clock does not dimm complete

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7 months 1 week ago #8080 by nixie-N00b
hello @all,

i got this prob the secound time now ...
for a friend i finished the bioshock-nixie a few days ago, now i finish another clock.
all of them was arduino classic from ian (pcb only). so both get the same problem:

it does not dimm to darkness when the ldr-value was reach 100. for the bioshock-nixie i solve this while i decrease the PWM on time to 90 (tubes was 6x IN-14 and 2x INS-1) now u use 6x IN-12 and 2x INS-1 but nothing works: factory-reset, PWM on Time decrease, even disconnect the LDR, changing powerplug from 12V 600mA to 9V 600mA: the tubes are still shown the numbers in darkness (so i could read the ldr-value of 100).

what could this be? as firmware i use the 49 from gitHub.

at first i was thinking of a bad ldr (i use the 5506 not the 5516), but disconnection of it shows no differences ...

thanks in advance,
Sven

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7 months 1 week ago #8081 by BS_Jim
Hi Sven,

Does the clock dim at all when you dim the room lights? The clock is not supposed to dim completely to blackness. It is supposed to dim significantly though. If you want it off, you have to use one of the blanking options. Perhaps you could send a photo of the clock in both the fully bright state and the fully dimmed state.

Jim

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7 months 1 week ago #8083 by nixie-N00b
hi Jim,

thanks for the quick reply. yes, it dimms ... slowly but noticeable. i guess it should be to dimm to darkness so my first one do it this so.

to explain:
here both toghether, left the new one (yellow), right my first one (orange), full in light (ldr is still on backside of both clocks)



here both full dimmed (streetlamp from outside as lighning)



i've checked the settings: 180 V and 80 pwm on time. as once difference: the right runs in firmware V46, the new one in V49 and the okder uses 4 IN-12 and 2 IN-17, as separator a single INS-1. the new one are running with 6 IN-12 and 2 INS-1 as separators (resistors was to high at the moment so its not running)
so could this help you?

regards, Sven
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7 months 1 week ago - 7 months 1 week ago #8084 by BS_Jim
Its tough to tell how much it is dimming there because the camera's auto-exposure compensation pretty much covers it up. Only by looking at the LED's glowing on the left gives me a clue. I think that looks normal though. I originally purchased a bag of GL5537 LDR's to use for the clocks and had just the opposite problem you did with the GL5506. Mine needed a lot of light shining on them to get bright. I fixed that by using a 82k pull-up resistor @ R11 instead of the original 10k. You might go as low as 1k on yours to compensate for the GL5506.

Nice looking clocks, btw.

Jim
Last Edit: 7 months 1 week ago by BS_Jim.
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7 months 1 week ago #8085 by nixie-N00b
hi Jim,

thanks for the hint. i ordered some 5516 as replacement-ldr, Ian told me he uses this in the full part set.
the ldr-value in the pics are 999 when light on, 100 when light off.
here with separators on:


interresting for me is to get this effect with a 5506 and 6 IN-14 and two INS-1:
with light at clock:


and without light:


the values was the same, i remember. 180 V and PWM on around 90.

one thing may: i use in the black and in the orange a LED controller, it takes the power directly away from the powerplug. can this be the consumt be that i need to get this effect ...?
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7 months 1 week ago #8097 by Ian
There is a difference between dimming and blanking, but depending on the tubes (age, or if they are worn out) they can look the same. Here is what is supposed to happen:

Dimming can go from 10% brightness to 100% brightness, but by design the tubes should never go out.
BUT: If the tubes are very old, cold or worn out, you can notice that sometimes they fail to strike and they "go on strike" :)

Blanking should turn tubes on an off completely, but should not affect the brightness

There are some settings deep in the configuration you can use to try and solve this.

To understand the problem better, when you short press the button in time mode, you can go to the "temporary display modes", and one of these is the dimming value. The number shown should change rapidly with changing light conditions, and should go from 100 (dim) to 999 (bright).

If you don't see this changing over the full range, it probably indicates that the LDR is wrong or defective. The right LDR is a 5516 (5k nominal), but Jim has already nailed it in a previous post that it is just part of a potential divider and you can play around with the fixed resistor value to make it work.

If that shows the right sort of action (free movement between 100 and 999), there are still some options:

There is a "minimum dim" option that I use with some old tubes. This sets the lowest dim value that the clock allows. By default it is 100 (out of 1000, so 10%), but you can increase that to stop the dimming getting so dim.

There is also a not recommended option: You can adjust the voltage generator to produce more than the 180V, thereby giving old tubes a bit more of a push. I would check the other things first though...
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7 months 1 week ago #8103 by nixie-N00b
hi @all,

well ... this is a 'lil bit awkward:
i guess the dimming to dark was the feature "dimming" means. my two first build clocks show this sympthom, so i think it was normal.

now i know it was cause i used old tubes :huh:
it's too bad, so i liked it really to see how its dimming in the evening to dark.

Now then it means the dimming works correctly cause i was using NOS-tubes.
thanks a lot for all the hints, now i can finish the clock in the know it works all correctly.

regards, Sven.

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7 months 1 day ago #8127 by Ian
indeed the "minimum dim" feature was added specifically to allow old tubes to be used successfully.

New tubes are better, but also they will get old in 50 years or so... ;)

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