Nixies, was Re: Octal
julesrichardsonuk at yahoo.co.uk
Wed Sep 6 13:23:59 CDT 2006
Hijacking the thread for a second, but does anyone have any interesting ideas
as to what to do with a few Nixies, other than building the obvious (but
none-the-less cool) clock?
I scored my first ever Nixies today, nine of them, from some scrap equipment
 - now it's a case of figuring out what to do with them!
There's six NL840s, plus three NL842s (which have a decimal point). They all
seem to work, except for one tube where one quarter of the '8' character seems
to have given up.
 They came in "digital moisture computers", where the digital bit just
means it has a digital readout and the computer bit just means it has a bit of
analogue gubbins in there to calculate moisture from samples - there's nothing
too exciting about the electronics! :-) I kept one of the three units purely
for the PSU (just in case it has enough guts to drive all 9 Nixies) and then
just pulled the tubes + driver boards from the other two. Chip dates suggest
1980, which seems quite late to me - when did LCD displays become widespread
in equipment? Must have been about that time?
Damn, but they look nice when working - bright orange along the centres of the
digits with a faint blue glow around the edges. Far nicer than the Nixie
counter that we have at the museum (now someone's going to tell me that's a
sign that all the tubes are about to die ;)
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