Tube Cleaning Equipment

For those working in industries that require the use of a system of tubes, such as those in heat exchangers or condensers, good tube cleaning equipment is a must. When you rely a great deal on such a system, it is definitely in your interest to keep the system in tiptop shape.

In every tube system, as time passes and as, for example, water and air passes through the tubes, materials can and do accumulate, such as sludge, sedimentation, or corrosion deposits. If not removed or otherwise dealt with, these materials can make the operation of that tube system problematic. Therefore, the tube system needs to be cleaned from time to time to keep it working properly.

There are of course more ways than one to clean tubes, and not all of them make use of tube cleaning equipment. Those seeking to clean tubes also have the option of resorting to purely chemical means, such as acids or various cleaning solutions, for instance. However, not all sorts of tubes or systems made of tubes can be cleaned using such means – those systems that incorporate some plastic in them, for instance, can be very sensitive to chemicals. For such tubes or tube systems, mechanical means of cleaning, which make use of tube cleaning equipment, may be best.

Physical cleaners like tools that scrape the inner sides of tubes, balls whose surfaces are abrasive, or cylinders with bristles all around them can be slipped into tubes along with some water or a cleaning solution. As the cleaner moves along with the solution or water, it scrapes away the deposits, which are flushed out at the far end of the tube system. One may elect to make use of a pressure jet, or a large amount of water moving at a rapid velocity, to increase this method’s rate of success.

One sort of tube cleaning equipment that combines a cleaning head and flexible shaft with a pressure jet and an electric motor is known as an electric tube cleaner. The user places the head and shaft at the base of the tube system and inserts it into the system and then activates the motor. The device’s motor then rotates the cleaning head and pumps water into the system as the head moves within the pipes, loosening the detritus that is clogging the inside of the tube system and flushing it out with water.

How Paintball Tubes Improve Game Strategies

When it comes to paintball, nothing strikes fear into the heart of a player more than running out of ammo. Both serious players who regularly visit the local field and amateurs who like to run around in the woods with their friends stand to benefit from preventing this problem through proper use of paintball tubes.

A paintball tube is a cylindrical container used to hold extra paintballs for when the hopper runs dry. They come in a variety of sizes and colors. However, the most common is likely the 140 tube in good-old simple clear. Some tubes have a simple latch and hinge to hold on the lid at the top, while the fancier ones have a spring loaded cap for maximum refilling speed. Expect to pay about $5 to 15 for a tube, with the more expensive ones being the aforementioned spring loaded model.

As far as actually using the tubes, one more piece of paintball equipment is necessary before rushing into battle: a harness. A good harness will last forever and faithfully hold tubes for the duration of its use. A harness holds anywhere from two to eight paintball tubes. Pick one that meets the needs of the position: front men typically need speed and agility, so they should consider the two-tube harness. Back men need all the ammo they can get, so they typically have the eight-tube harness.

To use a tube, simply open the lid on the marker hopper and the lid on the tube and transfer the paintballs from the tube to the hopper. If in a crouching position, rest the marker on the knees, and the non-shooting hand can be used in a cupping motion to assist the pour and minimize spillage. In a standing position, one hand must hold the marker while the other fills the hopper alone. It will take some practice before the refilling motion becomes second nature and can be performed accurately and rapidly, even under heavy fire. Some players consider the skill so important as to spend some time practicing the movement in isolation; however, many learn it on the fly in real game situations.

Unless the paintball matches one is involved in are of surprisingly short duration, the procurement and proper use of paintball tubes is a valuable skill in any good player’s arsenal of both equipment and techniques. Spend a little time and effort looking around for some good tubes and a good harness, and a player will be well on the way to taking their game to the next level.

Considerations For Your First DIY Guitar Tube Amplifier

If you have decided to take the plunge and build your own guitar tube amp, please let me share my early projects/mistakes with you to help get you going in the right direction.  But first, be sure you really want to build your own:

  • You should be fairly handy around electronics already, and aware of the dangers inherent in high voltage tube electronics and the precautions to take when working on tube amps
  • You shouldn’t have the expectation that you will save money… unless your time is worth nothing at all you can probably do better purchasing a completed amplifier, even from the kit vendors, but certainly on the open market as used

All said, though, there is a lot of satisfaction in completing and playing an amplifier you built yourself and having the license to further modify/tweak/voice your creation to perfection… so let’s get started:

Stumbling Through My first Few Projects

My first project started as an AM radio, it had occurred to me that this chassis and most of the components was quite suitable for an octal-tube-based Fender Champ-like single-ended amplifier and I wanted to hear the difference in tone between real tubes and the tube modeling in my Roland Cube amp… After studying some good tube amp books (see resources) I settled upon a plan and:

  • I fought with the old transformers (insulation turning to dust when you flexed the leads), used tube-sockets, noisy potentiometers and poor physical layout (working with the old radio chassis didn’t provide optimum placement of the major components for a tube guitar amplifier)
  • Found out that true point-to-point wiring isn’t the best choice for experimenting
  • I couldn’t find a non-microphonic old-stock pentode tube
  • The tone sucked… with hindsight I believe it was due to the underwhelming, un-branded, tiny output transformer, but I’ll probably never go back to check
  • Bottom-line, I learned a lot but it didn’t answer my fundamental questions about tube-tone because I didn’t end up with an iconic amplifier as a reference at the end of the project

I spent some frustrating evenings redesigning and reworking my first effort and then for my second major project I broke down and bought a kit that promised a clone of a vintage Champ amplifier.  Major findings included:

  • Saving a few pennies here and there on components isn’t satisfying when you end up investing a lot of time building the project and aspects of the end result look cheap (e.g. a plastic replacement for a ‘proper’ metal construction jeweled pilot light) or worse… sacrifice tone (e.g. cheap electrolytic capacitors)
  • I’ve grown a bit leary of un-branded chinese transformers that may not have even been hi-pot tested let alone certified by a safety agency; and who knows what laminations, etc. are used in the audio transformer?
  • Tiny chassis and cabinets aren’t the best choice for adding additional functionality to the stock circuit and very frustrating to work with
  • 8″ speakers and small cabinets suck tone… this amplifier sounds great when you plug it into a proper speaker & cabinet combination

Your First DIY Guitar Tube Amp Project

With the above experiences in mind it is time to summarize some considerations for the first project:

  • Simple project but not under-featured… something that will be satisfying and playable
  • Physically large for easy access, simplified assembly and room to modify
  • Well documented, well supported… not necessarily with user’s manuals and step-by-step construction guides, but rather by a community with active forums, or extensive web documentation, etc.
  • A complete kit of parts, no difficult sourcing of components
  • Good quality parts with the potential to upgrade them if desired… but moderation rules… you may want good value over extravagant components to minimize your downside if your project doesn’t come out well or you lose interest.
  • Standard sized chassis for easy sourcing of cabinets, or cabinets available from the kit supplier, or a desire, determination and ability to build (and finish) your own cabinetry

With the above given due consideration my third time was the charm! 

I recommend you search out a reputable supplier of tube-amp kits, and pick a model that suits both your taste in tone and a satisfying set of features for your first DIY Guitar Tube Amp!