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It occurred to me that since tubes get inserted and removed that this could cause some flexing in the board and break things. Whats the alternative to not mounting it on the PCB for a more physically and electrically robust interface?

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  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ Chassis mount as done in older valve amplifiers and radios. \$\endgroup\$
    – Transistor
    Apr 5 '16 at 20:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ You will have to mount something on the PCB, won't you? You can make a rectangular adapter board with a ZIF socket for it.. Pretty ugly. \$\endgroup\$
    – Eugene Sh.
    Apr 5 '16 at 20:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ Don't use a PCB. Use tags trips and point to point wiring just like in the old days. \$\endgroup\$
    – user207421
    Apr 5 '16 at 23:17
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Rather strange question. How often you are changing tubes (unless you are making tube tester)? If 1-2 times per 2-3 year I wouldn't bother about the PCB strength.

But if you need stronger mount you can try:

  1. Use thicker PCB (for example 2.5 or 3 mm thick).
  2. Use better sockets - some has separate holes for PCB fixation, I've also seen an old fashion socket with thin brass tube in the center to be soldered on the PCB.
  3. Mount sockets on the chassis of thin metal (steel or aluminum) and use wires from the bottom to connect to the PCB.
  4. Don't use PCB at all.

Also - google how the vintage radios TVs looked inside (there are lot of pictures).

Hope this helps.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ 5. Have PCB mounting holes near the tube sockets, so that the mounts pick up the stress. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 5 '16 at 21:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Options 3 & 4 are the good ones. A tube that has been in place for a while can take some considerable force to remove. Given that 50 year old tube amplifiers are still in common use in the music world (and most current tube designs are aimed at that market) designing for the long haul is good practice. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ecnerwal
    Apr 6 '16 at 3:26

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