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Pentodes

connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes

P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes by Tom Schlangen
P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes by Tom Schlangen
P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes by Tom Schlangen

by

P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes by Tom Schlangen

Tom Schlangen

Pentodes

P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes About the author Tom Schlangen
P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes About the author Tom Schlangen
connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

About the author

Tom Schlangen

Born 1962 in Cologne / Germanyd e s connected as Triodes About the author Tom Schlangen Studied mechanical engineering at RWTH

the author Tom Schlangen Born 1962 in Cologne / Germany Studied mechanical engineering at RWTH Aachen

Studied mechanical engineering at RWTH Aachen / Germanythe author Tom Schlangen Born 1962 in Cologne / Germany Employments as „safety engineering“ specialist and

Employments as „safety engineering“ specialist and CIO / IT-head in middle-sized companies, now owning and running an IT- consultant business aimed at middle-sized companiesStudied mechanical engineering at RWTH Aachen / Germany Hobby: Electron valve technology in audio Private homepage:

Hobby: Electron valve technology in audioan IT- consultant business aimed at middle-sized companies Private homepage: www.tubes.mynetcologne.de Private email

Private homepage: www.tubes.mynetcologne.decompanies Hobby: Electron valve technology in audio Private email address: serpentine@netcologne.de Tom

Private email address: serpentine@netcologne.deHobby: Electron valve technology in audio Private homepage: www.tubes.mynetcologne.de Tom Schlangen – ETF 06 2

Pentodes

P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Reasons for connecting and using
P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Reasons for connecting and using
connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

Reasons for connecting and using pentodes as triodes

Why using pentodes as triodes at all?

many pentodes, especially small signal radio/TV ones, are still available from huge stock cheap as dirt, because nobody cares about them (especially “TV”-valves),pentodes as triodes Why using pentodes as triodes at all? some of them, connected as triodes,

some of them, connected as triodes, can rival even the best real triodes for linearity,nobody cares about them (especially “TV”-valves), some of them, connected as triodes, show interesting

some of them, connected as triodes, show interesting characteristics regarding µ, gm and anode resistance, that have no expression among readily available “real” triodes,triodes, can rival even the best real triodes for linearity, because it is fun to try

because it is fun to try and find out.gm and anode resistance, that have no expression among readily available “real” triodes, Tom Schlangen –

Pentodes

P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes How to make a triode
P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes How to make a triode
connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

How to make a triode out of a tetrode or pentode again?

Or, what to do with the “superfluous” grids?

All additional grids serve a certain purpose and function – they were added to a basic triode system to improve the system behaviour in certain ways, for example efficiency.again? Or, what to do with the “superfluous” grids? We must “disable” the functions of those

We must “disable” the functions of those additional grids in a defined and controlled manner to regain triode characteristics.system behaviour in certain ways, for example efficiency. Just letting them “dangle in vacuum unconnected” will

Just letting them “dangle in vacuum unconnected” will not work – they would charge up uncontrolled in the electron stream, leading to unpredictable behaviour.and controlled manner to regain triode characteristics. We must look somewhat closer at each grid´s function,

We must look somewhat closer at each grid´s function, to find out how to reverse their functionality back to triode operation in the best way.they would charge up uncontrolled in the electron stream, leading to unpredictable behaviour. Tom Schlangen –

Pentodes

P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Function of the screen grid
P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Function of the screen grid
connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

Function of the screen grid

One of the principle problems of the triode is interelectrode capacitance, especially between anode and control grid.o d e s connected as Triodes Function of the screen grid C a - g

C a - g is a path transferring energy back from the anode (output) to the a-g is a path transferring energy back from the anode (output) to the control grid (input), thus reducing efficiency. This effect is mostly dependent on C a-g value and stage gain and is known as “Miller effect”.

The screen grid was invented to electrostatically shield (or screen) the anode from the control grid, reducing C a - g massively. a-g massively.

It also can be used as an additional control grid.from the control grid, reducing C a - g massively. An electron tube with four electrodes

An electron tube with four electrodes is called tetrode.grid, reducing C a - g massively. It also can be used as an additional control

Pentodes

P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Tetrode characteristics – fixed screen
P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Tetrode characteristics – fixed screen
connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

Tetrode characteristics – fixed screen voltage

Tetrode kink area
Tetrode kink area

Pentodes

P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Tetrode problems “Tetrode kink” due
P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Tetrode problems “Tetrode kink” due
connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

Tetrode problems

“Tetrode kink” due to secondary emission electrons from the anode, attracted by the screen at V g 2 < V a . g2 < V a .

