Regulated Power Supply
and Amplifier

Photo of finished unit showing the tubes, transformers and a speaker mounted on the side

Introduction and Ramblings.

It goes without saying that if you want to experiment with tube circuits you need a power supply which will deliver 6.3 VAC for the tube heaters and one to three hundred VDC for the plates. Something else you're likely to need is an audio amplifier and speaker. You could use headphones to listen to the crystal set and one tube radio we will build soon but modern low impedance stereo headphones won't work. You would need a set of two thousand ohm, or higher, monophonic headphones. Unless your as old as I am and never throw anything away it's all but certain that you don't have a set. If you are young enough to be my off spring you may have never even heard of such headphones. You might find a pair on E Bay but they would be considered to be antiques and would cost you an arm and a leg. If you are determined to be authentic and have a few spares in the limb department then buy them and skip building the amplifier part of this project. Although it's probably cheating to connect a crystal set to an audio amplifier we are going to do it just the same. Those old style headphones hurt my ears.

Getting Started.

There is no circuit board layout for this project because there is no circuit board. It is built the old fashioned way, on terminal strips. I happened to have a bunch of them because about thirty five years ago I ordered an assortment from Allied Electronics and failed to read the catalog carefully enough. I thought I was ordering ten of each but actually ordered ten packages of ten each. I decided to keep them and now I'm glad I did. Old electronic parts are available on the WWW and they are not even hard to find. Entering "vacuum tubes" into almost any search engine will put you right on target.

I built my unit on a 7 x 7 x 2 inch chassis but I would strongly recommend that you use a larger one. I tend to build compact because of the limited amount of space available on my workbench.

Photo of my workbench.  It has a shelf at about eye level above the work area.  The shelf is stacked 2 and sometimes 3 high with test equipment, most of it Heathkit.

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This site begun March 14, 2001

This page last updated January 17, 2002