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Check out this absolutely mesmerizing (17 minute!) video of a French amateur radio operator who rolls his own vacuum tube triodes! I love the ease with which he performs these rather high-end skills (like glass forming), the gestural flourishes (like it’s hand magic), and the Zelig-esque soundtrack.

Les lampes radio – [Thanks, Bruce!] Link

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


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Comments

  1. Jim says:

    This is the most amazing piece of work I’ve seen in years. Truly amazing. One man and a whole host of equipment, some home-made, to produce a suite of triodes. I shall never look at a common store-bought triode in the same way ever again.

    Now let’s see someone build a Field Effect Transistor (FET), the solid state equivalent of a triode, on their kitchen bench!

    1. RetepV says:

      “Now let’s see someone build a Field Effect Transistor (FET), the solid state equivalent of a triode, on their kitchen bench!”

  2. Jim says:

    This is the most amazing piece of work I’ve seen in years. Truly amazing. One man and a whole host of equipment, some home-made, to produce a suite of triodes. I shall never look at a common store-bought triode in the same way ever again.

    Now let’s see someone build a Field Effect Transistor (FET), the solid state equivalent of a triode, on their kitchen bench!

  3. Math Campbell says:

    This is pretty damn spectacular. I wish now I’d studied my french better in school, or that this guy spoke english so I could know what all the titles mean. That said, my understanding of electronics is insufficient to really understand the principles at work here, but even I can see true craftsmanship when I see it. Absolutely incredible! Cést magnifique!!

  4. Unbwogable says:

    Absolutely amazing! I didn’t even listen to the audio, but I was blown away by the skill and time that this guy has put into his work!

    TRULY a hard-core hobbyist. If I even attempted to put that type of time or money into a hobby, my fiancé would murder me…

  5. terminalcity says:

    wow

    this might be the best thing I have ever seen on the Make Blog! This guy is INCREDIBLE.

  6. rmadams says:

    Truly enchanting. The work and capability of the guy building the triodes is humbling to say the least- you can tell from the confidence of his movements that he _really_ knows what he is doing. The film is really great, too- nice combination of editing and music. I agree that this is one of the neatest things I have ever seen on the MAKE: blog.

  7. mike prevette says:

    This is one of the most amazing things I have seen on here, and that is saying a lot. This guys is so fantastic. I’m so in awe.

  8. Mario says:

    Bravo! Bravo!

  9. rmadams says:

    From the looks of the PDFs posted on the site, there are some very detailed instructions on how to reproduce the described triode manufacture. Anyone read technical French and want to translate?

  10. Harley says:

    “the Zelig-esque soundtrack”

    That’d be George and Ira Gershwin – The Man I Love.

  11. chris says:

    wow.

    this is the most impressive thing i’ve seen in quite awhile!

  12. Jeff Halmos says:

    That was pure joy. Wish I had my McIntosh Monoblocks from the late ’50s right here with me now. I’d give them each a big hug and a thanks.

  13. Ole Juul says:

    I too found this thrilling. Not many people dare to be this technically independent. For those that like this and want to try a smaller project, there are detailed instructions on making some cathode ray tubes on this site: http://www.sparkbangbuzz.com/crt/crt6.htm even a tiny 3mm dia crt!

  14. Sean says:

    Electronics born of fire contained in glass. How far it has come since the Fleming Valve and DeForrest’s addition of the grid! I liked the X-Ray tube at the end. Thank you for a really neat film.

  15. Wow says:

    Wow!Let’s DIY a TV with the tubes and the crt!

  16. SteveBaker says:

    As impressive as the triode building is – it’s the hours that must have gone into building all of the jigs and tools in order to do that that impresses me. Every one of those little rotating gizmo’s was a neat little work of art that must have taken ages to set up and get just right.

  17. rchrd says:

    Yes, there still are people who can do these things. Just go to any big research lab and you’ll find experienced technicians who can fabricate just about anything, provided they have the right tools. And if they don’t have the right tools, they’ll make them.

