Author Topic: EEVblog #948 - Nixie Tube Display Project - Part 1  (Read 54377 times)

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Offline FrankBuss

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Re: EEVblog #948 - Nixie Tube Display Project - Part 1
« Reply #175 on: May 03, 2017, 09:19:38 am »
Annotations don't exist anymore, and were never visible on mobile anyway.

Right, I just tried it and got this message: "The ability to add or edit annotations ended May 2". So they disabled it today. Good timing. But they can do "cards", which work even on mobile. But looks like no free text annotation is possible with cards. I guess not a technical limitation :palm:
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Offline rea5245

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Re: EEVblog #948 - Nixie Tube Display Project - Part 1
« Reply #176 on: May 03, 2017, 09:35:38 am »
In other words, the fact that Dave was so confused by pcbshopper's results is exactly why you should use it

And why you should take it as gospel! :-) :-)

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Offline mrpackethead

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Re: EEVblog #948 - Nixie Tube Display Project - Part 1
« Reply #177 on: May 03, 2017, 03:22:24 pm »
Are the design files avaiable for this somwhere dave?

I think some of the PCB Fabs would love to send you pcbs in the mail bag and then you can tell us how good they are .
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Offline rs20

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Re: EEVblog #948 - Nixie Tube Display Project - Part 1
« Reply #178 on: May 03, 2017, 03:33:06 pm »
I think some of the PCB Fabs would love to send you pcbs in the mail bag and then you can tell us how good they are .

Yeah, nah, I don't think I'd trust that. I'm sure they'd pay unusually close attention to getting their solder mask alignment especially perfect, making a special point of not marring the silkscreen with fab identifiers, etc; if not straight up making an order from PCBZone or Eurocircuits and passing it off as their own. Either way, assuming that it was completely representative of a random hobbyist order seems risky.

Also, if you want quite an old comparison (it's out of date, PCBZone now supports several colours and ENIG finish):

 

Offline mrpackethead

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Re: EEVblog #948 - Nixie Tube Display Project - Part 1
« Reply #179 on: May 03, 2017, 04:20:39 pm »
I think they would be settng them selves up for a massive amount of trouble if they did that. These guys woud'tn wnat to set an expectation for a product that was streets ahead of what they make.. It woudl just end up with a LOT of HATE>
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Offline Macbeth

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Re: EEVblog #948 - Nixie Tube Display Project - Part 1
« Reply #180 on: May 05, 2017, 08:06:30 am »
As the owner of PCBShopper.com, I would like to clear up some of Dave's confusion.

At the 36 minute mark, Dave is using PCBShopper and saying some nice things about it - thank you! But at 36:15 he asks why more companies aren't showing up when he selects 5 business days, because he knows that many companies offer a 5 day lead time. The reason is that PCBShopper's day selection field is labeled "Boards arrive in:", and the Total Days column in the results has a footnote that says:

Quote
"Total Days" is a worst-case estimate of the number of business days it will take for you to receive your PCBs, i.e. manufacturing time plus shipping time, excluding weekends and holidays. If the manufacturer says "5-8 days", we quote 8 days.

So PCBShopper is telling you lead time plus shipping time, and so very few companies can deliver the boards to your door in 5 business days. Contrary to what Dave says at 36:40, PCBShopper is showing the complete picture. As for whether PCBShopper should be taken as gospel: since Dave is an atheist, my goal is to be better than gospel with him. :-)

At 37:30, Dave is puzzled that PCBShopper didn't show him the same price as PCBWay. The reasons for that are: 1) PCBShopper is quoting the Express 24 hour price, since Dave asked for the boards to arrive at his door in 7 business days and DHL shipping quotes "3-5 business days". 2) PCBWay adds a PayPal fee to their price at checkout, and PCBShopper is taking that into account. (Regarding points 1 and 2, in PCBShopper's results for PCBWay there's a note that says "Select the express 24hours build time. Price includes PayPal fee." And 3) PCBWay is showing US dollars and PCBShopper is showing Australian dollars (there's a pull-down control at the top of the PCBShopper price results that lets you switch to US dollars).

At 37:40, Dave says "PCBShopper has failed us". That's an unfortunate choice of words. In fact, PCBShopper has provided the correct results.

- Bob Alexander
  PCBShopper.com
 

This is fair criticism. I wonder if a useful improvement to the website would be to list the best case scenario and the worst case using the data supplied by the PCB manufacturers and courier companies, rather than just assuming the worst.

Then add a "realistic" estimate of board delivery based on historical user feedback.
 

Offline mrpackethead

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Re: EEVblog #948 - Nixie Tube Display Project - Part 1
« Reply #181 on: May 05, 2017, 08:40:24 am »
theres a couple of Things that break it for me.

