TubePad, in all versions, is a free for use share-ware library of images
which were created by Gary Johanson, WD4NKA, who holds the copyright to
the images and the name "TubePad". TubePad may be used without restriction
in non pecuniary applications, such as private web sites, educational sites,
etc. Sites that sell items for profit, commercial sites can use TubePad
too, but with a proviso: Tell the viewer that you are using TubePad in a
way that they can find it. Or, include the name "TubePad", and whatever
version you are using, somewhere on the margin or lower or upper corner
of your schematic. It would be considerate if everyone did this, commercial
or not, just for the sake of spreading the availability of TubePad. but
for profit sites, i will make it a requirement. For your convenience,
please copy and paste the following to an appropriate place
near your TubePad schematic, or in a place where it can be found:
This will produce the HTML coded link to this page.
05.26.03 update corrects an omission in TubePad 6.0\Manual\pentodes.html, which is a link to 5763.html. This will add a tube to the Tetrodes/Pentodes navigation bar. Download pentodes.zip. After download is complete, unzip into the Manual folder of TubePad 6.0. Or, if you have a routine unzip file, copy or drag the unzipped file, "pentodes.html" into TubePad 6.0's "Manual" folder. Allow this to overwrite the existing folder.
10.25.04 update adds for the first time, vector format files. These downloads are entirely experimental. Two file types are available. The first is the native FreeHand 11 file format. This is really put there for myself, for access between where i live and up in Ocala, where i work. But you can play with it too. If you do, let me know how you fare.
The second file is an encapsulated post script file, which is good on Correl Draw, Quark and Illustrator. I understand some CAD programmes can use .eps, too. Again, if you want, play with it, use it aboard your own system, and let me know how things go.
Both these files are simply the standard work area, surrounded by schematic symbols which can be dragged directly to the workspace, saved, and re-used again. These are called InterDevelopmental Environments, or IDEs. I have saved these files with guides showing, and have left the "snap-to" option. The symbol input and outputs should line up with the guide grid. You simply drag your components into the work area, then draw the lines between them. Use your application's text attributes to label what you have done. Click here to have a sneak peak at what the IDE looks like. What you will not see is the page in the center, .jpg and .gif does not pick it up. Those squares with symbols you see surround the work page, which has a grid of blue guide-lines set at 5 x 5 pts. The symbols are grouped images but can be ungrouped for editing. IDE is set so that the images will "snap" to the guide lines.
TubePad is not a program, firstly. It is a series, or library of images. These images can be called upon by any image viewer, although TubePad was written (drawn) on and for MS Paint. Because there is no execution file, there is nothing to run but your own on-board .bmp IDE. This makes for an extremely safe, non-invasive, and easy to use system of creating decent looking schematics and design illustrations for hobby, web-design, educational, and whatever other use one might think up. Several sites are already finding TubePad very handy for on-site schematic rendering. TubePad has shown up, i have noticed, in some audio web-zines too, so word is spreading.
If you want to lay out a large, 15-tube complex project, yeah, try a CAD program. But if you just want to lay out a 3-tube regenerative, or a 2 or 3 tube MOPA, or post that VFO schematic to your site, TubePad is about the easiest way to go. Cheap, too.
A brief discussion follows, explaining and describing the uses of TubePad for your consideration.
NOTE: I would like to add here that if you have problems downloading TubePad 5.0, unable to unzip the file, takes too long to download, or your system just won't allow for the transfer for one reason or other, i would be happy to send a CD version at a nominal fee which covers the CD itself, shipping, and packaging. Contact me for more info on the CD. CDs will be burned for each request, there is no "stock". I do this right from the house. What you'll probably wind up getting is a beta-version of TubePad 6.0 which has all that is on this site (5.0), plus the calculators on this site, and an HTML tube manual which is in progress, but already has about one hundred common tubes active. The goal is to have about 250 common tubes. There is also a scan of a 1939 Meissner receiving tube manual, containing info on several '20s era tubes not found on most more recent manuals, OR on the web-manuals. Progress on TubePad 6.0 is posted on the "What's New?" link in the navagation bar.
Soon, i had drawn a rather large library of tube oriented schematic elements. Then, at the request of my solid state friends, i included more up to date symbols, and some digital logic elements. Still later, in an effort to make my renderings of old regenerative receivers a little more nostalgic, i went back into the old books and magazines to produce a series of "Old Style" schematic symbols, the type as would be commonly seen in the 1930s.
I hasten to add that there cannot be a copyright on schematic symbols, they are public domain. Several other web-sites contain similar libraries, and darn good ones at that. Mine is just another, with attention paid to the older artwork styles.
Then the TubePad project began to take on a life of it's own!
Not content to just have a schematic, i wanted to use the computer-monster to help me in the physical dimensions of my radio projects. I therefore created a library of 2-dimensional sillhouettes of actual component parts such as transformers, tubes, tuners, chassis mounted filter caps, so-239 connections, and soon i was able to use my Paint accessory to actually work out my layouts using the schematics i generate. Again, not a new idea, other web-sites have that too.
Suddenly, it dawned on me that it would be nice to actually produce a pictorial of the point to point wiring of each discreet part to it's associated component, to help me visualise how to lay out the project before i punch the first tube socket hole. Also, to leave a record of my wiring set-up, possibly even e-mail my proposed layout to a friend for perusal and advice. Also, to include on a web site, or, like the schematics, to use with a projector and Power Point for instructional use. I then set out to produce individual drawings of resistors, capacitors of all types, chokes, tube socket top and bottom drawings, transformer base wiring using the Paint colour options, and etc. This endeavour took hundreds of man-hours to individually draw, to make look somewhat realistic, and yet easy to manipulate.
Many programmes have the ability to flip and rotate each drawing, but some do not. For that reason, i included several positions for some of the component renderings.
I have included a sample rendering from each library through the links above.
Finally, in the 6.0 version, i included a tube-manual after a sort. I call it a tube "Short-List" simply because it is limited to about 150 tubes. There are over 10,000 varieties of tubes, and for the average hobbyist, about 2 per-cent is actually needed. I chose the tubes most frequently found incorporated into the designs of projects from QST, CQ, and various handbooks over a span of years covering approximately 1927 - 1967. i do not have many loctals, i include a few "magic-eye" tubes, a bunch of triodes, tetrodes, and pentodes, a few diodes, and in the future i want to add voltage regulators and some more mixer-type tubes, like heptodes.
All of these libraries combine to provide an interesting venue to use as you desire. The point is simplicity, and the idea was to use a simple application for this purpose, such as Paint. Note that all the schematics used on my site are generated in TubePad.
These are free downloads. Also, there will be a CD available for both versions, in fact there really already is. It works like this: you e-mail me and say "Hey Gary! Your file doesn't wanna download on my machine! Can you mail me a CD?" and i say "Yeah, gimmee your address and i'll send it" And you say "Gee, that's awful nice of you. How much is it? 30, 40, 50 bucks?" and i say, smuggly, sipping my coffee "naw, 5 bucks ought to cover the CD, burning, packaging, mailing, and part of a bag of eight-o'clock coffee." and you say "Woww! wait'll i tell all my friends!" and i say "Aw, gee . . . ."
A special thanks is in order for all those great folks on the Glowbugs List who helped me beta test this "programme", enduring all those updates that I mailed to you every day. A special thanks to Prof. Arnie Corro, who gave much needed advice during the drawing of TubePad. Muchas Gracias, Amigo!
Good Providence in all your endeavours.
gary // wd4nka
"...he that forgets the past forfeits the future."