    When I worked at the Lawrence Berkeley Lab, I was amazed at some of the specialized glass-blowing and circuit fabrication that the techs turned out.

    It’s good to see that some of that skill and ingenuity is still out there!

  18. Mark says:

    I want that little welder. Gears in head spin.

    I wonder how many hours go into each one.

  19. JC says:

    Wow, this guy is FANTASTIC! What incredible dedication he has to be performing all these tasks. It makes me respect how much work a tube entails to create. Even if I still don’t understand how it works, I certainly appreciate the skill to make it work.

  20. SBW says:

    Okay, the video was awesome!

    Making your own triodes? Not my first choice. For that much time and effort, I’d like to make something that is fun but harder to get, like a medium-power Ku-band TWT. With a (narrowband) washer-and-spacer slow wave structure, it wouldn’t be too much harder. I digress….

    His web site makes it clear he made all the tools he needed, like the spot welder. How do you decide where to draw the line? He didn’t build his own milling machine. I prefer the ‘build whatever you need but can’t afford to buy on ebay’ rubric.

    But what really impressed me was that he built his own turbomolecular pump. Wow. That’s a worthy project by itself. (I wimped out and bought mine on ebay.)

  21. Myself says:

    Of all the equipment we saw, the little welder is probably the easiest thing to build for yourself, Mark! Get going!

    I’ve spent some time in the shop watching my friend’s dad make (1/8 scale) model railroad parts on his Bridgeport mill and lathe. With some time and care, this is how everything used to be made, and lots of things still can be. I encourage everyone to take a metal machining class if you can, and glassblowing if it’s available!

  22. Sam says:

    Tres bien!

  23. Nemo says:

    Impressionnant, tout simplement impressionnant !!!

  24. IHT says:

    I once had a boss who had made radar magnetrons on the kitchen table with his brother before the war for Watson-Watt. He was the only Technical Director I have ever had whom I could genuinely respect. He always knew the answers to my questions.

  25. jpo says:

    Just now I’m reading S. M. Stirlings “Island in the Sea of Time” series. This is how I imagine the Nantucketers kept civilization going 3500 years back in time.

  26. eturauhanen says:

    Respect

  27. eturauhanen says:

    Respect

  28. eturauhanen says:

    Respect

  29. anonymous says:

    This is Amazing.

  30. Asgeir in Norway says:

    This is AMAZING! I was thrilled and my cup of coffe just went cold…
    When I am finish writing this, I shall give my big 845 triodes a gently touch… and give respect to those who make tubes.

  31. Chris Coles says:

    When you hear people say we do not need apprenticeships any more, you need to remember that this is a display of classic craftsmanship. A truly skilled artisan. In todays world, we place no value on such skills; assuming that they can be bought. But you need to build a society that respects and encourages such skill. France is such a nation. They still have many rural villages that retain the idea of the individual in their local community providing everything you need from the local skill base and respect the idea that an individual can make their mark through their individual skills as an artisan.

    You cannot buy these skills at the local Walmart, you have to create a society that creates them within its structure as a society of artisans. But to do that, you first have to value such skills and do everything you can to encourage them, from childhood right through to old age.

    Investment is about much much more than turning a small profit by using workers earning the lowest wage possible. Investment must have a long term view that allows such success to flourish, all all levels of your nation. Such individuals should stand at the pinnacle of society and be paid accordingly. Show me a bean counter, investment banker or venture capitalist that could achieve anything comparable?

  32. Neil says:

    I know nothing about the fabrication of electronics and equipment, but this little movie was captivating and inspiring.

    It’s wonderful to know that such dedicated craftsmen still exist in this age of ‘buy and throw away machine made tech’

    Thank you

  33. Sami says:

    Does anyone know who’s rendition of “The Man I Love” this is? I’ve never heard this one, and it’s definitely my fav.

  34. Moi says:

    Great video. Minor comment – spelling is “vacuum”. But his English is probably better than ma francais.

