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Gadget Freak Case #199: Nixie Millivolt Meter Clock Add-On
11/28/2011

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The circuit and breakboard.
The circuit and breakboard.

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Alexander Wolfe
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Need My Nixies
Alexander Wolfe   11/28/2011 12:46:08 PM
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Rob, where does one procure old Nixies for use in this project? Thanks.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Need My Nixies
Rob Spiegel   11/28/2011 12:55:23 PM
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Here you go, Alex:

ElectricStuff in the UK has compiled a good list of sources for Nixies in both the United States and Europe. A simple eBay search on Nixies will also produce results.


Gusman
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Iron
Decimal minutes?
Gusman   11/28/2011 3:14:16 PM
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Interesting project, but how to cause the display to correctly display time as based on 60, not decimal, for minutes?  Is this done in the software in the "Arduino"?

oldtimer8080
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Gold
Re: Need My Nixies
oldtimer8080   11/28/2011 3:43:48 PM
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http://www.ebay.com/itm/IN-8-2-Nixie-Tube-Set-Eight-/250941750056?pt=Vintage_Electronics_R2&hash=item3a6d4b3b28

 

This is old stuff. Nixie Clock kits are $89 on eBay too.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Electronic-Digital-IN-16-Nixie-Clock-Kit-IN-16-Nixie-Tubes-X-6-NOT-included-/300629784255?pt=Vintage_Electronics_R2&hash=item45feee76bf

 

My first project was a Nixie Clock. The second was a LED Clock at GTE PA , where spy sats were made.

Boy Scouting was fun.

George Kaye
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Silver
Kind of misses the point
George Kaye   11/28/2011 3:46:56 PM
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This isn't playing with Nixies. Buying Nixies, wiring tube sockets and getting a bite from the high voltage is playing with Nixies.

While interesting that this project outputs an analogue voltage which sometimes represents the correct time, not actually using the Nixie tubes directly kind of takes the fun out of it. You can use any dvm for this and that would be interesting in and of itself.

But what's the point if you don't risk getting a mild shock from playing with the circuit? And if you don't actually use nixies how are you going to learn anything?

Building a display with nixies is not a big deal, just some high volt switching transistors like a mpsa 42 or 92 tied to the output of the driver chip, whether it's a clock or voltmeter or a random number generator.

I've worked with vacuum tubes my entire life and there is a lot more fun to be had lighting them up and making them do something useful or even unnecessarily useful. 

You haven't lived unless you've been bitten by 30KV off a color CRT.

Ken Herrick
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Silver
Nixie tubes
Ken Herrick   11/28/2011 4:46:41 PM
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Readers might be entertained by a Nixie-tube artwork I made many years ago, using 4 "giant" Nixie tubes--reputed to have come from the NY Stock Exchange when they upgraded.  I attach a photo; the piece is about 4 1/2 feet tall.  I programmed it to deliver 512, 4-letter words arranged into droll and mildly insulting sentences/paragraphs, all decent.  It sold immediately from a gallery, to a realtor who put it in her office for the entertainment of her customers.  I wish I still owned it...

Ken Herrick



 

George Kaye
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Silver
Re: Nixie tube Art
George Kaye   11/28/2011 7:08:32 PM
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To Ken Herrick,

Well done! I wish I had thought of it. You have an eye that is better than the average engineer's.

Thanks for posting.

davidwheath
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Iron
Re: Kind of misses the point
davidwheath   11/29/2011 9:34:33 AM
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"You haven't lived unless you've been bitten by 30KV off a color CRT."

While I don't recommend the experience, I fully agree. You're not a skier if you haven't rolled down a few hills, and you're not a tech/engineer if you haven't been thrown across a room a time or two.


Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Re: Nixie tubes
Rob Spiegel   11/29/2011 9:51:26 AM
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Thanks for posting the art, Ken. That's a fine use of the Nixie tube. Anybody else out there with cool uses of the Nixie tube? The art use seems to have worked very well.

Ann R. Thryft
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Blogger
Re: Need My Nixies
Ann R. Thryft   11/29/2011 12:09:54 PM
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My husband serendipitously mentioned nixie tubes the other day, so I couldn't resist sharing his experiences with them

His dad was a Heathkit hobbyist back in the early seventies who also made a few digital clocks, a few of them sporting these very tubes. Hie remembers his dad designing the board layout from circuits pre-designed by an engineer friend, and then etching the patterns in an acid bath in the kitchen. Soon, my husband was drafted by Dad to solder the components onto the boards. Eventually, the move was made over to LEDs for reasons of power efficiency, but he says he still missed that yellow glow.


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