Options for connecting IN-1 tubes

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1 year 5 months ago #7406 by JayRo72
Hi everyone. I built my first Nixie clock last year from one of the kits that Ian sells on eBay, using some IN-14 tubes I picked up. Being fairly new to electronics and drawing on my secondary school electronics module that was part of science class 30-something years ago (along with many questions answered by Ian) it was a steep learning curve, but I loved the experience!

I've just ordered a second kit, and have a set of IN-1 tubes that I'm going to use (once I figure out what to house them in), but I was just wondering if anyone had any ideas on the best way to attach the wires to those big chunky IN-1 pins? I saw this nice little socket that someone 3D printed while looking around. It seems fairly good. I'll need to find somewhere that will print them for me, but that's no bother...
github.com/hansj66/Nixie-socket-LC516--IN-1
Just wondered if anyone else had any ideas that might be a little simpler.

Thanks,
Jay

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1 year 5 months ago #7409 by Ty_Eeberfest
I have dealt with this in the past by making boards very accurately laid out to match the tubes' pin pattern and then populating the boards with Mill-Max pins.

Here are a few pictures:
eeberfest.net/gallery.php?pagenr=1&set=clock

Here is some Mill-Max info.

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I'm not so sure this is any simpler than the 3D printing option but it has worked nicely for me.

Look into it later when the dust is clearing off the crater.
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1 year 5 months ago #7410 by Ian
Hey Ty,

that's the thing that's been holding me back. The thought that the IN-1 tubes will need replacing at some point, and that this is not a simple "pull it out and push it back in again" operation. But if there are PCB mount pins available, then that changes everything. Do you happen to know the part number of what you ordered?

Did you also see the piece on back lighting with IN-1 tubes? I'm rather happy with the result of that...

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1 year 5 months ago #7411 by Ian
Scratch the question about the part number, I see you did this for IN-18. (Although anyone building IN-18 stuff will probably want to know anyway).

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1 year 5 months ago #7412 by Ty_Eeberfest
For IN-18 tubes I used Mill-Max 0344-2-19-01-34-27-10-0 which is stocked by Mouser as p/n 575-034420. US$55.00 per hundred in 2012. Before you order anything I strongly suggest you grab calipers and measure the real-world (don't trust data sheet) diameter and length of the pins and then look through the entire Mill-Max line for the best fit.

Don't get tempted to cheap out on this. There are certainly less costly socket pins to be had but you get what you pay for. Cheap pins tend to be stamped rather than machined. They contact the tube pin at one tiny point, whereas the good pins make contact over the entire length of the pin. At Nixie voltages this matters. It may work at first but it won't last, digits will quit working and you'll be chasing down burnt pins all the time.

Yeah this sounds like a pitch for Mill-Max products. I'm not affiliated in any way except that I've had real good results using their pins.

I haven't seen the backlighting article yet. But to be honest, I hate backlighting so I probably won't be thrilled :evil:

Look into it later when the dust is clearing off the crater.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Ian

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1 year 5 months ago - 1 year 5 months ago #7413 by Ian
Hi Jay,

there is another alternative that I nearly used once (or, more correctly, am meaning to use as soon as I do another IN-1 clock). There are certain Molex pins that fit IN-1 tube sockets. They look like these:



you can solder these, and then shrink a bit of heat shrink over it, and you can get a pretty good result. I think this covers off the most important requirements for making tubes exchangeable (but does not help for physical mounting question). I guess with a little bit of patented "Heath-Robinson Kludge Sauce" you could even mount these on a PCB and have that problems solved as well.
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Last Edit: 1 year 5 months ago by Ian.

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1 year 5 months ago - 1 year 5 months ago #7415 by Ty_Eeberfest
I personally wouldn't use Molex pins but that's just me. I'm building for myself and don't have to meet a price point so I spend the extra money for the good stuff - in this case machined pins made for this purpose. Those Molex pins fall into the "cheap stamped pins" I was referring to above. Sure they'll work but for how long before they start having issues?

