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Steve's Antique Technology

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Hickok Electrical Instrument Co.
Steve's Hickok Test Equipment Collection
Hickok Electrical Instrument Co., Cleveland Ohio
The Hickok B-47 Tube Tester

The First Hickok Tube Tester

In the first half of the 1920s, early radio tubes were very uncertain in their operation and characteristics. It became immediately evident to Robert D. Hickok, Sr. that apparatus would be needed to test these tubes. This need resulted in his first dynamic "Mutual Conductance" radio tube tester. Mutual conductance is a measure of the effect grid voltage has upon the plate current of a vacuum tube.

Named the Hickok Instruments Model B-47, it was designed to test vacuum tubes in a manufacturing environment, both in laboratory design and production.
Read Hickok's description of the B-47.

This first battery powered tester was known simply as a Mutual Conductance Radio Tube Tester. It was built in a fairly large size suitable for manufacturers and utilized eight of Hickok's Model 43 and 44 meters. The B-47 was designed to test 199 and 01A tubes. The B-47 also contained a large slide rheostat to give suitable changes in plate voltages.
Unfortunately, the starting price tag of $350 - $400 (around $7,000 today) prohibited any sales of the B-47 and this is the only one known to have been produced.
B-47 ~Size: 16.5"x14"x4.5"

Hickok B-47 Panel
Larger Photo
This B-47 tube tester was held onto by the Hickok Electrical Instrument Company until just after World War II when it was purchased from Hickok at a company equipment surplus sale. The buyer, Alex Profits, the owner of Alex Radio on West 25th Street in Cleveland Ohio, collected old meters and the Hickok B-47 sat on display in his radio store until the store closed in the 1980s.

Serial Number 1111
Hickok B-47 Badge

The contents of Alex Radio including this original B-47, were purchased by Gary Strelow, a calibration tech and collector of vintage test equipment.

This B-47, Hickok's original and first tube tester, is now in my possession and care.

On my bench for cleaning

B-47 Inside Construction
Hickok B-47 Inside
Larger Photo

Hickok B-47 Operations and Theory Bulletin


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Please Note: The information and files contained here are from many vintage sources. There is no guarantee of the accuracy of any information contained on these pages. It is solely up to the end user to decide that the information and files contained within this site are accurate and fit for use with their equipment. This is a private collection. I am not responsible for any loss or damages that may be incurred in any way from the use of any information contained on or downloaded from this web site. The use of any graphics or photos on this site is not allowed without written permission. This site is not affiliated in any way with any of the listed manufacturers or brands. All the trademarks in these documents and on this web site are registered by their respective owners. All the brand and product names are trademarks of their respective companies.
Copyright © 1995-2024 Steve Johnson, Elbridge NY, All rights reserved.