Unstable operation at V g 2 < V a . Usable operation conditions are limited to V a > g2 < V a . Usable operation conditions are limited to V a > V g2.

Suboptimal efficiency, but still much better than a triode, especially at high frequency.operation conditions are limited to V a > V g 2 . A third grid, the

much better than a triode, especially at high frequency. A third grid, the suppressor grid, was

A third grid, the suppressor grid, was introduced.

Pentodes

P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Function of the suppressor grid
P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Function of the suppressor grid
connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

Function of the suppressor grid

Another grid we must care for…

Very wide meshed and negative to anode and screen grid, it has very few influence on fast travelling electrons on their way from cathode to anode – they just “pierce” through the weak electrostatic field.of the suppressor grid Another grid we must care for… But its weak electrostatic field is

But its weak electrostatic field is strong enough to repel slow moving, low energetic secondary emission electrons to the plate, blocking their way to the screen grid, thus preventing negative effects (KTxx: “Kinkless Tube”) further enhancing efficiency.they just “pierce” through the weak electrostatic field. It also can be used as an additional

It also can be used as an additional control grid.(KTxx: “Kinkless Tube”) further enhancing efficiency. An electron tube with five electrodes is called pentode. Tom

An electron tube with five electrodes is called pentode.Tube”) further enhancing efficiency. It also can be used as an additional control grid. Tom Schlangen

Pentodes

P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Pentode characteristics – fixed screen
P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Pentode characteristics – fixed screen
connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

Pentode characteristics – fixed screen grid voltage

V V a <V g2 a >V g2 Enlarged operation area Reduced kink area
V
V
a <V g2
a >V g2
Enlarged operation area
Reduced
kink area

Pentodes

P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Beam power valves A special
P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Beam power valves A special
connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

Beam power valves

A special case to circumvent the pentode patent

Beam forming plates are used instead of a suppressor grid. They work by forming a concentrated electron beam, which also prevents secondary emission electrons to travel from anode to screen grid.power valves A special case to circumvent the pentode patent To maintain their function, beam forming

To maintain their function, beam forming plates must be at cathode level. Usually they are connected to the cathode within the valve must be at cathode level. Usually they are connected to the cathode within the valve internally – no separately accessible pin.

Thus, beam forming plates cannot be used as an additional control “grid”. cannot be used as an additional control “grid”.

Pentodes

P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Where to connect what? ….
P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Where to connect what? ….
connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

Where to connect what?

…. to get triode characteristics, again!

s connected as Triodes Where to connect what? …. to get triode characteristics, again! ??? Tom

???

Pentodes

P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Possible screen grid connections Tom
P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Possible screen grid connections Tom
connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

Possible screen grid connections

Pentodes

P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Possible screen grid connections Screen
P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Possible screen grid connections Screen
connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes
P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Possible screen grid connections Screen

Possible screen grid connections

Screen grid connected to cathode

Special case of tetrode operation:screen grid connections Screen grid connected to cathode V g 2 just lowered to cathode level

V g2 just lowered to cathode level

Combined g1 + g2 control action is of multiplicative characterof tetrode operation: V g 2 just lowered to cathode level Valve is almost shut down

Valve is almost shut down Valve is almost shut down

Pentodes

P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Screen grid connected to cathode
P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Screen grid connected to cathode
connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

Screen grid connected to cathode

(Grid family characteristics shown)

Vg2 = 250V: Wide usable range
Vg2 = 250V: Wide usable range

V g2 = 0V hardly useful!

