The first element designates function. The next elements varies in interpretation. For ignitrons, rectifiers, and thyratrons, there is a digit, then hyphen, then the anode current in amperes, a slash, anode voltage in kV. A letter may be attached to designate water cooling (no letter designates a radiation cooled device). For transmitting tubes in this system, the second element starts with a hyphen, a sequentially assigned number, then an optional letter specifying cooling method. For phototubes and photomultipliers, the second element is a sequential number and then a letter code identifying vacuum or gas fill and the type of cathode.
In the English service electric tubes (in the United States called "primers") are mostly used, but percussion or friction tubes are preferred on the continent and electric tubes are seldom or never used.
There is another designation system for professional tubes such as transmitter ones.
Michael Cotten started "The Tubes Project" in 2005, to save and digitize the band's reel to reel and video tape archive. The collection had been kept in the closet of Tubes fan club president Marylin Wood's son after being discarded in the late 1980s. Included in the vault are full color shows taped for TV at Bimbos in San Francisco, 1975 and VARA TV from the 1977 European tour. Over 70 interviews were conducted with band members, crew, managers, cast and colleagues such as Re Styles, Todd Rundgren, Al Kooper, Devo and David Foster. Hundreds of photos were scanned and compiled from band members and fan collections for use in the hour and half documentary.
Vacuum tubes which had special qualities of some sort, very often long-life designs, particularly for computer and telecommunications use, had the numeric part of the designation placed immediately after the first letter. They were usually special-quality versions of standard types. Thus the E82CC was a long-life version of the ECC82 intended for computer and general signal use, and the E88CC a high quality version of the ECC88/6DJ8. While the E80F pentode was a high quality development of the EF80, they were not pin-compatible and could not be interchanged without rewiring the socket (the E80F is commonly sought after as a high quality replacement for the similar EF86 type in guitar amplifiers). The letters "CC" indicated the two triodes and the "F", the single pentode inside these types.
A few special-quality tubes did not have a standard equivalent, e.g. the E55L, a broadband power pentode used as the output stage of oscilloscope amplifiers and the E90CC, a double triode with a common cathode connection and seven pin base for use in cathode-coupled Flip-flops in early computers. The E91H is a special heptode with a passivated third grid designed to reduce secondary emission; this device was used as a "gate", allowing or blocking pulses applied to the first, (control) grid by changing the voltage on the third grid, in early computer circuits (similar in function to the U.S. 6AS6).
After leaving the band, Jane Dornacker performed as stand-up comedian and later worked as a traffic reporter with the team that replaced Howard Stern at WNBC. She was killed in a helicopter crash in 1986, while giving a live report. A benefit show was held for her daughter at the Warfield in San Francisco with the Tubes and Todd Rundgren.
The common friction tube is a copper tube, packed with powder, having at the upper end a short branch (called a nib piece) at right angles. This branch is filled with friction composition in which a friction bar is embedded. When the friction bar is sharply pulled out, by means of a lanyard, the composition is ignited and sets fire to the powder in the long tube; the flash is conveyed through the vent and ignites the gun charge. For naval purposes, to prevent the sailors from being cut on the face or hurting their feet, tubes of quill instead of copper were used. If friction tubes are employed when cordite or other smokeless powder charges are used, the erosion of the vent is very rapid unless the escape of the gas is prevented; in this case T-headed tubes are used. They are similar in action to the ordinary type, but are fixed to the vent by the head fitting a bayonet joint formed with the vent. The explosion blows a small ball upwards and blocks the coned hole at the top of the tube and so prevents any rush of gas.
To provide a higher rate of fire, the last pull-lanyard friction T tubes in British service were replaced from 1907 in the converted 15pdr with a 'push' T tube, using an impact detonating compound, in a new axial vent.
