Workshop Update for August 21st, 2012

With about a month until Maker Faire New York we’re scrambling to get things together. We’ve contacted some shops about showing up for a tour today.

A few bugs in the IR Toy code were isolated. Squashing will continue on Friday.

We’re also considering building a huge nixie thing with all the tubes sitting around. Could be fun to take to Maker Faire and keep in the workshop.

Routed the Smoke Tester v1 board.

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16 Comments

    1. I have a few with some letters, but only scientific notations. Most tubes only have 10 or 11 elements, so I think you’d be stuck with a limited alphabet (eg 4 letter word clocks).

  1. Ahh how nice. I was thinking of getting some to play around with, but it’s not readily available here in Singapore. Looks like I’m going to have to ship them from the US.

    1. I think the lesson of my big box of nixies is be cautious what you get :) There’s a tendency to buy and hoard them. I’ve had this collection for years and only did one or two small projects (learned a ton though!).

      The goal of this project is to give them all some use, if only artistic or random :D

      1. “Buy and hoard them” – you don’t say? :-)
        This is my current nixie collection: http://s15.postimage.org/7ig0y6n4r/Nixie_Collection.jpg

        Top left to right: 10 pcs alphanumeric ZM1350, 5 boxes @ 20 each of the tiny IN17, 8 pcs of the huge B7971.
        Left middle: A box with about 100 random nixies with 16 pcs of the red-tinted ZM2010
        Bottom left to right: 25 pcs of the beautiful & large IN-18, and then a bunch of random front-view tubes in different sizes, 10 pcs IN-1

        But I want more! and more! :-)

  2. Most nixes are sold by sellers from the former Soviet Union and also shipped from there. There are a mix of good and bad sellers but most of them seem to have formed a cartel to keep the prices up. There is a guy in Germany that is really trustworthy, somewhat more expensive than the ebay “Soviets” but you know that you will get tested and well packaged items.

    Ask Jan First is the name of the shop: http://www.die-wuestens.de/eindex.htm

    If you’re interested in Nixies you should also join the Neonixie-group at Google.
    https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!forum/neonixie-l

    1. Normally I would totally build one up, but since time is short I’ve ordered a hefty transformer to handle all the tubes.

    2. There are a couple of very nicely-designed power supplies sold by members of the neonixie-l group. I’ve used both of these supplies in clock designs and have been very happy with them. Standard disclaimer: I’m not affiliated with either of these guys, just a happy customer.

      Let’s see if I can actually post a link this time without messing it up…

      First, John Taylor has a couple of models available (handy comparison chart here). The very first nixie clock that I built was one of John’s kits (the “TI Appnote” kit, all 7400 series logic)

      Neonixie-l user threeneurons makes a nice dual HV supply that’s handy for nixie clocks which also contain a dekatron or two – it’s usually available on eBay via seller “tortugascuba”, sample link here.

      Threeneuron’s blog is a wonderful reference for working with nixies, dekatrons, and other obscure HV technologies.

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