Author Topic: Lets see your Nixie Tube equipment  (Read 74497 times)

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Offline matseng

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Re: Lets see your Nixie Tube equipment
« Reply #50 on: January 09, 2016, 05:31:01 am »
I really can't classify this as "equipment" even if it actually works as intended being a 0.1..999.9mA constant current load, but I thought that I'd just post it here anyways.

I did this as my entry into the Dangerous Prototypes 7400-competition some years ago. It's a digitally controlled constant current load built out of 4000-series CMOS logic running at 12 volts except for the  K155N1 Nixie drivers which is TTL on 5 volts. No microcontroller here....  It looks like crap having different colored random sized pcbs and so...

The project is documented at http://dangerousprototypes.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=62&t=4735#p45823

   

 

Offline SLJ

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Re: Lets see your Nixie Tube equipment
« Reply #51 on: January 12, 2016, 03:59:42 pm »
New 'toy' (Chistmas Present) ;D

I like it. "It's always 57 somewhere".

Offline lausvi

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Re: Lets see your Nixie Tube equipment
« Reply #52 on: January 12, 2016, 05:37:48 pm »
This is currently my only working Nixie-thingy: a Philips PM2423 Digital Multimeter. It has AC/DC voltage and resistance measurements in 3.5 digits. Some more info in here: http://www.glowbug.nl/neon/PM2423.html. It's a bit limited but I have always liked it's slim look.

It has two more indicators on the left-hand side next to the display: negative polarity, resistance measurement mode indication and '1' for the .5 digit.

Couldn't find any references on the precision but seems to be running pretty good.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2016, 05:39:32 pm by lausvi »
 

Offline VK5RC

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Re: Lets see your Nixie Tube equipment
« Reply #53 on: February 01, 2016, 09:51:42 am »
I loved the 5245L when I saw it and found a 'dead' one for a good price, one fuse later and she is glowing! A bit of spit and polish needed.
Whoah! Watch where that landed we might need it later.
 

Offline HAL-42b

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Re: Lets see your Nixie Tube equipment
« Reply #54 on: February 01, 2016, 10:14:20 am »
You can't make a Nixie Tube current load and put a nasty keypad on it! You need a proper rotary dial.

« Last Edit: February 01, 2016, 10:17:22 am by HAL-42b »
 

Online Cubdriver

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Re: Lets see your Nixie Tube equipment
« Reply #55 on: February 01, 2016, 04:03:06 pm »
I loved the 5245L when I saw it and found a 'dead' one for a good price, one fuse later and she is glowing! A bit of spit and polish needed.

Loverly.  A 5245L was my first nixie equipped test box.  I blame it for the rest that have since come into my possession.   :-DD  I figure there are far worse things I could be blowing my $$ on...

-Pat
If it jams, force it.  If it breaks, you needed a new one anyway...
 

Offline matseng

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Re: Lets see your Nixie Tube equipment
« Reply #56 on: February 02, 2016, 07:57:07 am »
You can't make a Nixie Tube current load and put a nasty keypad on it! You need a proper rotary dial.



Hm... Yes, I think I actually agree with you. Unfortunately I don't have a rotary dial in my otherwise rather ample junkboxes and the ones I can find at local auction sites are classed "as antiques" and have asking prices approaching $200. :-(   But if I a rotary phone just happen to more or less just fall into my lap I'll retrofit my CC load - I promise.
 

Online BU508A

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Re: Lets see your Nixie Tube equipment
« Reply #57 on: February 02, 2016, 07:56:01 pm »
Hi,

this is my Nixie Digital Multimeter UGD 51 from Rohde & Schwarz. Based on the datecodes on some TTL IC I think it was build in 1974 or 1975.
It is a real nice meter and very seldom.
Enjoy the pictures. :)

Edit: This is the data sheet for the UGD 51, sorry, but I have it only in german:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/5n1okvd3nhbgfqn/UGD_51_Datenblatt_234051.pdf?dl=0
« Last Edit: February 03, 2016, 09:13:29 am by BU508A »
“Chaos is found in greatest abundance wherever order is being sought. It always defeats order, because it is better organized.”            - Terry Pratchett -
 

Offline HAL-42b

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Re: Lets see your Nixie Tube equipment
« Reply #58 on: February 03, 2016, 03:19:09 am »
Tubes ICs and Dzus fasteners on the front panel. Seems rather like some sort of aviation gear  :-+
 

