Vacuum Tube LEDs: Improved Sockets

All the sockets now sport channels in the bottom to capture the braid to the plate cap (whether or not the tube has a plate cap) and the wiring from the Arduino:

Vacuum Tube Lights - Octal Socket - solid model
Vacuum Tube Lights – Octal Socket – solid model

The Slic3r preview shows the detail a bit better:

Vaccum Tube Lights - Octal Socket - Slic3r preview
Vaccum Tube Lights – Octal Socket – Slic3r preview

The boss around the pins is now 25 mm OD and snaps neatly into the unpunched hub hole of a hard drive platter:

0D3 Octal - 25 mm socket OD in platter
0D3 Octal – 25 mm socket OD in platter

I moved the mounting holes to 42 mm OC to give the button heads on those screws a bit more clearance from the base.

Moving the knockoff Neopixel up to the top of the pipe leading to the tube base dramatically increases the amount of light going into the tube envelope:

0D3 Octal - 25 mm socket - raised LED
0D3 Octal – 25 mm socket – raised LED

You can just barely see a strip of foam tape holding the LED PCB (loosely) into the too-large hole.

The OpenSCAD source code also produces the improved base clamp; to get a socket, just set Layout = "Socket" and away you go. It doesn’t yet have the reduced-diameter hole down the middle; that’s in the nature of fine tuning.

4 thoughts on “Vacuum Tube LEDs: Improved Sockets

    1. Indeed!

      I think the top layer (or two) sticks out just enough to engage the teeny chamfer around the hole with a nice click: feels so fine!

  1. Im looking to commission a project, lighting a vacuum tube with led then mounting the lit vacuum tube onto a beer tap handle. I would run the wire through the tap handle core to a AAA battery power source located in the back of the 3d printed, branded handle. I have enjoyed reading this thread watching how the vacuum tube pins can be mounted onto a base, and the core drilled to insert the led.

    1. We batted this for a few rounds and I managed to (once again) talk myself out of a consulting gig.

      Vacuum tubes being fragile, I suggested an acrylic cylinder as armor; he wanted a dip of some sort. I suggested clear table epoxy, of the sort once used on hideous once-trendy decoupage tabletops found in eateries. Absent any experimentation, I’m not sure what’s appropriate, but a bare vacuum tube, especially atop a three-foot horse leg of a tap handle, isn’t.

      The sticking point for all illuminated things remains the power source. A wire dangling from a beer tap seems like a Bad Idea for a number of reasons, but expecting a bartender to plug your charger into your tap every now & again on her time seems Overly Optimistic.

      I wondered if there was enough downlight behind the bar to light up a laser-etched acrylic handle; my experience with pub architecture being (admittedly) minimal, that was the end of the conversation…

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