Nixie clock finally coming together

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by magnet18, May 22, 2011.

  1. magnet18

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Dec 22, 2010
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    Well, a little over a year after stumbling across some random old part and googling it's number and somehow ending up looking at a nixie clock on the internet and getting the idea in my head to build one even though I had no idea how a diode worked or what a transistor was or what the cocept of current limiting meant, it's actually being assembled! :D
    Heres what I have so far, Think I'm insane?
    (SO... Many... Transistors... [44])
     
  2. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    Cool. Got a case for it yet?
     
  3. magnet18

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Dec 22, 2010
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    Not yet, I'm going to build one out of wood and plexiglass.
    I need to redesign the case though since I changed the clock (flipped the tubes so I didn't have to run a signal line all the way across)
     
  4. magnet18

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Dec 22, 2010
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    Haha, my chemistry teacher was totally thrown off by this, and asked where I was plugging the clock into it :p
    Then I walked him through it.
     
  5. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    I've build really big digital clocks. They can be quite popular.
     
  6. magnet18

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Dec 22, 2010
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    Really? Are there any pictures on the forum?
    And hows that blog post about building a clock coming?
     
  7. magnet18

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Dec 22, 2010
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    jeez this forum is fast paced.
    Had to dig this out of the 6th page
    Anyway, I got one numeral totally done :D I'll try to post pics tomorrow.
    Five more to go :p
     
  8. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    I have to finish up some other projects first before I start a new one.

    Radio Shack used to sell little PCBs that were meant to take a 7490, a 7447, and a display. The 7490 could be replaced with 7492. This meant it could be a BCD or a binary 6 counter. Sometimes they had good ideas, but RS could never maintain.

    I'm thinking of going with a similar approach.
     
  9. magnet18

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Dec 22, 2010
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    I went with a similar approach in the beginning of this, a board for each divider pair and a board for each nixie and its transistors.
    It worked and helped keep things straight, but since I was using 8 chips the tangle of wires was unbearable.

    I'm thinking about making a PCB layout that you can put the nixies themselves, and the transistors and resistors on, that way it will be easier to use these things in the future.
     
  10. magnet18

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Dec 22, 2010
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    Gots the seconds done and the beginning of the minuets, along with a reset and the fast/slow set for the minuets
    (every time I do this I manage to pack the transistors tighter):p:rolleyes:
    See the attachments
     
  11. magnet18

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Dec 22, 2010
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    Got it 1/2 done :)
    Ran it for 4 hours and everything seems to be working fine, the whole thing was stone cold except for the tubes, which were the tiniest but warm, I'm going to increase the current limiter since they're right at 2.3-2.5 mA right now.

    Reset and setting the time fast and slow both work, I used the other half of the 4013 so as not to interfere with the seconds.

    I used a NAND gate to invert the 1Hz to drive the other half of the colon.
    For simplicity I went with the IN-2's.
    Now I just wait for more resistors to continue.

    I'm also going to make a settable alarm through some rotary switches and AND gates.

    Sorry about the first image, the tubes freak my phone camera out, if anyone wants I can upload some good pics.
     
  12. SgtWookie

    Expert

    Jul 17, 2007
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    Ah, where's the leftmost digit? :confused:

    As it is, it will work fine up to 9:59 - how are you going to show 10:00?
     
  13. CDRIVE

    Senior Member

    Jul 1, 2008
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    I minor oversight? :eek:
     
  14. magnet18

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Dec 22, 2010
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    Haha, it's 1/2 done, you're looking at the seconds and rightmost minutes digit, there will be a second board with the rest, then they will sit together in the clock. :p
    The tubes are spaced correctly for this, I checked. :D
     
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