There are some things to consider when
using solid state solid state replacements for the #83 & 5Y3
tubes in Hickok tube testers. If this is done with no
load on those tube's filament supply, the test readings will
be inaccurate. Plus the DC voltages provided by the solid
state devices will be higher as well. The increased voltage
provided by the solid state replacements is not so much of a
problem in and of itself because all the applied voltages will
be a bit higher with respect to each other. However since
there is no voltage regulation in these tube testers the lack
of filament current draw (of the now missing tubes) will
cause other voltages to rise significantly affecting all the
test readings. The #83 filament draws 3 amps, the 5Y3 another
2 amps. That's a significant amount of current not to
I have successfully replaced the tubes
using solid state devices without seriously altering the
test readings by installing power resistors across the
filament supply of the missing tubes to compensate the
tube's filament current. Adding dropping resistors for the
increased B+ were also installed. That's a lot of work for
tube substitutions, 5Y3's are common and cheap. The #83 is a
bit more expensive but not rare. The resistors needed
dissipate a lot of heat, so their location is an important
consideration when making such a modification. Also, the
resistor values are important.
I question the statements made by the
internet sellers of the replacement solid state replacement
for the No. 83 tube. These statements are miss-leading!
and there is a difference in the test results.
BOTTOM LINE! - If you value accuracy
in your tube testing, save yourself some grief, it's best to
use the tubes.