(a) Once you become a registered customer of some sites, the pricing changes.  They do reward loyality and over time the discounts get bigger.   I'd not be so happy to pass on my login details to a third party

(b) Minor spec changes when you are pricing can make a big difference to the end price...  You might see that it saves $40 by waiting an extra day..     This all gets hidden.. 

Ultimately the pcbs are actualy so cheap now that i'm much more interested in a reliable consistent thign that i know what i'm getting.
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Offline rea5245

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Re: EEVblog #948 - Nixie Tube Display Project - Part 1
« Reply #182 on: May 05, 2017, 09:14:52 am »
(a) Once you become a registered customer of some sites, the pricing changes.  They do reward loyality and over time the discounts get bigger.   I'd not be so happy to pass on my login details to a third party

Nor would I ask you to. Nor would it be practical to: imagine PCBShopper asking you for your account information to 25 different manufacturers! No way that would be a good user interface.

If you have a long-term relationship with a company, then you're probably not shopping for the lowest price and you don't need PCBShopper's service (unless you occasionally want to make sure your preferred manufacturer is treating you right).

(b) Minor spec changes when you are pricing can make a big difference to the end price...  You might see that it saves $40 by waiting an extra day..     This all gets hidden.. 

By default, PCBShopper tells you the manufacturers' default manufacturing speed. For most manufacturers, this is the cheapest they offer. PCBShopper only changes that if you specify the number of days you need the boards in. And if you do that, you're basically telling PCBShopper that you're on a tight schedule and time is more important than money.

- Bob Alexander
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Offline rs20

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Re: EEVblog #948 - Nixie Tube Display Project - Part 1
« Reply #183 on: May 05, 2017, 10:15:13 am »
When I was watching the video, I saw that the website showed a total time of 5 to 8 days, and Dave had configured the request to be for a 7-day delivery. I didn't have to read the footnote on the pcbshopper website to know that displaying an option that could take anywhere from 5 to 8 days when you need the board in 7 days is outright lying. To criticize this decision is puzzling to say the least, worst-case time is obviously the most valuable metric if you need the board within x days. But maybe that's just because I'm an engineer and I take the principle of designing for worst case too far.

Then add a "realistic" estimate of board delivery based on historical user feedback.

!!! What do you think the chances are of random people regularly back-calculating and reporting delivery times? What's in it for them? And what are the chances of their numbers being accurate? And how do you factor for Rural vs Urban, Domestic vs Business? This is a wildly impractical idea, predicting actual shipping times is a problem that is not at all specific to pcbshopper, and one that is completely unsolved at that.

Quote
(b) Minor spec changes when you are pricing can make a big difference to the end price...  You might see that it saves $40 by waiting an extra day..     This all gets hidden.. 

"Hidden"? Just try increasing the number of days and see! I'm sure pcbshopper could send out a bunch of extra requests with various parameters relaxed in order to provide such information, but you can see how long it takes to scrape all the websites already. Multiplying that by dozens of config permutations would make the website unusably slow, and we haven't even discussed how to display this information yet.

See, it turns out that it's easier to criticize than it is to create. I feel bad for Bob who has put a lot of effort into producing an undeniably useful website (even if you're of the opinion that you've "grown beyond" pcbshopper, it's obviously tremendously useful to newbies at the very least), and all he seems to be getting back is incorrect criticisms and/or demands for wildly impractical features.
 
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Offline rea5245

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Re: EEVblog #948 - Nixie Tube Display Project - Part 1
« Reply #184 on: May 05, 2017, 10:25:22 am »
Thank you, rs20.

- Bob Alexander
  PCBShopper.com
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #948 - Nixie Tube Display Project - Part 1
« Reply #185 on: May 05, 2017, 11:04:23 am »
Maybe Dave could add some annotations in the video, and write something in the description? I know, nobody reads the description :D but at least every new viewer could see the annotation.

Youtube does not allow annotations any more.
 

Offline Macbeth

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Re: EEVblog #948 - Nixie Tube Display Project - Part 1
« Reply #186 on: May 05, 2017, 12:10:10 pm »
Quote from: rs20
Then add a "realistic" estimate of board delivery based on historical user feedback.

!!! What do you think the chances are of random people regularly back-calculating and reporting delivery times? What's in it for them? And what are the chances of their numbers being accurate? And how do you factor for Rural vs Urban, Domestic vs Business? This is a wildly impractical idea, predicting actual shipping times is a problem that is not at all specific to pcbshopper, and one that is completely unsolved at that.

