Nixie Tubes Displays and Clocks

Discussion in 'Electric Horology' started by ElectricTime, Dec 2, 2018.

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  1. ElectricTime

    ElectricTime Registered User
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    Sep 28, 2002
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    IEEE Spectrum has an interesting article on Nixie tubes - they used to be used on digital clocks and other devices with digital displays.

    I remember as a kid playing with an early digital calculator at Wang labs in the 1960's that used Nixie tubes for a display.




    MzA3NjEyMg.jpg
     
  2. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

    Jul 26, 2015
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    There is a chap makes nixie clocks from old scientific equipment, last one I saw was a rather nice decade resistance box. I felt it was a shame to destroy it but as least it gained a new life.
     
  3. leeinv66

    leeinv66 Moderator
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    There are at lot kits out there to build these clocks. There are many on Ebay both as a kit and completely built clocks.
     
  4. mldenison

    mldenison Registered User
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    I've got a few.

    The first one has GPS built into it. The second one uses somewhat rare ITS1 Russian Thyratron tubes that use gas segments,

    nixieclock.jpg Double colons.JPG
     
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  5. James McDermaid

    James McDermaid Registered User
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    It works like this . . . . You spot a high quality HP frequency counter on ebay and the listing says "don't know if it works" so you buy it and ship it home and discover all the Nixie display tubes are all missing.

    I use my old Hewlett Packard Nixie tube counter to measure beat on clocks as well as electronics work. Still doing scientific work myself.

    This all said . . . While going through my stash of old vacuum tubes I came across a small pile of assorted Nixie tubes languishing, and not harvested from some valuable piece of older high quality electronic test equipment. Guess I had better list em up.

    The big problem with the Nixie tubes is you need the tube socket that matches to make a proper clock. This can be tricky to find.

    The electronics needed to make the rest of the clock is easy - peezy.

    Prior to the invention of the LED there were a bazillion types of neon glow tube indicators, including those that can count to 10 (decade) internally.

    I always thought they were quite nifty.

    I made my first electronic clock using LED decade counter chips. I used a high quality quartz crystal controlled oscillator as the time standard. I later switchrd to computer CPU's which I learned have no way to keep time.

    Toward the end of gas glow tubes there were various colors ranging from blues to orange and purple colors. It should also be noted that glow tubes do not have an infinite life. I don't know if the Russian's still make the Nixe tubes but they make fine audio tubes.

    Jim
     
  6. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    I've made my own sockets before when I couldn't find the right one for a photodiode tube. I've recently bought another 7 photodiodes but with sockets this time. These are 1947 design tubes, going to get harder and harder to find the ones you want I think.
     

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