Nixie clock I Vintage electronics

Posted on Feb 5, 2014

A clock using numeric neon lamps, also known as nixies. These display devices were common around the sixties and seventies and their use fell off after the invention of LED displays. Nowadays nixies have become valuable oldies and are hard to get even tough they are still being manufactured in very small quantities. This project was made possible by Estebitan and Miguel Gimenez. Estebitan sent

Nixie clock I Vintage electronics
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me an old counter consisting of three nixies and some old 74xx TTL ICs, components I have reused for this clock. Miguel Gimenez gave me a fourth nixie. Thank you very much! Whenever possible I have used original components and circuit design common in the seventies so this clock keeps that vintage electronics style. I have had to add some new components. The clock is mounted in a transparent box of chocolates drilled to screw the board and nixies and to let in air flow for cooling. At the right side on the back you can see push buttons to set the time. Some of the 74xx ICs come from an old counter and are original TTL chips from early seventies. They are labeled with their manufacture date: three 9315 decoders and nixie drivers at top row are dated 7327 (June 1973), two 7490 at second row left and right are dated 7205 (February 1972) and use ceramic package and a 7490 at third row right is labeled 7236 (September 1972) with gray plastic package. All of them were manufactured by Fairchild, draw around 20mA and get warm. 9315 IC is a variant of standard 7441 TTL IC (decoder and nixie driver), manufactured by Fairchild and pin compatible, the only apparent difference are its outputs under over-range values (10 to 15). More information here:. Also I have reused the current limiting resistors, nixie sockets, wires and an old BC107A transistor with gold plated pins and plastic package (uncommon as this transistor has been always...

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