Concrete Clock

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Project Description

There are probably better nixie clocks out there, but this one is mine. The Concrete Clock uses four IN-1 Nixie tubes and one OG-4 decatron tube. This was one of my first AVR projects. The circuit board, controlling the clock, is based on an AtMega8515. The 8515 controls up to 6 BCD to decimal decoder ICs with high voltage outputs (74141 or K155ID1). Three IRF840 mosfets are used to drive the OG4 dekatron. Adjusting the clock can be done via serial communication over a Bluetooth link.

Schematics, gerber files and example firmware are available via GitHub.

The circuit board requires an external 200V/450V power supply in order to be able to drive both nixies and the decatron.

A decatron is a “three phases glow transfer tube” that require 4-600V in order to operate. It’s basically an analog counter that can count to – wait for it – ten. Decatrons can be daisy chained and they would originally be controlled by analog circuitry, where a correctly shaped pulse would make the glow  discharge jump to the next location. A full revolution would trigger the next counter. The necessary (and very analog) circuitry involved in creating a correctly shaped pulse, is relatively archaic. Fortunatetly, we now have cheap high voltage transistors at our disposal.

All you need to do in order to drive such a tube, is to ground triplets of cathodes in the correct sequence. Easy.


October 2010

Vi industrialiserer og kommersialiserer

By |October 25th, 2010|Categories: Concrete Clock, Electronics|

Sikre tegn på at hobbyen begynner å ta overhånd: Du organiserer "produksjonslinjer". Du bekymrer deg for logistikk, leverandører, price breaks og tilgjengelighet på komponenter. Du må dokumentere ditt eget arbeid - for deg selv - for [...]

September 2010

The Clockmaker – del 7 (ekstramateriale – dvs bilder, bilder, bilder…)

By |September 8th, 2010|Categories: Concrete Clock|

Jeg ble dessverre så revet med i ferdigstillelsen at jeg glemte det viktigste i farten i forrige post. Håper unge lovende Grande og de to andre leserne tilgir meg denne gedigne blemma. Dette er den [...]

The Clockmaker – del 6 (final episode)

By |September 4th, 2010|Categories: Concrete Clock|

Dette utviklet seg til å bli et litt større biprosjekt enn tidligere antatt, men nå er jeg altså - ferdig ! (Leker dog litt med tanken på å lage en reisevekkerur-variant i betong med 6 [...]

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