WARNING: This is a bad idea. Prototyping with 170VDC is horrible. Never work on a live circuit, and always have protective fuses. I blew several fuses while working on this.
This summer, I managed to get my hands on several miniature vacuum tubes at a good price, and have been rolling around the idea of playing with them. One of my friends and I were hanging out last night with little better to do, so I decided to see if I could wire one up to use it to switch on and off an LED.
For the record, I do not know what I'm doing here. I managed to destroy two tubes, an LED, and two 2A fuses. On the bright side, I never shocked myself, which is the important part.
Finding the pinout of a vacuum tube is a two step process. On the side of the tube is a part number; for example, the tube I randomly picked out of the box and used was a 6CF6. Once you know what tube you have, you look up the base type for it:
Once you know the base type, you then look that up in another table to get the final pinout.
I'll say it again: Don't do this. I did this last night because I was bored, and that's really a bad excuse. It was fun to see an LED lit by electrons flying through the air (I also lit a Neon tube with it later), but the risk of electrocution from 170V is very high. I've been collecting tubes and older electronics books recently (Some of the books are quite quaint, having not yet started using such units as picofarads and Hertz, opting instead for the micromicroFarad and the cycle.), so I very well might end up doing something with this in the future, but for now I'll suggest we all stick to 5V and don't die.