Project: Nixie Tube clock

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by Rocky_circuits, Dec 16, 2011.

  1. Rocky_circuits

    Thread Starter Member

    Nov 1, 2011
    47
    0
    [​IMG]
    Hello. I have finally finished my Nixie Tube clock. It has been quite the journey. A lot of time and money has been spent getting this up and running through various mishaps and mistakes. I ended up creating 7 threads in my endavours. In the end most of it was scrapped and replaced with an arduino which made life wonderful :)

    Here's the threads I refer to:
    How are nixie tubes triggered?
    Crystal oscilator
    Using nixie tubes as part of a logic clock?
    Setting the time
    Help building my logic clock
    Nixie Tube resistor calculation
    I don't get resistors



    [​IMG]
    There she is. While I feel that there may be a few adjustments to make, the clock runs great. I think the tubes may be a little to bright. I did measure it to be 2.5mA which is the nominal current though so it should be no problem.

    I also included some blue LED's underneath!
    [​IMG]




    To make this project, I ended up coding an arduino to count in binary. That ended up using 19 pins with just 1 left over to add a button to set the time. The arduino sends its outputs to 74141 chips that decode the 4 bit binary to 0-9. Thus the nixie tubes light up.

    I then created a box. It's not that good but I was in a pinch of time to get it done for class. I may make a new one in the future but this one works well. It has a black top but it is off right now.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It uses 9 volts and 12 volt power supplies. I could have definately gotten away with just one 9 volt power supply or one 12 volt PS but I chose to use the two because I was being a bit anal.
    I power the nixie tubes using a 180 volt power supply from allspectrum.com. I tried building my own but I think the mosfet was broken. It only ended up doubling my voltage so I went ahead and got the kit from that website.


    So what do you think? It aint the best thing in the world, but for my first ever electrical engineer project (probably my last school wise sadly, may not be continuing with the major) I think it is pretty good.

    I may have forgot a few things to talk about, hopefully not.

    Questions, comments, concerns?
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2011
  2. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,766
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    The sticky on the top of the Completed Projects forum spells out what is required for a Project to be displayed on this forum.

    Your project comes close, but does not have everything that is needed. This forum is to allow people to duplicate your work, and is not meant as a forum to show off your work.

    To be acceptable ALL documentation must be hosted by AAC. This includes pictures, schematics, and µC code. Schematics and µC (if applicable) are not optional, they are required. Whether or not you use pictures is up to you, but if you do use photos they must be either an attachment to your post or in our albums. If you do not know how to do this we will assist you (and teach how it is done).

    You Tube videos are acceptable as long as they do not contain vital information. This is the only exception allowed to hosting at AAC.

    You have until New Years Day to correct the deficiencies in the entry. If this is not done the entire thread will be moved into the Projects forum.

    If this happens it can still be fixed. When the Completed Project entry is brought to specification it can be moved back into the Completed Project Forum.

    Thanks for your entry. The moderating staff will work with you to bring it up to snuff. While we are the sole arbiters what is acceptable, we don't want to keep you from showing off your hard work and how you did it!

    This post will be removed once the project is documented properly.
     
  3. Rocky_circuits

    Thread Starter Member

    Nov 1, 2011
    47
    0
    My apologies, Bill. I should have taken more time to read through the sticky. Im travelling over the holiday and wont be able to create a full write-up of the project to follow the guidelines for the next 2 or so weeks. I just though I ought to show what I had made before I left.

    Thank you for the notification. For now I believe it may be better suited in the projects forum until I am back home.
     
  4. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,766
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    No problem. Like I said, it can be fixed.
     
  5. cumesoftware

    Senior Member

    Apr 27, 2007
    1,330
    10
    Very interesting! Seems to be a nice project. I really would like to see some schematics (as Bill suggested).
     
  6. nerdegutta

    Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    2,519
    786
    I couldn't get link to work...
     
  7. bertus

    Administrator

    Apr 5, 2008
    15,649
    2,348
    Hello,

    The link does not work, as it is an search ID.
    A search ID is personal, and can not be shown to others.
    Also the search ID will expire after some time.

    Bertus
     
  8. Rocky_circuits

    Thread Starter Member

    Nov 1, 2011
    47
    0
    I fixed all the links in the thread, the pictures had a / in them for some reason making it an invalid link.
    The schematic I was going to make my "clock" portion of the circuit out of worked great in the simulator but I believe it is flawed in real life. I think a simple change was only needed and that was to GND the inputs of A-D on the 74161 chips. That's why I ended up using the arduino. There's a lot more flexibility in it anyway

    I'll try and make a circuit or diagram when away from the family sometime soon that includes the arduino.

    Something I think important to note about making a nixie clock.. You can use any 4 bit binary clock circuit for it. I personally have the whole clock split into different parts in my head, primarily the display, clock, and power supply.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2011
  9. magnet18

    Senior Member

    Dec 22, 2010
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  10. Rocky_circuits

    Thread Starter Member

    Nov 1, 2011
    47
    0
    I hadn't seen your final version, looks good :D. Looks like your tubes were the ones with the upside down 2.
    code is definately the easy way.. but I ran out of time and it was getting frustrating having to buy new boards for this and that and then things not working. Im sure I could do it now that im not on a deadline buut I think I would rather just get a bigger arduino and make one heck of a wild case that does things every x something

    You should get on building that case, it'dlook really good!
     
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