  35. Sami says:

    my new fav*

  36. Marc says:

    WOOOOOWWWWWW !!!

    Fantastic job !!!

    Congratulations from Barcelona, Spain.

    I’m EC3ALO, spanish amateur radio. All my respect on this fantastic job!!!

  37. Speeling says:

    Vacuum

  38. Engineer Scott says:

    Wonder if he could make a reproduction WD-11 for my Aeriola Sr.? Does he make any of these for sale? Would prefer a US base, but would like to use one of these in a home made regen receiver. Noticed he also made some high band VHF tubes as well.

    Anyone know what that metal cylinder was- the one that opened like a clam-shell? Also, what was he doing on that milling machine at the very end?

  39. woog says:

    This man is a powerful baal-shem.

  40. Tim says:

    @EngineerScott
    I’m pretty sure the ‘clam shell’ was an annealing oven to remove the residual stresses in the glass.

  41. Jetlag says:

    My guess is the cylinder was an oven to temper the glass after each heating cycle.

    This guy is simply amazing. I hope he is passing on his skills.

  42. Jason says:

    The clam shell machine had something to do with temperature I believe. I went through and collected all of the titles, their times, and as best as I could, their translations:

    00:00:12 Рles ̩lectrodes (the electrodes)
    00:02:55 – le “pied” (the “foot”)
    00:06:12 Рles travers̩es (the crossings [grid])
    00:06:44 Рpincement des travers̩es (pinching the crossings)
    00:07:34 – l’ampoule (the bulb)
    00:08:48 – le queusot (the vaccum tip)
    00:09:51 Рfixation des ̩lectrodes (fixing the electrodes)
    00:10:20 – c’est l’heure du bain (it’s bathtime)
    00:10:33 – monter le pied sur l’ampoule (mounting the foot on the bulb)
    00:11:09 – faire le vide (make the vacuum)
    00:12:36 – voici le nouveau né (here’s the newborn)
    00:12:46 – le culot … et son moule (the cap … and the mold)
    00:13:08 – premier essai (the first test)
    00:14:51 – retour en arriere (return to the beginning)
    00:17:07 – fin (the end)

    Based on the title, I can only assume that the video at the end where he’s working on the milling machine is some footage of him building the tools that he uses to make the triodes.

    My apologies for incorrect translations, my French is not that good.

  43. Ken says:

    Formi-freakin-dable!

  44. Steve Taylor says:

    What was the sooting of the glass for, before he formed it ?

    Steve

  45. Hale Adams says:

    What a craftsman!

    Damn. I wish I had a *hundredth* of this man’s skill and patience!

    To Chris Coles:

    You can find comparable skills here in the home of that dreaded “Anglo-Saxon” WalMart capitalism, the United States, too. In fact, it will probably survive here in the US longer than anywhere else, simply because there are people willing to pay for such skills. Money’s a pretty good motivator, y’know?

    73 de N3NYC

  46. W1ES says:

    Je me tiens avant le maître.
    Outstanding!

  47. W1ES says:

    Je me tiens avant le maître.
    Outstanding!

  48. W1ES says:

    Je me tiens avant le maître.
    Outstanding!

  49. Arlo says:

    The “sooting” of the glass serves essentially two functions: pre-heating the glass and monitoring the temperature. The carbon typically burns off near the annealing temperature of the glass, and can be used as a visual indicator of where the glass has been heated past this point and where it hasn’t.

  50. peeto says:

    in-fucking-croyable.

  51. dzieci neo says:

    łał ja pierdole

  52. Harry Moyes says:

    “00:06:12 – les traversées (the crossings [grid])”

    Probably not the grid.

    Feedthroughs would probably be a better translation.

    The grid is the coiled wire structure that he formed on the mandrill and then stretched. The final form had tiny reverse coils at either end that he then inserted a support wire through.

  53. Andy says:

    If there was a more succinct word than “inspiring” I’d use it, but this is, as few things are, just that and in no small measure. Exciting to see the process and also the nice linear curves upon the testing phase. Even more exciting to see the device put in various operational environments and function so well.