Offline VK5RC

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Re: Lets see your Nixie Tube equipment
« Reply #59 on: April 17, 2016, 12:50:04 pm »
A nixie tube clock Nixies have developed some cathode poisoning, so I decided to have a go at 'cooking' it off as per 'tube-tester' Dieter's http://www.tube-tester.com/sites/nixie/different/cathode%20poisoning/cathode-poisoning.htm
The voltage discharge curve on a Nixie is a bit tricky so I used a LR645 (up to 400V in 10V linear regulator) and built a constant current source. So far using about double the data sheet max I (2x2mA) has cleaned a "2" in a IN14 CCCP tube.

LR 645 Data Sheet http://ww1.microchip.com/downloads/en/DeviceDoc/LR645%20A062113.pdf

Pic below 180V DC into current controller, 4.4mA, 163.4V out.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2016, 12:52:01 pm by VK5RC »
Whoah! Watch where that landed we might need it later.
 

Online Cubdriver

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Re: Lets see your Nixie Tube equipment
« Reply #60 on: April 17, 2016, 04:21:29 pm »
Rob, that's great!  :-+

Another useful tidbit learned here to tuck away for future reference. Keep us apprised as to how long it ultimately takes, and how well it works when put back in the clock.

-Pat
If it jams, force it.  If it breaks, you needed a new one anyway...
 

Offline VK5RC

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Re: Lets see your Nixie Tube equipment
« Reply #61 on: April 19, 2016, 09:21:28 am »
I have posted a few photos and a description of my Nixie rejuvenation experience at 
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/repair/rejuvenating-nixies-some-comments-photos/msg922119/#msg922119
It works well , go for it fellas ( and gals ).
Whoah! Watch where that landed we might need it later.
 

Online richfiles

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Re: Lets see your Nixie Tube equipment
« Reply #62 on: April 24, 2016, 07:40:49 am »

Here is the Sony Sobax ICC-600W I restored. On the shelf, it's the black and silver machine next to the blue and white machine.


In addition, I have a Commodore 512 and it's Casio equivalent, A Monroe 925, and A Remington 1259S, all using Nixie tubes. I can't recall if any others are using nixies, however, of special note (and NOT using Nixies) is my Smith Corona-Marchant Cogito 240 SR. It uses a CRT instead of nixies, but is absolution amazing anyway. It was made in 1965, and uses discrete resistors and diodes for it's logic. Transistors are generally reserved for line driving, inverters, and flip flops. Some of the other calcs use VFDs or panaplex displays.

The Canon 163 also uses Nixies.
 
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Online richfiles

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Re: Lets see your Nixie Tube equipment
« Reply #63 on: April 24, 2016, 07:46:19 am »

I built my PC case from a 1939 Philco radio cabinet, and installed a nixie clock in the front (those were postal box doors). The radio was long gone when I found the case. I've been wanting to mod it with a dekatron spinner that spins to drive access activity, and I've already added a seconds display to the second window!


In addition, I have six nixie tube/thyratron decade counter/dispaly boards from a 1961 TUBE based ANITA Mk7 calculator.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2016, 07:55:06 am by richfiles »
 

Offline Arhammon

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Re: Lets see your Nixie Tube equipment
« Reply #64 on: April 27, 2016, 12:37:08 pm »
This is my 5.5 digit(6.5 digit in millivolt range) Soviet multimeter. Based on i8080 compatible CPU. It has segmented nixie? display. It looks like a VFD but is powered by 200 and 133 volts.


Display. Fortunately, this is not my photo.

 
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Online richfiles

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Re: Lets see your Nixie Tube equipment
« Reply #65 on: May 09, 2016, 08:16:23 am »
This is my 5.5 digit(6.5 digit in millivolt range) Soviet multimeter. Based on i8080 compatible CPU. It has segmented nixie? display. It looks like a VFD but is powered by 200 and 133 volts.

Looks like it's probably a Soviet variant of a Panaplex display. My Monroe 344 Statistician uses a genuine Panaplex display. They were filled with neon gas, and worked very much like a nixie tube, except segmented, of course. They were generally multiplexed. Mine works perfectly fine. It's just displaying an error cause the four "D" size batteries in it are nearly dead. it flashes the screen when batteries are low. These probably just need some batterizers **cough** or some such bullshit **cough**, cause it's now too low to do anything!  :bullshit: :-DD

Don't forget to check out Dave's teardown of a sister model to this one, branded under the Compucorp name.


