Nixie Tube Watch Anyone?

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by Crusader68, Dec 17, 2015.

  1. Crusader68

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 6, 2015
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    Just bought 4 NL-5870s and they are a little to small for an aesthetically pleasing clock, so I'm planning on doing a watch.
    No where have I been able to locate any open-source nixie based watches. The closest I've come across is CathodeCorner's watch, which is like the originator of the nixie watch, were they show a schematic of their watch but it's in pdf form. I've used CAD software like, Eagle, but never on something this complex and since it's a pdf, and not a Eagle .sch file, it's not really usable ATM.
    Does anybody have a board that they've made for nixie watches? I'd be willing to compensate for a board or board files. I guess I could hire someone to turn that schematic into a proper format for production, but I would imagine it would be quite costly so I thought I'd check here first.
     
  2. AnalogKid

    Distinguished Member

    Aug 1, 2013
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    Production? What are your market projections? Also, how about a link to the board and schematic you described?????????????

    ak
     
  3. Crusader68

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 6, 2015
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    No market projections, I'm not interested in selling anything, plus the design isn't licensed for commercial reproduction. By production I just meant files that can be readily sent off for fab to one of the small batch PCB fab services, like OSHPark or DirtyPCBs.
    Schematic can be found here
    http://www.cathodecorner.com/nixiewatch/firmware/nwrf-schem.gif
    Overall I think this is a well done circuit but I would change a few things, make it more simple and fit into a smaller case.
     
  4. JohnInTX

    Moderator

    Jun 26, 2012
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    I'm actually kind of charmed by the idea of a Nixie watch. My kids have Apple watches. I would love to roll up my sleeve, flip up the tubes and get the time, preferably accompanied by the soft whine of a HV flyback converter firing up for the tubes.
    Let me know if you need help with the PIC code..
    @Wendy has posted stuff on 3D printing on the forum - maybe for the case?
    Carry on!
     
  5. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,765
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    No problem with that. You draw a mechanical drawing and I'll translate it into a 3D drawing (they are basically the same). I tend to use SketchUp, but any CAD program that comes out with a .stl file will work.
     
  6. alfacliff

    Well-Known Member

    Dec 13, 2013
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    I have some neon displays for clocks, some a bit small, they are flatter and use a 7 segment format in HH:mm format. would they be of any help?
     
  7. Crusader68

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 6, 2015
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    John:
    I will definitely be interested in taking you up on that offer. I want to remove the adxl335 accelerometer that this code uses to activate the display in order to safe the battery life. I plan on adding a touch sensor/switch to trigger the display, to me it's much more simple and less prone to accidental activation.
    Plus I am thinking about doing away with the CR2 battery in favor of either a coin cell or a lithium polymer battery with a micro USB recharging feature. I'm just concerned with the reliability and safety of the LiPo batteries.
    I started trying to cobble together a board layout based off of the schematic above. I was using EagleCAD but none of the ICs are included in the "Components" library, so I've been trying out Upverter's layout program. The cool thing about Upverter is that if a component you want to use isn't among the pre-loaded parts, you send a copy of the datasheet to the "Concierge" and they will create the part symbol for you! My progress is quite slow going.
    This might sound like a dumb question but when you read s circuit schematic, is there any way to tell what size/packaging of each component? Or is it up to the individual to decide?
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2015
  8. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
    6,031
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    Funny you mention Apple and Nixie in the same post. I met the guy who made this watch for the Apple co-founder. "The Woz" doesn't wear no stinkin' Apple Watch!

     
    absf, SgtWookie and JohnInTX like this.
  9. Crusader68

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 6, 2015
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