Pentodes

P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Possible screen grid connections Screen
P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Possible screen grid connections Screen
connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes
P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Possible screen grid connections Screen

Possible screen grid connections

Screen grid connected to control grid

Again, combined g1 + g2 control action is of multiplicative charactergrid connections Screen grid connected to control grid Extreme µ, but also extreme internal resistance ”Current

Extreme µ, but also extreme internal resistance Extreme µ, but also extreme internal resistance

”Current trickler”, only useful for few very special applications ”Current trickler”, only useful for few very special applications

Pentodes

P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Possible screen grid connections Screen
P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Possible screen grid connections Screen
connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes
P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Possible screen grid connections Screen

Possible screen grid connections

Screen grid connected to anode

Screen grid voltage is not fixed anymore, but swings with anodescreen grid connections Screen grid connected to anode Screen/shielding function of g2 is disabled Screen grid

Screen/shielding function of g2 is disabled Screen/shielding function of g2 is disabled

Screen grid area effectively added to anode area Screen grid area effectively added to anode area

is disabled Screen grid area effectively added to anode area Preferred method to connect g2! Tom

Preferred method to connect g2!

Pentodes

P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Possible screen grid connections Screen
P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Possible screen grid connections Screen
connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes
P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Possible screen grid connections Screen

Possible screen grid connections

Screen grid connected to anode

Usually, a low valued „grid stopper“ resistor is added to prevent parasitic oscillationsscreen grid connections Screen grid connected to anode Common misconceptions: The purpose of this resistor is

Common misconceptions:resistor is added to prevent parasitic oscillations The purpose of this resistor is not to limit

The purpose of this resistor is not to limit screen current (it hardly does, except when blowing like a fuse) not to limit screen current (it hardly does, except when blowing like a fuse)

The purpose of this resistor is not to keep Vg2 below Va (there is no reason to do so – wouldn´t not to keep Vg2 below Va (there is no reason to do so – wouldn´t work in a linear manner using just a resistor)

Pentodes

P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Possible suppressor grid connections Tom
P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Possible suppressor grid connections Tom
connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

Possible suppressor grid connections

Pentodes

P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Possible suppressor grid connections Suppressor
P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Possible suppressor grid connections Suppressor
connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes
P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Possible suppressor grid connections Suppressor

Possible suppressor grid connections

Suppressor grid connected to cathode

Normal way the suppressor grid is connected / operated in a pentodegrid connections Suppressor grid connected to cathode Does not do harm in triode mode For beam

Does not do harm in triode modeway the suppressor grid is connected / operated in a pentode For beam power valves, usually

For beam power valves, usually there is no choice to use another connection, since g3 is permanently connected to the cathode internally/ operated in a pentode Does not do harm in triode mode Preferred method to connect

since g3 is permanently connected to the cathode internally Preferred method to connect g3! Tom Schlangen

Preferred method to connect g3!

Pentodes

P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Possible suppressor grid connections Suppressor
P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Possible suppressor grid connections Suppressor
connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes
P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Possible suppressor grid connections Suppressor

Possible suppressor grid connections

Suppressor grid connected to control grid and screen grid

Combined g1 + g2 + g3 control action is of multiplicative characterSuppressor grid connected to control grid and screen grid Extreme µ, but also extreme internal resistance

Extreme µ, but also extreme internal resistance Extreme µ, but also extreme internal resistance

”Current trickler”, only useful for few very special applications ”Current trickler”, only useful for few very special applications

Pentodes

P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Possible suppressor grid connections Suppressor
P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Possible suppressor grid connections Suppressor
connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes
P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Possible suppressor grid connections Suppressor

Possible suppressor grid connections

Suppressor grid and screen grid connected to anode

Screen and suppressor grids swing with anodeSuppressor grid and screen grid connected to anode Normal functions of g2 and g3 are disabled

Normal functions of g2 and g3 are disabled Normal functions of g2 and g3 are disabled

Screen and suppressor grid area effectively added to anode area Screen and suppressor grid area effectively added to anode area

Alternate viable method to connect the suppressor grid (if it is accessible) Alternate viable method to connect the suppressor grid (if it is accessible)

Pentodes

P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Comparing suppressor grid connection influence
P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Comparing suppressor grid connection influence
connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

Comparing suppressor grid connection influence

Ca. 10-15%
Ca. 10-15%

Pentodes

P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Summary: Preferred grid connections to
P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Summary: Preferred grid connections to
connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes
P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Summary: Preferred grid connections to

Summary:

Preferred grid connections to get triode characteristics from a pentode are:

Screen grid to anodeto get triode characteristics from a pentode are: Suppressor grid to cathode (or anode) Preferred method

Suppressor grid to cathode (or anode)characteristics from a pentode are: Screen grid to anode Preferred method to connect g2+g3! Tom Schlangen

Preferred method to connect g2+g3!from a pentode are: Screen grid to anode Suppressor grid to cathode (or anode) Tom Schlangen

Pentodes

P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes What happens when you triode-strap
P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes What happens when you triode-strap
connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

What happens when you triode-strap a remote cutoff (variable µ/gm) pentode like EF92/6CQ6?