« Last Edit: May 09, 2016, 08:23:22 am by richfiles »
 
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Online Martin.M

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Re: Lets see your Nixie Tube equipment
« Reply #66 on: May 14, 2016, 06:32:19 am »
the restoration of my Systron Donner Counter 6053 is done, except I am searching for a new orange front glass, the old is rotten.

Here the oldie is counting a sine 1,25GHz delivered from my SWOB. (It can count up to 3GHz, a very fast counter)
It would be possible to enhance 2 nixies more by plugging them + 7 IC and to do 2 bridges, but a resolution of 10Hz in GHz mode requires for shure a external clock feed from a rubidium.


greetings
Martin

« Last Edit: May 14, 2016, 06:41:20 am by Martin.M »
 

Online richfiles

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Re: Lets see your Nixie Tube equipment
« Reply #67 on: May 14, 2016, 06:54:55 am »
I am actually really sad about the first nixie tubes in my life... They are sadly long gone... :'(

When I was a kid, I used to ride with my dad in the tractor when he was working in the fields, and the corn/soybean planter was equipped with a counter in the tractor cab that used nixie tubes to show the seed flow rate. It quit working ages ago, and then he got a bigger, better planter. At some time between me being a kid, and me realizing what he had... it had been removed and discarded.

I can't even find a decent picture of one, and my Google-fu is failing me... I wanna say it had three digits. I also recall that it had one of those sonalert style buzzers that you could twist to adjust the loudness. That was to notify you if your seed flow rate was too high or low. I can't recall how the rate was set. Whether it was pre-sets, analog, or a press to match? I dunno? It's been too many years. It would have been the 1980s when this still worked.

I wish he had thought to let me take it, but it just didn't happen. Seeing all these cool nixie tube counters reminded me of it. :(
« Last Edit: May 19, 2016, 03:35:56 am by richfiles »
 

Online richfiles

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Re: Lets see your Nixie Tube equipment
« Reply #68 on: May 19, 2016, 03:33:49 am »
So, I did a little more research, and once I found the magic words (for Google), I FINALLY found that seed flow monitor. it was an International Cyclo 400 Planter Seed Flow Monitor.

My memory recalled a lovely glowing orange tube... That much is true, but it turns out it's a Numitron tube, not a nixie. These were seven segment displays, but instead of LEDs, each segment was an incandescent filament inside a glass tube. It was an easy way to get a digital readout with a 12 volt DC power source, and not need to generate high voltages. The catch, of course, is that the filaments can burn out. The tube did not display the count. It only displayed the row selected (using the "Step" switch). It checked the flow rate based on three presets, and would use the lights on the left to indicate normal seed flow, or if the flow was high or low. The A, B, and C settings would have been used for general flow setting, and the "Auto/Manual" switch I think scanned through each row automatically, or held till you manually stepped it.

The crazy thing, is since people STILL use the old Cyclo 400 planters from the 1970s for regular use... These still sell on eBay from time to time for $200 or more! Yikes! Farm equipment never dies... It just keeps getting maintained or passed to the next farmer.

« Last Edit: May 19, 2016, 03:40:50 am by richfiles »
 

Online Cubdriver

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Re: Lets see your Nixie Tube equipment
« Reply #69 on: May 19, 2016, 04:31:09 am »
Must-not-start-searching-out-things-with-numitrons   |O

 :-DD

Actually, I've been pretty good - it's been a few weeks since I bought anything with nixies in it!   :phew:  (Though I am supposed to be picking up a Tektronix 310 scope tomorrow, so the tube addiction hasn't abated...)

-Pat
If it jams, force it.  If it breaks, you needed a new one anyway...
 

Online richfiles

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Re: Lets see your Nixie Tube equipment
« Reply #70 on: May 19, 2016, 07:16:46 am »
It's odd, but the ONLY numitrons I've ever encountered in the field... ahem... have been in agricultural equipment. Pardon my pun... ;)

The only device I own that has a numitron is an item I picked up at a thrift/antique store a couple years back. It was CLEARLY a one off, fully custom gadget. It was clearly hand made. I don't recall the function, but it was some manner of equipment someone would have used in an agricultural setting. Obviously the other numitron I'd encountered was in the Cyclo 400 planter monitor I previously mentioned my father having in his tractor when I was a kid.

