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Wigan, UK
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I've made a nixie clock.


It uses four IN-12s number nixies, one IN-35 bulb, four 74141 nixie drivers, two 595 shift registers, four 22k ohm resisters on the nixie anodes and a 200k ohm on the bulb. The nixies are driven by a 12v - 180v unit, the clock is a DS1307 (with battery backup).

The circuitry is currently all on a breadboard, I use a PC PSU for power (you may notice the arduino is powered by usb, this is the board I set fire to when I had a short and now only powers from usb. I knocked up a molex-USB cable).  The nixies are suspended from a Meccano gantry, and the arduino is attached to the side of it.

Front view (using a flash):


Top view:


Every now and again it displays a load of random numbers.  The amount and duration of the numbers is random, the interval between episodes is random (but a maximum of about once every 2 1/2 minutes - though it's currently shorter for the purpose of shooting the video).  This is to give it a bit of a faux flakey technology feel, I may add a small buzzer to increase the effect.

Tomorrow I'll be putting it in a box tomorrow, including dumping the big PSU since the 180v PSU has a 5v output.

sorry about the quality of the video...
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Milano, Italy
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Cool, you did it in the end! I am still thinking about my design  smiley-red
As of now I am experimenting something...
What sort of code do you use for cycling between numbers?
Fede

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Federico - Sideralis
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Wigan, UK
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I like that fade. My original plan was to have it behave as if the power supply was erratic

nixieNumbers and nixieNumbersB are the nixie control functions.
Code:
  if (gap == 0) {
    int reps = random(50)+10;
    for (int i = 0; i < reps; i++) {
      nixieNumbers(random(99));
      delay(random(100)+20);
      nixieNumbersB(random(99));
      delay(random(100)+20);
    }
    gap = random(255);
    nixieNumbers(hour);
    nixieNumbersB(minute);
  } else {
    gap = gap -1;
    delay(100);
  }
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I really gotta make one of these someday...
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Rouen, France
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Hi !

I'm about to do mine as well.
After too many weeks of digging around for schematics of power supply, driver schematics, etc. I'll start probably this week-end.

Is there any chance you can make a drawing of your circuit and a copy/paste of the code ?
Did you multiplex your tubes ?
How did you choose the resistance to protect your tubes ?
How to you manage the fading effect ?
etc. smiley

Anyway, nice project.
I'll share mine soon hopefully !


   Christophe.
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Wigan, UK
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I'll post the schematic and code after the weekend as I'm about to go away.

I use a 595 shift register to run two tubes, so I've got four 74141 chips and two 595 chips to drive four nixies.

User wyager told me what resistance to use. DON'T run one without a resistor, I broke a 74141 doing that.
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Milano, Italy
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How to you manage the fading effect ?
   Christophe.

You can do the fading effect only via pwm, if you manage to get it working while multiplexing the tubes...
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Federico - Sideralis
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Sydney, Australia
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Nice job guys! My tubes arrived the other day so this weekend is (hopefully) Nixie Time! I started laying out a simple switched mode power supply circuit to get me up to 170V, but I also bought a module from Tayloredge for $13 that looks great and far more professional that I could do, so might end up using that.


Cheers,
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Milano, Italy
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I am using this one
http://cgi.ebay.it/NIXIE-TUBE-POWER-SUPPLY-MODULE-FOR-CLOCK-/250747824418?pt=UK_Consumer_VintageAudio_RL&hash=item3a61bc2922
works great
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Federico - Sideralis
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Me too.  12v input, 180v and 5v output.  It's very handy for me and my damaged arduino, the 12v comes in to that module and the 5v powers the logic and the arduino through the usb port.
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AREA COLOGNE
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@federico
Would you share this code for the flickering nixies with us. I could imagine to use this flickering in mine nixie tube project. It would be finished very soon. An mixup new with old electronics :-).  The second hand was shown with 60 LEDs  at one ring on 40cm wooden plate. And in the centre would be 4 Nixie Tubes for hous and minutes.
All driven by 4 74HCT595 Shift register and 4 K155ID1 russian nixie driver ic
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So ist das Leben:
Manchmal bis du das Denkmal, manchmal die Taube!

Milano, Italy
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Cool project :-)
The code is actually really simple and it's just a test code. I plan to do a more accurate effect, starting blinking slowly then fast till fixed lighted up, like neon when are broken

By the way, this is the code of my video:

Code:
int aPin = 4;
int bPin = 5;
int cPin = 6;
int dPin = 7;

void setup()   {               
  pinMode(aPin, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(bPin, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(cPin, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(dPin, OUTPUT);

  randomSeed(analogRead(0));
}


void loop(){
  zero();
  delay(random(50,1000));
  blank();
}

void blank(){
  digitalWrite(aPin, HIGH);
  digitalWrite(bPin, HIGH);
  digitalWrite(cPin, HIGH);
  digitalWrite(dPin, HIGH);
  delay (10);
}

void zero(){
  blank();
  digitalWrite(aPin, LOW);
  digitalWrite(bPin, LOW);
  digitalWrite(cPin, LOW);
  digitalWrite(dPin, LOW);
  //delay (50);
}


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Federico - Sideralis
Arduino &C: http://www.sideralis.org
Foto: http://blackman.amicofigo.com

Sydney, Australia
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I looked at the Kosbo one too - and others, but the Tayloredge one has far better current output, is significantly smaller and was quite a bit cheaper, especially with shipping costs being included in the $13.

For information here's a comparison of the various units that are available: http://www.tayloredge.com/storefront/SmartNixie/PSU/comparison.html

(no, I don't work for em, or have any relationship other than a customer).


Cheers,
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Milano, Italy
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It's probably true, but the kosbo one whas shipped from europe... If I buy from america the final price is almost doubled (vat+taxes)
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Federico - Sideralis
Arduino &C: http://www.sideralis.org
Foto: http://blackman.amicofigo.com

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