    There aren’t a lot of things that give us the message that “we are capable of anything”, and this little 17 minute treasure does more to evaporate notions of personal limitations than anything I’ve seen in a long while.

  54. shredder says:

    Excellent craftsman and pleasing to the eye and all, but what got me was the response curves. How did he figure out the spacing on the grid wire, etc. Sheesh…makes my brain hurt.

  55. shredder says:

    Excellent craftsman and pleasing to the eye and all, but what got me was the response curves. How did he figure out the spacing on the grid wire, etc. Sheesh…makes my brain hurt.

  56. Petit Castor says:

    Le roi des bricoleurs

  57. alheim says:

    what a baller!

  58. settembrini2 says:

    Es ist unglaublich beeidruckend mit welcher minimalistischen Ausrüstung und maximaler Geschicklichkeit hier eine funktionierende Triode hergestellt wird…

  59. settembrini2 says:

    Es ist unglaublich beeidruckend mit welcher minimalistischen Ausrüstung und maximaler Geschicklichkeit hier eine funktionierende Triode hergestellt wird…

  60. dr2chase says:

    I’m curious about the welder. My dad, some years back, spent a while designing medical instruments (needle biopsy forceps) and remembered seeing such a welder, but couldn’t get the results he wanted (welding hair-thin wires) using a mechanical switch. I guessed at a capacitor+SCR solution that turned out to work perfectly.

    (trick is to charge cap, quit charging cap, then release it through the SCR across the weld. Using the SCR as a switch gives low, repeatable energy losses in the switch. But this guy looked like he was dumping a lot more energy into his welds.)

  61. michael shiloh says:

    Hey Phillip, can you bring him to the Maker Faire? What a crowd pleaser he would be! Also all of us who are amazed by his work can tell him so in person.

    Michael

  62. Chandar says:

    Amazing craftsmanship. It is interesting to see veriey of equipment and his skills.

    however, I am anxious to know why he used the swiss army tool to cut the sheet in the begining rather than using a his unique and specialized tools?

    thanks a bunch for sharing with us

  63. Taxwizz says:

    Fabulous video.
    A genius and craftsman.

    But…Just imagine the genius of the guy who made the FIRST one !!

  64. Fabián Borzone. says:

    Probably the most amazing clip i’ve seen of this kind.
    Such a skilled person is really a pleasure to see working and i’d like to think we can all learn a little just by watching him, be it having more patience, or simply how to spot-weld.

    As a guy who likes to build things, watching this extreme display of knowledge, experience and skills in motion is just fantastic. He is really a master.

    And it is so incredible inspiring!
    What will *you* be able to make in 30 years?
    What will we be making???

  65. Geir Helgi Birgisson says:

    Wow, I’m stunned, this is one of the most beautiful work of art I’ve ever seen!
    AMAZING!!!

    and when the glow up, oh my!
    it’s like christmas, so warm and nice!

    Hip-hip-hooray!

  66. FR-EN Translator says:

    The vacuum tubes

    Detailed history of vacuum tubes
    Construction of an transceiver using old tubes
    Making of a triode and all the necessary equipment for its realization
    Quick production review with the manufactured triodes
    The author

    Claude Paillard as many starts during 50s, with RC model remote. Mechanics is one of his favorite hobby (“violon d’Ingres”, Ingres’s violin), he makes a point of honnor making the engine that will power the boat.

    In 1959 he became F2FO and pass the exam on a 5-Band AM transceiver of his manufacture. The DXCC was quickly done although contacts is not his hobby (“tasse de thé”, cup of tea) and would only serve most of the time to validate a personal realization. He has a great time with the BLU which comes slowly on the amateur bands. Then comes a RTTY period, on refurbished machines.

    His first article for Radio-REF (in 1959) is a BFO for the BC453 “command set” that attract attention for their remarkable selectivity.

