This is some rather important news in the
world of tube testers.
There has never been anything else like it.
- Imagine being
able to test tubes, from the oldest antiques to the latest sweep tubes,
without having to set any switches or dials.
- Imagine being
able to print mutual
characteristic curves for your audio tubes so quickly and easily that it's
possible to actually do so.
- Imagine a tube
tester that is smart and knows all about thousands of tubes.
- Imagine a tube
tester that is programmable.
You don't have to imagine. A unique
marriage between modern computer technology and a fantastic Hickok built tube
tester from days gone by has resulted in an instrument unmatched in the
industry. It is everything you have ever wanted in a tube tester and
There is a lot of information here. Please feel free to
kick back, stay a while, take it all in, and ask questions!
For more pictures, click here.
04-14-2016: Extremely detailed 273 page
PDF added to the Design
03-14-2016: Database updated to fix low reading 12AX7 and related
tubes. See the changes here.
02-20-2016: An IBM Thinkpad laptop is now included free of charge
with each system!
1-01-2006: The 10-pin miniature sockets, 7-pin Nuvistor socket,
and Acorn socket are now optional. See the pricing page for details.
11-25-2005: Software Version 1.12 released. Use the links for Version
1.10 below to read about it.
01-09-2005: Software Version 1.10 released. See what's been added here.
Also read about Undocumented
This is a
custom built hardware device that wires into the Hickok or Western Electric
Cardmatic Tube Testers (any Cardmatic model except the 121/123). If you
are not familiar with the Cardmatic testers, click here. They are
designed and built very well, and since they contain rock steady programmable
power supplies they provide an ideal platform for adapting to computer control.
and sophisticated software,
along with a comprehensive tube database, the device controls the tester just
like a card would. Except, now that it is under computer control, all
kinds of possibilities open up. The tester itself is not modified in any
way, a wiring harness simply connects to the same points the card reader
connects to. If you already have a Cardmatic tester, you can ship it to
us and we will return it to you refurbished, wired, and ready to use with your
Here are some of
- Very easy to use, and it is by far
the fastest way to test tubes on the planet!
- Turns your tester into an exquisitely
sensitive curve tracer.
Print curve charts with just one keystroke.
- Your tester is completely refurbished
(except for the card reader) before the wiring harness is installed. Saves
hundreds on future repairs.
- No cards needed -- even the
calibration cards and the instruction cards are programmed into the database.
- The database contains the equivalent
of 3,924 Cardmatic cards.
- Built-in universal
adapter provides up to 7 additional
tube sockets including Novar, Compactron and Nuvistor!
- Plate current jacks for an external
current meter are provided on the control box.
- Fully tests for heater cathode
leakage, shorts, gas, transconductance, plate current, cathode activity,
grid current, grid emission, voltage drop.
- A chart is displayed on the screen
during each test which converts the meter reading directly to micromhos,
milliamps, or volts.
- Programmable test parameters -- you
can program and store your own tests. The ultimate in versatility.
- Built in calibration routines for the
highest accuracy possible. Instructions are printed right on the
- Uses sealed computer controlled
relays, meaning no wrong settings, no dirty switch contacts, no faulty
- For tubes that have more than one
test the heater remains powered between tests. No extra warm-up time.
- On-screen timer shows how long the
heater has been powered.
- Heater voltage is automatically
adjusted for each tube to compensate for wiring/transformer
voltage drops. No more line voltage adjustments.
- Heater voltage can be varied while
testing. Handy for rejuvenating tubes. Not normally possible with
other advanced features.
- Available as a complete tester, ready
to use, or a wiring harness can be installed in your Cardmatic.
- A 100% compatible IBM laptop is
supplied with every system.
- The program doubles as a handy tube
cross reference guide.
- Future program and database updates
available through email or at this web site.
- Perfect for testers with no cards, or
testers that are experiencing card reader problems.
This instrument is a MUST for:
Dealers - Unit pays for itself by saving tremendous amounts of time and
adding value to your tubes
who has a lot of tubes
wanting to test tubes in the fastest and most repeatable way possible
For more information:
Here are some comments we have received from satisfied customers, including
many major tube dealers:
I think this is the coolest piece of gear I own!
You've done a nice job of simplifying our job!
Radio Electric Supply
The Bitmatic was a godsend for our business.....a rugged, reliable unit, with
an incredibly easy to use ergonomic computer interface, which not only has an
incredibly extensive built in library of tubes, but the ability to customize
tests (and parameters), and add additional tube types, by the end user
themselves. Well done Phil ! Not sure how we did it before...but
like the introduction of E-Mail and the FAX machine before it, the Bitmatic
has become an indispensable tool for our tube business. Moreover,
the customer service in support of it (software updates, etc...) is first
Chris Johnson, President
I am very pleased with the ease of operation and full range of tubes that the
unit can test. We are looking forward to making the computerized tester the
workhorses of our quality control testing.
Antique Electronic Supply
Over the last year and a half, Phil's tube tester has become an integral
part of our daily operation. As we guarantee the performance and
reliability of every tube we install in our clients' equipment, we have to be
confident in the test results of each unit. Phils' tester is the center piece
of our Quality Assurance process.
computerized tube tester has speeded up our tube testing and it tests an amazing
range of tubes. We had to keep several tube testers around to test
different tubes. Now they have become standby units. The support
has been great.
Fair Radio Sales
SND Tube Sales
You have done the industry a definite service with your unit. Your
tube testing should become THE standard. I think that anyone that has
any quantity of tubes to test should order one or they are nuts.
Signal Systems Industries, Inc.
"Don't let that clown get a hold of a Tek 570."
One year warranty on materials and workmanship. Please do not send
your tester without prior authorization.
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