Note: See also standard M-P tubes under Z
In the early 1930s, the Grigsby-Grunow Company – makers of Majestic brand radios – introduced the first American-made tubes to incorporate metal shields. These tubes had metal particles sprayed onto the glass envelope, copying a design common to European tubes of the time. Early types were shielded versions of tube types already in use. (The shield was connected to the cathode.) The Majestic numbers of these tube types, which are usually etched on the tube's base, have a "G" prefix (for Grigsby-Grunow) and an "S" suffix (for shielded). Later types incorporated an extra pin in the base so that the shield could be connected directly to the chassis.
Grigsby-Grunow did not shield rectifier tubes (except for type 6Y5 listed below) or power output tubes.
The following tubes were used in post-World War II walkie-talkies and pocket-sized portable radios. All have 1.25 volt DC filaments and directly heated cathodes. Some specify which end of the filament is to be powered by the positive side of the filament power supply (usually a battery). All have glass bodies that measure from 0.285 to 0.400 in wide, and from 1.25 to 2.00 in in overall length.
The tubes in this list are most commonly used in series-wired circuits.
Another type of weeps is a tube that can be made formed by using hollow plastic or metal. The spacing between the tubes is about 16 in apart. The installation of the tubes are done at angle to allow water to drip out. If the angle is too steep, the opening hole inside the wall cavity will be too high for water to come out. If the angle is too flat, the mortar used in laying the bricks may drop into cavity and block the tubes. Sometimes a shallow layer of gravel is laid to prevent mortar dropping from blocking the tubes. The thickness of the plastic tube, however small, will create a small dam that allows water to pool inside the wall cavity.
Some of the first boiler tubes, particularly the du Temple with its sharp corners, could not be cleaned of scale internally. Tubes were later cleaned internally by attempting to pass a hinged rod through, with a brush at the end. For the curved tube designs, often only part of the tube could be reached. Another method was to pass a chain down the tube from above, pulling a brush behind it, although this was unworkable for boilers like the Thornycroft where the tubes first travelled horizontally or upwards. The eventual method was to use 'bullet' brushes that were fired from one drum into the other by use of compressed air. Sets of brushes were used, one for each tube, and they were carefully numbered and counted afterwards to ensure that none had been left behind, blocking a tube.
Tubes suffered a heart attack in January 2018 and spent time off show whilst recovering.
Another technique to form tubes instead of using permanent tubing material is to use oiled rods or ropes. The oiled rod or ropes will be placed and mortared into the joints. The oil prevents mortar bond and the rods or ropes can be removed after the mortar is set, creating a hole similar to the use of a tube.
The northern tube, which carries westbound traffic, originates at Broome Street in Manhattan between Varick and Hudson Streets; it continues to 14th Street east of Marin Boulevard in Jersey City. The southern tube, for eastbound traffic, originates at 12th Street east of Marin Boulevard, and surfaces at the Holland Tunnel Rotary in Manhattan. The entrance and exit ramps to and from each portal are lined with granite and are 30 ft wide. Although the two tubes' underwater sections are parallel and adjacent to each other, the tubes' portals on either side are located two blocks apart in order to reduce congestion on each side. The Holland Tunnel's tubes initially contained a road surface made of Belgian blocks and concrete, but this was replaced with asphalt in 1955. Each tube contains a catwalk on its left (inner) side, raised 4 ft above the roadway. Five emergency-exit cross-passages connect the two tubes' inner catwalks. When the Holland Tunnel opened, the catwalk was equipped with police booths and a telephone system, stationed at intervals of 250 ft.
The three tubes, operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (formerly Port of New York Authority), comprise six traffic lanes in total and carry a combined total of almost 113,000 vehicles per day. In 2017, there were 19,039,210 tolls collected in the eastbound direction. Although the center tube normally provides one travel lane in each direction, both of the travel lanes in the tunnel's center tube are reversible and can be configured for peak-hour traffic demand if needed. The northern and southern tubes respectively carry westbound and eastbound traffic exclusively. Normally, only motor traffic uses the tunnel, but every year, a few bicycle tours and foot races pass through by special arrangement.