Nixie Tube Clock Project
A good definition of a Nixie tube is found on Wikipedia (click here). According to Wikipedia:
“The Nixie display was developed by a small vacuum tube manufacturer called Haydu Brothers Laboratories, and introduced in 1954 by Burroughs Corporation, who purchased Haydu and owned the name Nixie as a trademark. Similar devices that functioned in the same way were patented in the 1920s, and the first mass-produced display tubes were introduced in the late 1930s by National Union Co. and Telefunken. However, their construction was cruder, and they failed to find many applications until digital electronics reached a suitable level of development in the 1950s.“
“Nixie tubes were superseded in the 1970s by light-emitting diodes (LEDs), often in the form of seven-segment displays. LEDs are better suited to the low voltages that integrated circuits used, and are much smaller and sturdier without needing a sealed glass tube. Nixie tubes now only exist as a novelty for electronics hobbyists.”
Regardless of their history or practicality, they look really cool, and I couldn’t resist building one of Peter’s clock kits for my office.
I ordered one from Peter, and the kit is of excellent quality with well labeled parts and great instructions. I began the kit a couple of night ago and will report again as I make progress. Peter’s kits use new (but old-stock from the space race era) Russian made Nixie tubes, and they definitely have that cold-war aura about them.