    He became the editor of “Analyses de revues” (Analysis of reviews), a column he held several years. He will be also a member of the board of the REF for 3 years.

    He publishes, among other things: a linear amplifier equipped with 811, a oscillographic device allowing continuous monitoring of the modulation quality and also of the emitted signal purity, a TV camera equipped with integrated circuits and several SSB (“BLU”) equipments including a transistorized transceiver which will be widely used in mobile.

    Then, this is the realization of a 2300 MHz station and after of a 10 GHz equipment whose descriptions appear in Radio-REF. These both realizations are crowned (with success) in the field by “France-England Premieres” in 1968 and 1969. A superb “cross-band” 2.3-10 GHz QSO over a distance of 40 km (24.85 miles) is still in memory of the sacred good times of the signatories!

    Lover and respectful of the old and venerable components, he revives reception tubes of 20s in making emitting it 3 watts on the band 80 m in telegraphy. QSO across Europe will be realized … See QRP transmitter Chapter.

    His reverence for the Sir Arthur Collins’s equipment, lead him to restore a number of Collins radios, and especially the 618-T.

    And then, is it to participate in its own way to the centennial of the invention of the triode by Lee De Forest in 1906, he launch on the manufacture of the mythical TM developed by the General Ferrié in 1915. Making a lamp, it’s not so easy, but to getting things complicated with difficulty, F2FO will make everything he needs for this project, and especially various pumps, and a molecular one, to get vacuum allowing employment in emission of the made tubes.

    A dozen lamps will thus see the light of day …

    To check the measurements, a QSO will be realized on January 1, 2005 on 80m in CW between Montrouge, 92 and Camaret, 29. The tubes are robust and will comme on contacts …

    The original purpose, which was to cross the Atlantic, was reched by F6BWO who has realize numerous QSO on 4 continents.

    The work

    The work — fully illustrated — is composed of the following chapters:

    Tubes: history of vacuum tubes, from their emergence in 1906 until the advent of the transistor in 1960
    QRP Transmitter: realization of a transmitter using lamps from before 1925
    Triodes: making of a TM triode and necessary tools (pumps, oven …).
    Photos: some photos of making steps
    Mr Mignet (PDF: 58 pages – 2 MB): original document describing the making of the “3-electrode vacuum tubes” by a pioneer in the twenties
    Additions of 6 October 2005 (not reproduced in PDF format)
    Review after one year of made triodes use (published in MEGAHERTZ magazine #281 – August 2006)

    The printable versions of the first four chapters in PDF format are available below:

    The tubes (Part 1) 72 pages – 68 MB
    The tubes (part 2) 49 pages – 61 MB
    QRP transmitter 41 pages – 5 MB
    Triodes (Part 1) 36 pages – 31 MB
    Triodes (Part 2) 25 pages – 15 MB
    Triodes (photos) 6 pages – 24 MB

    If you want to know more, continue to scroll these pages. The text, photos and video are of the author F2FO.

    The video

    The MP4 video file is available below:

    Making of a triode tube 17 minutes – 125 MB

    Presentation: F9OE
    Transcript: F9HS

    Paillard DOT Claude AT free DOT fr
    December 31, 2007

  67. m says:

    GratulujÄ™ zapaÅ‚u. PrzypominajÄ… mi siÄ™ czasy w Polsce, gdy, albo sobie sam zrobiÅ‚eÅ›, albo nie mialeÅ›…

    Szacunek dla Pana Amatora

  68. CRG says:

    I’m in agreement with Chris Coles. Viewing this video took me back to days at Eimac & GE Microwave Labs (1956-1962)where RF Power tubes, klystrons & TWT’s were made. Cleanliness, jigs & fixtures are paramount. Mr Paillard (F2FO) removed contaminants via chemical process prior to heating internal tube components during a vacuum outgassing process. A Master without question. Ode to Bill & Jack, Tom Hall W6SC, Bill Kasselbaum, George Barber & Gene Schmalzbach, who took it from glass to ceramics (3CX-5-CX series tubes) and John Hough with TWT’s & Klystrons; et al. 73, k6ybh

