Thursday, November 19, 2009
Nixie Tube clock
I've got the Nixie Tube clock from tubehobby since June I think. I just did not have time to build it and also did not have the mood to enjoy my DIY stuff.
Recently, I finally tried to build the kit. When testing the power for the B+, I did so without the PIC in place and without the tube as I needed to adjust it to 160V. However, when doing so, I could only get close to my input voltage from my 12v SMPS supply. I looked at the circuit and tried to trouble shoot according to the circuit diagram, focusing only at the high voltage section. No clue... I then emailed Jonas from tubehobby as a last resort. He replied promptly in the evening. He mentioned that the PIC would be required in order to generate the voltage.
With this tip, I retried with the PIC connected and viola! B+ is there! After adjusting for 160v, I worked on the tube board, mounting the tubes to the sockets and then connecting them onto the logic board. Plugging in a 12V 2A smps supply, I turned it on and the tubes are lighted. I noticed that on most tubes, there is ghosting of the seconds display over itself. Initially i thought it could be that the B+ was not high enough. Actually, I think the components were running in. After around 10 mins of operation, the digits were clear.
In that time, I configured the time and date and also the "sleep duration" of the tubes. I got this particular board from Jonas because it is has better features compared to what's available out there on ebay and the web. The neat features are the sleep mode and the battery backup. I'm so tempted to get the kit for the larger tubes. ;)
In the meantime, I'm gonna build an enclosure for this baby.
More pics here.