Step 13. -
Tube sockets! No drilling for tube lighting here, though - too many high-voltage traces running under the sockets. That's OK, though, because the amp's PCB already has six LEDs that we installed in Step 8.
We recommend the oft-used ceramic PCB tube sockets for the Torpedo as shown below - one wrapped as they come from the manufacturer and one unwrapped:
Inspect your tube sockets carefully. I've seen some where the tube-pin holes were partially or completely covered by the molded ceramic.
Next, I install my tube sockets a little differently than many. The sockets, their structural integrity, alignment and proper electrical connection are all important. You may end up plugging and un-plugging different tubes tens or perhaps hundreds of times. The sockets need to mounted properly to withstand that kind of fatigue. The electrical connection must be sound to minimize the effects of grounding issues. Finally, their alignment is also important to prevent permanently crooked tubes for the life of the amp. De-soldering one of these buggers is difficult, so proper preparation is key.
So, I start by splaying out the sockets' PCB pins so that the circle they form is slightly over-sized compared to the PCB pads. Looking at the pic below, you can see that the PCB pins are bent outward so that they're just outside the PCB pads:
IMHO, this forces you to slightly wedge the pins back inward, so that the fit is tight and secure - everything is pretty much locked into place before you apply the first solder.
Here we can see both sockets with their PCB pins splayed out, just prior to placing into the PCB and soldering into place:
Finally, solder them into the PCB. As with previous mechanical-electrical solder connections, ensure that the pads are completely filled and that you get wicking some distance up the pins on the top side of the PCB:
Note that the solder has wicked up at least 1/8" or so on each PCB pin leg. Turn the PCB over and apply solder to the top, if necessary, to ensure a good mechanical connection. While soldering on the backside of the PCB, treat the sockets as if you're tightening bolts on a spare tire - alternate soldering opposite pins until you've completed the circle.