Play Games with Nixie Tubes

Posted on Feb 6, 2014

Nixie tubes were used for numeric - and sometimes alpha - displays back in the days before LEDs and LCDs. They were more light bulbs than tubes, but were encapsulated in evacuated glass shells like vacuum tubes and had round, multi-pin bases like tubes. Separate filaments were provided for each character. There were two basic varieties: characters that displayed through the top of the tube, and characters

Play Games with Nixie Tubes
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that displayed through the side of the tube. Nixie tubes are popular with builders of retro equipment, and a lot of products are available for sale that incorporate them; e. g. , clocks, wrist watches, radios, clock radios, calendars, games, and much more. Electronic test equipment and medical instruments were big users of Nixie tubes. I remember a couple of the signal generators we used on the MPN-14 radar has Nixie tube displays. Supposedly the name "Nixie" derived from "NIX I", an abbreviation of "Numeric Indicator eXperimental No. 1, " as designated by the Burroughs Corporation sometime around 1955. The HB-106 Nixie tubes for this project can be purchased on eBay. You can throw away the whirling number wheels, the tumbling golf balls in the squirrel cage, and the gallopin` dominoes! It`s, much more fun to play Bingo, Roulette, Put-and-Take, Quizzo, boy-girl parlor games, and a host of other games - electronically! By merely pressing a button, you can display a pair of randomly selected numbers for all kinds of numerical games in shining neon lights visible up to 20 feet away. This simple form of digital presentation is made possible by a modern little electron tube called a "Nixie. " Although specifically designed for computer panel read-out systems, the Nixie can be used in any device where any digit from 0 to 9 is to be displayed to a group of viewers. By using two Nixies, a pair of tiny electric motors, two...

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