Talking Nixie Alarm Clock

Posted on Feb 6, 2014

The B8422 Nixie tubes were destined to end up in an alarm clock on my bedside cupboard. My house is slowly filling up with homemade clocks, only our bedroom has so far been saved from the `collateral damage` of my clock making mania. A set of romantically glowing nixie tubes will make a big improvement compared to the ordinary twenty year old

Talking Nixie Alarm Clock
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LED alarm clock I use now. The B8422 is a lovely "top-view" Nixie tube with a very characteristic semi-rectangular (or semi-round) shape (Fig. 3). This peculiar shape makes it possible to make a row of closely spaced digits e. g. for a calculator read-out, which would have been impossible with a perfectly round top-view type like e. g. the B5031 or ZM1020 For years I have been playing around with the idea of making a talking clock. It seemed to me to be a nice idea to capture the voice of somebody who is special to me, so that I could hear the voice of that person telling the time, even when that person is not there (anymore). EPROMs now have such a large memory capacity that they can easily store a minute or so of audio with quite a reasonable quality. Instead of telling the time I decided to record and store a number of wake-up messages spoken by my sons (Geert 9 and Daan 6). As I am very fond on them, I though that I will wake up a lot more relaxed hearing their voices instead of an angry buzzer. For the case I want to use the other half of the Plexiglas tube I had left over from the "NIXIE I" clock. The somewhat limited space available in this tube more or less dictated the, at first sight, slightly strange distribution of the clock circuit over the three PCBs. At the writing of this page the final case of this clock was not yet finished. As always I find it the most difficult part of building a clock. When it is ready...

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