Valve space reduction

No, not getting rid of valves… but reducing the storage needs. For ages now I’ve kept the various boxes that valves came in but some of these are just daft. So I have begun ditching the original boxes and putting valves in plain white boxes sourced from Jan Wüsten (

Some are simply sturdy boxes with less space taken by moving the valve to a slightly smaller white box. But some are just plain silly – well, for good reasons. I came across one today in a box nearly 10 inches long that had mounds of wrapping and corrugated cardboard inside to reveal an octal valve that would fit in that original box six times over. So far I have gone through the closest containers and made 8 into 6. Next I will tackle the seriously overboxed section that live on metal shelving. I suspect I can reduce the total storage by 25%.

Of course there are some valves that cannot be boxed or which need to stay as they are – CRTs for example and the CV6124. But it does mean that most of the valves on the shelving can go into containers for added protection.

Ok, so I’ve managed to sort the website out now so that is the new permanent name. The redirection is in place but not finalised. It should work ok, except I broke it at first because I’d ended up with a redirection loop. Google (other search engines are available!) should update itself in due course. As I mentioned before the old domains will slowly drop out of the registry. Someone else may well grab them at that time but hey, my collection is a shadow of its former self now and I doubt it is referred to that much these days. A few years ago it ran at over 20,000 lookups a day, but back then there were 3,000 valves there.

All good things come to an end. The majority of the non-CV valves are now in their new home at the National Valve Museum, my RAF Type 4A valve tester has been sold and I will probably sell the US one too. I’m keeping the small tester, at least for now. And don’t worry, I am still hunting CVs!

Domain rationalisation

Since I retired last year I have been taking stock of things. I ended up using for the valve website years ago but I also have, and the variants of both. I have several other domains as well for all sorts of historic reasons. It’s time to cut back.

The domain is valid until July 2021 at which time I will let it expire. I realise it has a very long history but everything has a cost. There is a proposal by ICANN to remove the cap on .org and also .info which may mean the prices go up. My domain will go too. That one goes in October this year (2019 if you read this later!)

I am going to migrate the valve museum probably to but I will confirm this and also advertise it on the museum website. Redirection will go into place to that Google (other search engines are available) picks up the new location when it indexes the site.

No other changes are planned. I still collect CV valves and although there are now very few additions I do still look.

Weather… and all that sort of stuff

Well so much for me tinkering with the satellite dish to receive QO-100, the dish arrived and the weather arrived too! We had days of very strong wind and horizontal rain and then when the weather got better I had railway stuff on. Sorting the valves out just made it worse as the dish is now buried in the workshop. Anyway, the valves are leaving next week so I will have space (Space for space, get it? Ok, I’ll get my coat…)

This is the pile of valves to go so you see the issue facing me workspace-wise. There must be 1,000. There is half as much again behind the boxes. This finally rids me of any non-CV marked valve and all are going to a better place (no, not the dump!). And yes, those are 5 of the 21 VT98-type valves I imported. The guys at the depot managed to get all 21 crates into my (then) Astra hatchback – they were a lot better at packing that I am and I’m pretty good!

Oh eBay…

I do love seeing valves and CRTs on eBay listed as ‘ultra rare’ when they aren’t and I’ve got 3 of them…

It reminds me of the VT98 style pulse radar triode listed years ago as the only one and on at £ 15k (memory may fail me here but it was a silly price). Several of us contacted the seller to say how many we had… a friend had 3, and I had imported *twenty one* of them for a few pounds each!!

Final valve deletions under way

Ok I’ve been saying this for ages now but now I have finally broken through all the rubbish in the garage and got to where the valves are! Over the next 4 or 5 days I will have finally pulled out all the non-CV types so if there is anything of interest let me know quickly. Note that I will not be creating any more ‘ex-museum valve’ pages now as there is nothing left that is particularly special.

Several will go on eBay by the box load but these will be collect only. Sorry for those of you too far away to consider this but the hassle plus the time I have to sort this make postage simply not worth it for me. What does not sell will find a new home en masse – don’t worry, nothing will be scrapped.

A couple of people have made requests for a few items and these will be sorted soon. Also, things that were donated to me will similarly be donated to other collections.

Final note – I will not be sorting files out until after the collection has been trimmed. After that I will edit all those pages where there are a mix of CV and non-CV valves on a page and remove all non-CV imagery.

Trashing websites…

Well that was fun. I had to upgrade the version of Linux on the VPS that runs this and the valves website. WordPress is happy with the new o/s but changes to PHP, Apache and MySQL trashed the valve museum site.

First off, mysql_ is gone, enter mysqli_. I knew this already but I had not picked up on the fact that there is now no replacement for mysql_result. And I used it often. There is also the fact that the upgrade did not install PHP7 so I had to get that installed, plus the apache and MySQL glue. But that was the easy part.

Ok so I got past that with a temporary solution of writing my own mysqli_result() function with the help of a suitable Google search.

Then one SQL query did not work because MySQL now wants any variable that you use in a several to be present in the selected fields. Fair enough I guess, though not sure why.

So, after modifying the PHP scripts (3 of them) it all now seems to work. Phew.

Big clearance!

So… I started work now on the garage and that’s where all the valves are. I’ve been swaying for weeks now between just concentrating on CVs and also other British military types. And I’ve come to a decision, finally. My collecting interests have for some time now been just CV types but I have also kept bits going where I have collected 1Bxx, RELxx, and Ax/Nx/Vx British types, and all sorts of other bits and  bats.

I am now only collecting CV types – and by that I mean they must actually be CV marked – and will be selling off / giving away everything else. So if anything takes your fancy let me know. Pity shipping costs are so expensive these days… but then some of the stuff I have is rare so many well be worth it.

This will cut the collection considerably but will also help fund my other hobbies! I got to about 3,000 valves at one stage, currently there are just over 1,800 individual valves (plus a few duplicates), and just under 1,300 individual CV types in the collection. I will be culling many of the CV semiconductors too – I went a little mad there!

One other change is I am no longer cataloguing non-CV names, i.e. where a valve is dual marked. There are a number of these in the database which will slowly be weeded out once things are cut down. There are loads of data sources out there and the CV Registers show equivalents, so no actual loss of data. It just makes more sense to me to do it this way.

(Edit: note that some valves were donated and in such cases these will be donated suitably elsewhere)

Not a CV2429…

Here apparently is a CV2429, clearly marked on the valve which appears to have a glass tube surrounding the rod coming from the top connection going into a metal cylinder. I thought this was quite interesting when I received it, but a CV2429 is supposed to be a TR tube and looks nothing remotely like this guy!

(picture got lost when the blogs were merged…)