Yes, I did originally have a pessimistic "...and that is a whole other kettle of fish" on the user feedback thing but thought better delete that and maybe others could come up with something?

In particular I don't really know how PCBShopper gets paid - is it from referral fees, or adverts? Is there a token left that would allow actual genuine customer feedback vs trolls, etc?

Of course any metric is not a guarantee which is absurd, but all the big boys Amazon, Google, Facebook, e-bay, AliExpress, etc. are making metrics from all your stuff and your upvotes/star ratings/feedback... They seem to be making $billions ...
 

Offline rea5245

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Re: EEVblog #948 - Nixie Tube Display Project - Part 1
« Reply #187 on: May 05, 2017, 12:24:10 pm »
In particular I don't really know how PCBShopper gets paid - is it from referral fees, or adverts? Is there a token left that would allow actual genuine customer feedback vs trolls, etc?

PCBShopper gets money from ads and nothing else. I do not get any money from referral fees and I do not get money to add companies to the price comparison list.

There is no way for me to get statistically valid information about delivery times. Imagine what that would require: manufacturers sending me order dates (which I would have no way of validating) and tracking numbers for their shipments (which would be a violation of customers' privacy).

Also, remember that statistics say nothing about an individual. There are two types of people in the world: people who need their boards delivered by a certain date and people who don't. If you need you boards by a certain date, you don't want to hear "there's a 60% chance your boards will arrive when you need them".

- Bob Alexander
  PCBShopper.com
 

Offline mrpackethead

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Re: EEVblog #948 - Nixie Tube Display Project - Part 1
« Reply #188 on: May 10, 2017, 11:12:03 am »
Just as a side topic.. ( though its a top topic i saw them advertsing ).. just had another box of PCB's and stencils come from Allpcb.com   Quality and turnaround ( and price ) all very good.  I've been using the HQPCB service..  ( allpcb lets you compare between about 25 differnet chinese fabs )..
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Offline T-Reu

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Re: EEVblog #948 - Nixie Tube Display Project - Part 1
« Reply #189 on: August 01, 2017, 09:34:54 pm »
I am really sorry if this has been asked before: Are the Arduino code sketch, the schematics and the PDB files up for download somewhere? I am working on a similar Nixie tube project for a SoundCloud play counter. Since I am not a seasoned veteran but an interested newcomer to electronics and programming it would be really helpful for me to be able to look into Dave's Arduino code so I can learn how other people program these things.
 

Offline runeazn

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Re: EEVblog #948 - Nixie Tube Display Project - Part 1
« Reply #190 on: November 18, 2017, 10:13:41 am »
Hey everyone,

I am trying to build a nixie clock and was watching the series of Dave. But one thing confuses me, I understand that Dave used a hex inverter that supports 3.3v logic as high. However, that would invert the clock signal? Is this then fixed in the software? As I can't find anywhere where it is inverted again in the schematic. Hope this question isn't too stupid.
 

Offline ryemac3

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Re: EEVblog #948 - Nixie Tube Display Project - Part 1
« Reply #191 on: January 21, 2018, 03:42:38 am »
Dave,

Any way you can post your final sketch for uNixieArduino? I'm trying to use the TPIC6B595 to shift out some data to some nixies and I can't for the life of me figure out how you did it. I tried to replicate what you did during the "Nixie Tube Display ESP8266 Wemos D1 Mini Testing" video, but I must be missing something. For now, I've just breadboarded three chips and have the outputs connected to some LEDs as a proof of concept. However, when I set "subs" to any number, all my LEDs are on. In the video you said you weren't sure if your Binary2BCD function was correct and that you hadn't checked it. So I'm sure the sketch was not final. Did you make any subsequent changes to the sketch after the video was posted? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
 

Offline Rafael

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Re: EEVblog #948 - Nixie Tube Display Project - Part 1
« Reply #192 on: January 21, 2018, 10:23:53 am »
Hi...

This project will be shared someday? Looks amazing!

Thanks!!
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Offline szechyjs

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Re: EEVblog #948 - Nixie Tube Display Project - Part 1
« Reply #193 on: January 26, 2018, 04:53:45 am »
I recently finished my nixie clock project. I used some ZM1000 tubes that I cleaned out of my grandpa's basement. I ended up using the HV5622 HV serial shift register. Even though the datasheet says it requires 10.8-13.2V supply voltage, it worked just fine with a 5V VDD and 3.3V SPI. As I'm a fan of STM32 MCUs I used a STM32F042C6, this provides me with RTC, SPI and USB capabilities. The clock is powered over USB with the use of a HV5W power supply from eBay which provides me with the 170V to power the tubes.

« Last Edit: January 26, 2018, 06:36:08 am by szechyjs »
 


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