I have been playing around with my homebrew VFO, a Hartley oscillator, with a tapped inductor in the tank.
Rough parameters: 6AH6 pentode for the VFO, tank resonant at 1.8Mc, plate circuit resonant at 3.6Mc. Rather low-Q plate tank (on purpose, I want it to cover 100kc or so). Tank tapped about 1/3 of the way from the bottom. 150V from an 0A2 on the screen, bypassed by a 0.005 uF ceramic with short leads at the screen.
While playing around with it I found this weird mode where it wouldn't necessarily start up in constant oscillation. It would repeatedly (30000 times a second) start up (starting up very quickly, in just a few cycles), grid and cathode circuit amplitude would build up to about10V p-p, then the oscillations would slowly (over the next 30 microseconds) die down. Then it would repeat.
Hand capacitance near the grid or on the tank coil would often break it out of this mode and into more regular oscillation. Putting a 10x scope probe on the grid sometimes broke it out of this mode too.
What eventually made the circuit more reliable was putting a few hundred ohms in series with the grid. But I don't understand exactly how this helped.
My guess for this squegging mode is that the oscillator would suddenly start, the tank would ring, the tank would ring hard enough that grid current flowed, and that the grid current somehow would "latch" on until oscillation died out, then it would repeat.
Or, just maybe, it's more closely related to screen current and maybe some kind of oscillation of the 0A2 in the screen regulator. I tried changing the dropping resistor feeding the 0A2 and a couple different0A2's but the squegging seemed relatively insensitive to it.
Trying some other pentodes that were not so "hot" (e.g. 6AU6, 6BA6) changed the squegging a little but it was still there.
My not-understood fix, putting a few hundred ohms in series with the grid, is something that I've often seen in real-world circuits. I think this is to provide some degeneration, and always was under the impression that the degeneration was intended to prevent oscillation in the VHF range. It is possible that the circuit was indeed oscillating at a few hundred Mc but my scope (100Mc bandwidth) didn't see it. And I don't know how a 200Mc parasitic might cause 30kc squegging.