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Vacuum tube clock kit Answered

This lovely clock is made from a new kit from Adafruit Industries. Once they're back in stock you can get the whole kit for $65 or just the PCB for $15. If you truly want to do everything yourself you can make the whole thing yourself with instructions here.

HOWTO make a vacuum fluorescent display clock

Discussions

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joeporter
joeporter

10 years ago

Some of the blue LED display clocks sold today remind me of the fluorescent display ones sold years ago.

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Kiteman
Kiteman

10 years ago

I keep meaning to justify the expense of putting a nixie-tube clock together...

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Goodhart
Goodhart

Reply 10 years ago

I know what you mean, even one like this one would do for me.

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gmoon
gmoon

Reply 10 years ago

Have y'all heard of Numitron displays?

These are Nixie "lookalikes," but only require a low voltage to operate (~12V.) Much simpler (and safer, too.) Easy to find on the old ebay...

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Uncle Kudzu
Uncle Kudzu

Reply 10 years ago

interesting! never heard of Numitrons. they look pretty cool, and simpler and safer sounds good too.

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Goodhart
Goodhart

Reply 10 years ago

some vintage and retro items are just not the same if fiddled with too much (what's the fun in making it so safe one hasn't much need for care being put into their work?). :-)

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gmoon
gmoon

Reply 10 years ago

I don't get your point. Numitrons are "vintage"--they just aren't nixies (which aren't particularly old technology themselves.)

(Speaking as someone who works on more dangerous retro tech things than most here...)

But suit yourself.

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porcupinemamma
porcupinemamma

Reply 10 years ago

umm what's a nixie?

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gmoon
gmoon

Reply 10 years ago

Nixies tubes are retro display devices from the 50's and 60's.

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porcupinemamma
porcupinemamma

Reply 10 years ago

thanks for explaining :0)

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Goodhart
Goodhart

Reply 10 years ago

Just because I haven't published anything that was dangerous doesn't mean I haven't worked with dangerous things ;-)

I could, from past experience, publish such guides as:

How NOT to ground an automobile coil (with you hand while kneeling on the bumper)

5 things not to do with gasoline, including pouring it into a sink hole and igniting it

5 things not to do with gunpowder

Hints on archery and where / what not to shoot arrows at

One sure fire way one should NOT use to make a TV tube safe

Things one should not punch

And what kind of wire not to use for a 10,000 VDC power supply

And etc.

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gmoon
gmoon

Reply 10 years ago

Sorry, I'm just trying to understand your original comment. To me it reads as:

"When using vintage technology, I'm incapable of proper care and craftsmanship, unless there's a potential danger involved. "

And I'm having a hard time believing that's what your saying...

I've built and serviced a lot of stuff with HV and vacuum tubes, but I enjoy modern semiconductors, too. They're just different. I've never noticed any projects turning out better simply because there was HV involved.

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Goodhart
Goodhart

Reply 10 years ago

I was kind of teasing a bit really, but I do like having to be a bit careful with my work (one, two, or 3 piece puzzles don't make the grade ;-)

No need to be sorry, I am sorry that I didn't indicate more clearly that I was not totally serious. I have repaired a few tube radios, but that was mostly a HACK job of replacing filter caps etc. I once took a VERY old toaster apart, to replace the cord for my wife's grandma......I NEVER got it back together again.....holy Toledo, millions of little pieces ! *sigh* and they went everywhere....but I am off on another tangent again....BTW: I like different and I DO build most of my stuff with somewhat modern parts (I still have difficulties with SOT though).

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gmoon
gmoon

Reply 10 years ago

Maybe we all take more pride in building something outside our comfort zone...be it valves, microcontrollers or cookies...

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Goodhart
Goodhart

Reply 10 years ago

Something dangerous is outside my comfort zone really.

Actually, anything to do with electricity is outside my true comfort zone (I am deathly afraid of electrical shocks) , and yet I picked it as my hobby of choice.

I do like to grow in my understanding and that requires leaving one's comfort zone. ;-)

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Kiteman
Kiteman

Reply 10 years ago

Exactly.

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Brennn10
Brennn10

10 years ago

Adafruit Industries can create some amazing kits. This one is absolutely beautiful!

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lemonie
lemonie

10 years ago

The display works like a CRT (electron-impact on phosphor) so strictly speaking it's not fluorescent. L

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Goodhart
Goodhart

Reply 10 years ago

true, that would make it phosphorescent ;-)

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=SMART=
=SMART=

10 years ago

That does look really nice

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red-king
red-king

Reply 10 years ago

I like the blue coloured numbers.