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Vacuum Tube

Does the current flow from the bottom left pin to the bottom right pin, or from the bottom pins to the cap on top?

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  • $\begingroup$ Both. The heater current goes from one heater pin to another (two of the pins on the base), the anode current goes from these to the top cap. $\endgroup$ – Brian Drummond Apr 9 '17 at 18:43
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This may be short, but might answer the question:- pinout

It's an 811 power triode. There is no cathode per se as it's also the heater filament.

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  • $\begingroup$ If this were a damper diode instead, would it function the same minus the grid pin? $\endgroup$ – Joebasqueo Apr 9 '17 at 0:35
  • $\begingroup$ @Joebasqueo I think so, but you get specific valves for that like a PY88. They're not that common though as valves are not easily damaged by the odd high spike. Electrically they're way more robust than semiconductors. These days those types of rectifier valves are usually in audio amplifier PSUs. $\endgroup$ – Paul Uszak Apr 13 '17 at 11:54
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I believe that's a 4 pin triode. The camera angle makes it look like 2 pins. The top connector is usually a connector for the plate/anode. You would need three pins for the heater/cathode and one pin for the grid, similar to this.

Operation is (simplified) heat up the negatively charged cathode to boil off electrons, which are attracted to the positively charged plate. Modulate the stream of electrons by varying the voltage on the grid.

Diagram of a triode

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