  69. CRG says:

    I’m in agreement with Chris Coles. Viewing this video took me back to days at Eimac & GE Microwave Labs (1956-1962)where RF Power tubes, klystrons & TWT’s were made. Cleanliness, jigs & fixtures are paramount. Mr Paillard (F2FO) removed contaminants via chemical process prior to heating internal tube components during a vacuum outgassing process. A Master without question. Ode to Bill & Jack, Tom Hall W6SC, Bill Kasselbaum, George Barber & Gene Schmalzbach, who took it from glass to ceramics (3CX-5-CX series tubes) and John Hough with TWT’s & Klystrons; et al. 73, k6ybh

  70. rcobb says:

    Truly fascinating! I would love to be able hear a translated English narration (from him) of this gentleman’s amazing art along with his video!

  71. Matheus from Brazil says:

    Fantastic job.
    Congratulations
    Adorei o trabalho!

  72. Craig says:

    beautiful, just beautiful.
    That’s all I have to say

  73. Алексей says:

    Я прям себе так и представляю своего мастера на заводе)))
    Клёво получается, и многое говорит о современном уровне бытовых вещей,которые нам кажутся столь недостижимыми при исполнении собственными руками (хотя и не каждому доно, но согласитесь, при наличии оборудования и такого учителя..)

  74. Mike Sokol says:

    Ahhhhh…. Brings me back to my old audio tube days. Good times.

    I used to work for Corning Glass, so I agree that the little cage oven is used to anneal the glass and remove any stresses from uneven temps.

    Also, I think the copper tubing coil that looks like a whiskey still was actually an induction heater used to heat up the internal metals and burn off any left-over oxygen after evacuation. I know that tubes used to have a “getter” element which served the same function.

    The really cool part (besides the little tools that made it all come together) was that he started with the scissors in a Swiss Army Knife and needle-nose pliars to form the Anode.

    The pulsed spot welder is a pretty standard device we used to used to make perculator heating elements. You can’t solder a heating coil that’s going to get really hot later. But a pulsed spot welder like that has a selector switch that will count out the number of 60 Hz current transitions as well as amperage taps. You can weld the smallest wires together with that sort of tool.

    All together, the coolest demonstration of real craftsmanship I’ve ever seen. What fun!!!

  75. w0it says:

    The sooting I believe was for lubrication.It also acts a a separator. If the glass comes in contact with hot metal it will grab. The carbon allows it to slip. Could be wrong here but its what I remember from blowing with a pipe and what makes sense here. Lots of talk about craftmanship, artisanry etc. The difference between art and craft is $.

  76. Darius says:

    Super

  77. Yücel Kasap says:

    Realy süper jop.%1oo fantastic..Bravo…
    TB3CUM QTH Turkey – Bursa
    73′s

  78. Mary says:

    Wonderful! We loved this at MIT. :)

  79. TT says:

    It’s ART. Magnifique! What a skill he has.

  80. Dick Parks says:

    The piano is by Teddy Wilson.

  81. Karl Peterson says:

    The craftsmanship of this gentleman is superb. Even more is the collection of tools and jigs that he has produced to make the product. This was obviously a labor of love and he loves what he does. The attention to detail is astounding. The torch is easily duplicated, but every other piece of his equipment would take months or years to duplicate. I am in awe.

  82. Sami from Finland says:

    Best video ever !!

  83. Sorn in BKK says:

    Cool! Thank you so much to make me feel more happy with tubes :)

  84. another voice says:

    I wonder what he did with his triodes, after he made them. Maybe use them to construct a vacuum tube computer?

    http://www.ipsj.or.jp/katsudou/museum/pic_page/0060B_e.html
    :-)

  85. gbh echo range says:

    When I first came to Echo, there was a master craftsman in Michelson lab. who we relied upon to make our one of’s. He has since retired and I have not seen anyone come close to the same skill level untill now!
    OOOORAH !

