exciting features. Just so long as it isn't broken I'm happy.

This is not intended to be an exclusively Amateur radio interest site but currently the projects are all radio related. Over time, I hope to add as much content as possible.

Please enjoy!

Safety and site disclaimer

This is an amateur website (in every sense of the word :) and the opinions and information herein are in no way warranted, either directly or by implication. The webmaster shall in no way be held liable for any damage, loss or injury, directly or indirectly relating to anything on this site.

The majority of valve circuits use voltages that may cause injury and death. If you are not experienced with such devices, start with low voltages and gain experience before attempting anything involving higher voltages.

It is possible to make equipment with no exposed live parts, this approach is to be recommended although the pictures shown here feature equipment with exposed live parts. This is a style of construction adopted by many people interested in early radio circuits but does require great care.

A good place to start with low voltage valve circuitry is the website of Kazuhiro, JF1OZL. His most excellent site has a quite a number of valve circuits. You can find his site here.


All content on these pages is copyright (c) Andrew Burge, 2001-2003, unless held by others for which no rights are (or can be) transferred. The copyright material held here may be freely distributed for non commercial use if attributed. All trademarks and the copyright of others is gratefully acknowledged.

About me, Amateur Radio and valves

My name is Andrew Burge and I have been a licenced Amateur Radio operator since being issued the callsign G6ALB in 1981. Despite becoming less active in Amateur Radio during the middle 80's, I got enthusiastic about radio again in the mid 90's.

When I decided to get back on air, I started with a (solid state :) 6m (50 MHz) "transverter" kit and drove this from an old FT901 HF transceiver I bought. I soon found some friendly locals in the shape of Mike G1SYT & Steve M1ACB (now M3SGT) in Ipswich where I lived. Together G1SYT and myself set about learning CW (Morse code) on the air.

I worked many hours of CW with G1SYT (now M0AWS) and despite moving house (and also moving out of 6m range with him) I eventually took both my 5 WPM (Word Per Minute) and 12 WPM Morse tests in 1998.

I was allocated 2E0ARY (a "Novice A" licence) after the 5 WPM test and then M0BXT (a "Full A" licence) after the 12 WPM test. The rules have changed a few times since then and now a 5 WPM test gets you a full A licence, providing of course you have passed the Radio Amateurs exam.

I was attracted to the High Frequency bands (also known in broadcast terminology as the "Short Wave") because it is possible to make effective and simple equipment capable of making contacts over hundreds or thousands of miles using these frequency bands.

I wired up simple valve circuits as a teenager and I still have the valves I used. Most of these still work too - despite the passing years. I write communications software for a living and so old electronics provide some good technical escapism.

There are a lot of websites covering the various facets of the Amateur radio hobby. A good search engine should provide you lots of interesting hits.

If you didn't see it already, you may want to read the "Valve FAQ" I've started here.

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