Even though this is primarily nixies, I'll try to remember to get a shot of the device next time I am at my storage unit.

I suppose, it makes sense, given the fact that I live in an extremely rural location. While test equipment, lab equipment, and general digital devices are the first things that typically come to mind when one thinks nixies and numitrons... There really aren't any such industries locally. Best option would be the testing lab I work at, and they don't have any electronic equipment much older than 1980s. They actually keep their equipment reasonably up to date, at least by terms of usability and accuracy.

The cutting edge in technology developing in an area such as where I live, was bound to be the latest and greatest in farming machinery. In the 1970s, most rural families likely had a radio or two, one TV, not necessarily even a color model, and nothing beyond those two items more complex than your typical kitchen appliances and an electric clock (almost always in the kitchen, it would seem)... Yeah, the best tech was gonna be the fancy accessories in the newest farm equipment. Local banks might have made the switch to electronic calculators, but many small banks would still be using mechanical adders, and a family might have eventually got one of the new-fangled pocket calculators, once they dropped below $25... Half novelty, and half to make tax season and managing the budget less of a burden. Given the garage sale findings when I was a kid... People were just as likely to still just have mechanical calculators back then.

We got digital seed flow monitors in the 1970s. We had even more digital readouts in the tractors in the 1980s. Ground speed radar, GPS, and auto "row drive" were introduced in the late 90s and in the 2000s. Now there are even driverless tractors (both follow the leader and fully autonomous types). Agriculture is always at the cutting edge. Small time farmers just get the hand me downs! :P

We were using that little numitron equipped flow monitor through the 80s... Maybe even into the 90s. My grandmother bought a few houses in town in the mid 1970s, when realestate was low. She rented those out for years, and then sold them in the 90s... We still had pre-owned tractors!

I suppose, tho point of my long and rambling mental wanderings, is that devoid of any tech industries, the only real tech industry in my local would have been agriculture itself. That's why I only ever find ag equipment with these retro display technologies... All my goodies have to come by way of eBay and exorborant expendetures! :o RIP wallet!  |O
« Last Edit: May 19, 2016, 07:40:48 am by richfiles »
 

Offline VK5RC

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Re: Lets see your Nixie Tube equipment
« Reply #71 on: May 19, 2016, 11:36:39 am »
A bit of a ' fixer up' hopefully nothing too serious.
@Cubdriver, I think I can hear the numitrons calling you! HiHi!
Whoah! Watch where that landed we might need it later.
 

Offline Gyro

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Re: Lets see your Nixie Tube equipment
« Reply #72 on: May 19, 2016, 11:54:06 am »
Quote
It's odd, but the ONLY numitrons I've ever encountered in the field... ahem... have been in agricultural equipment. Pardon my pun... ;)

Numitrons were widely used in Petrol (gas) pumps in the UK until relatively recently (in the last decade anyway) they've all gone LCD these days.
Chris

"Victor Meldrew, the Crimson Avenger!"
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: Lets see your Nixie Tube equipment
« Reply #73 on: May 19, 2016, 05:03:45 pm »
Military moving map display, with a board on top driving the display. Serial data in to a whole load of shift registers, then a transparent latch and finally the lamp drivers, a whole load of CD4050 buffers. We did convert a few to LED displays, using a small PCB sandwich and a cordwood construction to fit in place of the original numitron sockets, and using the existing wire leads. Think of putting 10 1/8W resistors in the space normally occupied by a low profile connector, and the 2 PCB units and the solder in pin sockets used to plug in the display. Then wire up the whole board with the 20 odd displays, place in the housing then find out they are way too bright. Solution, other than to remove the boards and replace the 180R resistors with 330R ones ( I was not involved in the design, just the helper in putting them together) was to use a pair of 6A diodes in series in the common lead from the display, to drop 1V2 or so, and drop the current. 6A diodes, as the display current was in the order of 5A on full brightness and with display test pushed in.
 

Offline kultakala

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Re: Lets see your Nixie Tube equipment
« Reply #74 on: May 19, 2016, 05:29:48 pm »
I have no measurement equipment with nixies, but my old Casio fx-1.
Here in front of modern LED technology.

 


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