You get a variable µ/gm triode, of course

Still useful linear has range!
Still
useful
linear
has range!

Pentodes

P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Some practical examples Sometimes manufacturers
P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Some practical examples Sometimes manufacturers
connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

Some practical examples

Sometimes manufacturers of pentodes also published triode connected curves and often they are used this way. Famous examples include: EF86 (extremely linear), EL34 (everybody knows it can power a decent triode SE or PP amp).t o d e s connected as Triodes Some practical examples But – are there “sleeper

But – are there “sleeper tubes”? Cheap pentodes nobody uses in triode connection because there are no anode curves available for them? Maybe even from (gasp!) TV set heritage? And, can they compete to real triodes?linear), EL34 (everybody knows it can power a decent triode SE or PP amp). Yes, yes

even from (gasp!) TV set heritage? And, can they compete to real triodes? Yes, yes and

Yes, yes and yes!

Pentodes

P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes EF184 / 6EJ7 frame grid
P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes EF184 / 6EJ7 frame grid
connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes
EF184 / 6EJ7 frame grid pentode strapped as triode RL = 30k OP
EF184 / 6EJ7 frame grid pentode strapped as triode
RL = 30k
OP

102V

100V

Pentodes

P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes + V a(max) = 250V
P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes + V a(max) = 250V
connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes
+ V a(max) = 250V ~ ~ ECC88 = 40mA + I k(max) section! „ECC88
+ V a(max) = 250V
~ ~ ECC88
= 40mA
+ I k(max)
section!
„ECC88 section on steroids!“

Pentodes

P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Example: PCL84 compound valve based
P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Example: PCL84 compound valve based
connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

Example: PCL84 compound valve based headphone amp

Triodes Example: PCL84 compound valve based headphone amp Pentode sections connected as triodes in push-pull operation

Pentode sections connected as triodes in push-pull operationTriodes Example: PCL84 compound valve based headphone amp 100% class A triode(d) push-pull operation About 1W/channel

100% class A triode(d) push-pull operationPentode sections connected as triodes in push-pull operation About 1W/channel Po into 8 Ohms Due to

About 1W/channel Po into 8 Ohmsoperation 100% class A triode(d) push-pull operation Due to internal dummy load, it can drive headphones

Due to internal dummy load, it can drive headphones from <32 Ohms up to whatever impedancepush-pull operation About 1W/channel Po into 8 Ohms Also can drive small bookshelfs Automatic disconnect of

Also can drive small bookshelfsdrive headphones from <32 Ohms up to whatever impedance Automatic disconnect of speakers on headphone plug

Automatic disconnect of speakers on headphone plug insertiondrive headphones from <32 Ohms up to whatever impedance Also can drive small bookshelfs Tom Schlangen

Pentodes

P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Example: PCL84 TV compound valve
P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Example: PCL84 TV compound valve
connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

Example: PCL84 TV compound valve based headphone amp

n t o d e s connected as Triodes Example: PCL84 TV compound valve based headphone

Pentodes

P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Poor Man´s 300B? RL=5k 260V
P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Poor Man´s 300B? RL=5k 260V
connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes
Poor Man´s 300B? RL=5k
Poor Man´s 300B?
RL=5k

260V

220V

Pentodes

P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Example: SE amp circuit using
P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Example: SE amp circuit using
connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

Example: SE amp circuit using “TV duty” valves

Trioded EF184 used as µ-follower driver Trioded EL36 used as SE power stage

as µ-follower driver Trioded EL36 used as SE power stage Circuit courtesy of Gregg van der

Circuit courtesy of Gregg van der Sluys

Pentodes

P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Thank you very much for
P e n t o d e s connected as Triodes Thank you very much for
connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes

connected as Triodes
connected as Triodes

Thank you very much for your attention!

Next lecture:

Mr. Morgan Jones 14:00, library room