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
compensate for the lack of.
I have successfully replaced the tubes
using solid state devices without altering the
test readings by installing power resistors across the
filament supply of the #83 tube to compensate the for
tube's filament current. Adding dropping resistors in
the plate circuit 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 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 will add that some use a
5Z3 as a sub for the 83 -not a good idea, there is a good
reason the Hickok engineers choose the #83 tube to use in
their circuit design.
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! - You can use solid
state rectifier replacements provided you re-calibrate your
tube tester. Calibration can be a tedious process on some
models. If you are not sure how to do so and you value
accuracy in your tube testing, save yourself
some grief, it's best to use the tubes.