Sam’s LM-386 Amp, a picture of my workbench, and blue tubes.

sams cigar box amp

Sam’s non-cigar box amp

My brother-in-law came over because he wanted a cigar box amp. He also wanted to build his own enclosure, and I think it looks superb. It sounds great, too. With the limited sound holes and a totally enclosed box, it creates low end and crunch like no regular cigar box. I am including a picture of it just to show it off. He had some great workmanship. I believe he used 3/4″ plywood, which he didn’t quite like because it chipped every time a tool came near it. He painted it with eight coats of black paint and then furniture polished it.

The second order of business is that I left my guitar amp in a public place and somebody thought they would play it. Well, I’ll be if it didn’t start glowing blue. I guess the sound is okay, but I’ve never seen my tubes glow blue before. I’ll probably

6DG6 (6DG6GT) tubes glowing blue

6DG6 (6DG6GT) tubes glowing blue

buy some new tubes for it in the near future. They’re pretty inexpensive. It’s the shipping that kills. This is the tube amp that I built using the featured tutorial on Instructables. I’ve talked about it before. If I could really wail on some guitar, I’d make some recordings of it. Dreams and arm pits.
Here’s the picture of the 6dg6 tubes glowing blue. I really like how it looks. It’s a beautiful sight to me, and if they weren’t so stinkin’ hot and if the amp wasn’t so big, I’d just leave these babies glowing as a night light.

I really love that!!! They only glow blue when the HT is on. I’ve read conflicting reports about blue tubes, but I really don’t have a professional opinion of my own. It’s mainly credited to impurities in the vacuum. Either way, I’m not to worried about it. Tubes go bad. Big deal. It’s an opportunity to buy presents for my amp. :) (I learned from a reader that blue tubes are okay. Thanks to Kent L. for emailing me about this. In short, Kent says that blue along the envelope is a sign of a good vacuum. 10-22-2012)

The last thing that I’d like to mention is the disarray of my work bench. This is out kitchen table. Well, it was our kitchen table. I started repairing large objects, and the kitchen table had lots of room.  My wife and I moved it into my school/work/music/junk room. There is a bunch of stuff on this thing! I have a Marshall 9000 all tube stereo PA amp and a Marshall 9000 guitar pre-amp that I’m waiting on the go-ahead to repair. That’s the big item. Then I have a cigar box amp, a Blackberry, a pile of tools that need to go back in the tool box, a Garmin GPS, a flash light, a video camera, glade spray, an Ubuntu book, a butane torch for melting heatshrink, and other assorted cool things. The meter on the black box to the bottom right of the screen is the variable power supply that Jared and I built several years ago. I love using that thing. Thanks for tuning in. It’s more than just a project…It’s a mess.

I'm too busy to clean :(

I’m too busy to clean :(

About robbie

I am an electronics enthusiest and a ham radio operator (W1RCP). I like to play with electronics. It's fun and educational. I looked forward to working in the engineering field in the future. I have a BS in Electronics Engineering Technology from DeVry University. I also have an Associate's degree in Marketing Management from Moultrie Tech, and a diploma in Electronics from MTC.