Hickok Tube Testers, 1955-1965

As the country entered massive consumerism at the close of the Korean war, The market for vaccuum tube devices skyrocketed led by the new television sets. Transistors were catching on but were expensive and suitable for low powered applications only.

Hickok met this explosion with replacement models that were evolutionary rather than revolutionary in nature. Probably the most common commercial tube tester remaining today is the 6000 series (6000/A/B, 6005 with VOM). To confuse matters further, puchasers had a choice between an "early" socket module containing four, five, and six pin sockets used by pre-WWII tubes and a "late" module which included compactrons but could not even test its own 83 tube. Strangely enough, while the early module would seem to be much more desirable, bidders on on-line auctions do not seem to understand the difference.


6000 with early socket module   6000A with late (compactron) module


The 6000 series also contains two addional models worth of comment. The first I have been unable to date. It carries the 6000 designation with no suffix and appears to be a ""decontented"" model - unlike the others it has no transistor test and the sockets are fixed. I would have said this was a precursor to the 6000 line except for another oddity, the 6000B. This is clearly a later design (c.a.1963) yet also lacks transistor test and has fixed sockets. Does anyone know ?


6000 lacking transitor test and with fixed sockets       6000B also lacks transistor test


The 533 series also was refurbished in the form of the 750 and Hickock attempted to replace the 539 with the 752. These still used the basic Hickok GM two tube circuit but the markings changed to meed Radio Institute of America (RIA) standards.The 752 was considered a laboratory tester and had additional functions such as the second grid setting and capability to test multistage tubes without reconfiguration. Note the additional knob for the grid and test buttons. Initial versions did not have compactron capability which was added with the "A" revision. A 752A may be easily recogized by a third octal-sized socket in the vertical row to the left of the meter.


Hickok 750       Hickok 752