  86. Michael says:

    This man is something very special.

    I get so much pleasure out of watching such a tallented craftsman.

    It makes me feel like a clutz when I go back to my own fumbling attempts at making.

  87. Per OZ1EQC says:

    Just fantastic, I have builded radios with tubes, but never seen a guy build his own tubes before, well done.

    73 Per OZ1EQC

  88. Ronaldtr says:

    Excellent video. Keep up the good work

  89. Nathan says:

    Magnificent! I’d give it a try if only I didn’t think I’d ruin my transformer powering it up.

  90. john s says:

    brilliant. no need to fear collapse of civilisation now, we can get it all back within ten years with guys like this about.

  91. Pekka says:

    Vittu on miehellä vähän liikaa aikaa. Pitäisi ulkona kirmailla moisten hommien sijaan.

  92. Hawk says:

    The man is a genious! I wish I could learn how to do all he did is all I can say.

  93. kick says:

    dayı sen kafayımı yedin lan şşş alooo uçmuşun dünyaya gel :)

  94. DR 10-2-4 says:

    Dear Mr. Paillard,
    I worked at Hughes Research Labs (now, HRL) for over 30 years and, vividly recall how skilled and talented the technical staff was. As a physicist, I relied immensely on our technical staff to fabricate the devices that we invented, without which, nothing would have become practical. It is magnificent to see and evaluate actual devices — made with such precision (as you so beautifully demonstrated) — evolve from our calculations and sketchy drawings. Your brilliant work brought back such fond and wonderful memories (you would have been hired on the spot!). In our laboratories, experimental and prototype lasers were made from scratch, just as you beautifully demonstrated with the triode. The gas discharge lasers required many of the skills that you posses, for this class of laser be thought as a “vacuum tube” with optical windows at both ends, and filled with a specified amount of spectroscopic purity, low pressure atomic or molecular gas(es), such as helium, neon, carbon dioxide, argon, xenon, etc. Moreover, such lasers require the vacuum-tube equivalent of a filament, cathode and anode to maintain a stable electric discharge, which is used to excite the active laser’s gaseous medium. In many cases, a “getter” was “flashed” in the tube (using external RF to heat it up as you so eloquently performed), and, the evaporated material such as cesium (the shiny coating one sees along the inner walls of the tube) is used to absorb contaminants (e.g., oxygen) that would otherwise render the device useless. To those readers that have never worked in a research environment, it is easy to overlook all the fine skills that are necessary to actually fabricate a triode, each aspect of which is a specialty in itself: metal forming and machining, instrument design, vacuum technology, materials processing, high-power RF technology, glass blowing (including forming and annealing), understanding of the detailed device properties of a triode and how to characterize its electronic performance. Your work is excellent and, viewing your video is refreshing and inspiring, for you make an extremely difficult labor of love appear so effortless — true genius! Bravo to you!!

  95. maker from seattle says:

    to the people who were asking about the piano piece, and whose arrangement it is…

    no doubt this guy cut down the trees, sawed the lumber, built the piano himself, then taught himself to play it!

    he probably also built the recording studio he recorded himself at. and the car to drive there.

    what an amazing maker!

  96. Keith Handy says:

    I love this video, but am I the only one disturbed by the loop point in the music?

    1. Anonymous says:

      Loop point? what loop point? who was listening to the music?

  97. tom kesto says:

    This information for all people around the world.
    http://www.gemsdrugstore.com/

  98. make your own vacuum tube

  99. Ron Soyland says:

    For the American doing the tube making look at “glasslinger” on youtube.

    1. Paillard says:

      Bonjour

      I am on the ‘french side’ about home made triodes…I like very much your work and videos…mine was now 5 years ago…can we exchange info about our common interest for ‘oldies’….
      paillard.claude F2FO

  100. Eric Lendrum says:

    Ok. I’m just like Wow, that is just so inspiring. This man is truly a gem. I hope he make many more videos with text.

In the Maker Shed