EDIT: Look at the piece those Molex are designed to mate with. It's not just a "stiff wire" like a tube pin. It's slotted to make it "compressible", and that matters.

Look into it later when the dust is clearing off the crater.
Last Edit: 1 year 5 months ago by Ty_Eeberfest.

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1 year 5 months ago #7422 by JayRo72
Thanks for your ideas, guys. That give me lots to think about. I'll do some experimenting and see what works best!

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1 year 5 months ago - 1 year 5 months ago #7450 by Ian
I was talking to Manuel (of nwts fame) and he gave me his experience with various pins he has used, also for IN-1.

He uses Mill-Max 0390. (Part number 0390-0-15-01-08-27-10-0):





The price from Mouser is around $0.42 each in quantites of 1000. For a 6 digit clock, you'll need 66, so that comes to $27 just for the sockets. Gulp.

From the Nocrotec shop: www.nocrotec.com/shop/product_info.php/i...or-pin--2-36-mm.html these fit

11TU7, 4CG-10A-2, 6370, 6476, 6476A, 6482, 6802, 6909, 6910, 7031, 7032, 705A, B-7011, B-7031, B-7032, BD-307, CD12, CD16, CD16A, CD16B, CD27, CD27/GR-401, CD40, CD42, CD46, CD46(LD-669), CD47, CD47/GR-411, CD47/GR-414, CD67, CD95, CD95/GR-311, CK6476, CK6802, CK6909, CK6910, CT783, CV1739, CV1739GC10/4B, CV2199, CV2223, CV2223-G10/241E, CV2271, CV2325, CV2325GS10C/S, CV5106, CV5143, CV5291, CV5351, CV5351GN-5A, CV6044, CV6100, CVX2223, DC-10A, DC-10A-2, DK11, DK12, DK13, DK14, DK15, DK16, DK18, DK20, DK23, DK23/4CG-10A-2, DK27, DK31, DM10B-1, DM10B-2, DU10A-2, DZ10, E1T, ELW1, ELW-1, G10/200E, G10/240E, G10/241E, G10/241K, GC10/3A, GC10/4B, GC10/4B CV1739, GC10/4B/L, GC10A, GC10B, GC10B/L, GC10B/L CV6044, GC10B/S, GC10B/S CV2271, GC10B-L, GC10B-S, GC10C, GC10C/S, GC10D, GC12/4B, GI-21, GI-30, GN-1, GN2, GN-2, GN-2A, GN-5, GN-5A, GR10A, GR-1162, GR-1406, GR-1620, GR-1706, GR-311, GR-401, GR-411, GR-414, GR-628, GR-727, GS10C, GS10C/S, GS10C/S CV2325, GS10D, GS10E, GS12D, IN-1(ИН-1), LC-516, LD-619, LD-620, LD-640, LD-646, LD-669, LD-738, M2465-401C, M2465-402, M2465-403C, N.I.1, N.I.2, OG3 (ОГ3), OG4 (ОГ4), OG5 (ОГ5), OG5-II-60 (ОГ5-II-60), OG7 (ОГ7), OG8 (ОГ8), OG9 (ОГ9), OQ-1 (K8A base), OQ-3, S10S1, S10S1Sp, VX9194, VX9194 CV6044, VX9194/4B, VX9194/CV6044, Z302C, Z303C, Z303C CV2271, Z502S, Z503M.

If you get them from Nocrotec, they are €1.20 each, so that makes €80. Triple gulp.
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Last Edit: 1 year 5 months ago by Ian.

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1 year 5 months ago #7455 by Accutron
Wow, I had forgotten how expensive those mill-max pins are. Years ago we used to sell white ceramic IN-1 sockets, along with the tubes. I can't remember where we originally sourced them, but I think it was a Chinese dealer. We've also used the stamped metal pins in kits without any problems, but the mill-max pins are much nicer.

If there are any brick-and-mortar electronics part stores in your area, you should check there first before subjecting yourself to an online parts distributor. About 10 years ago, I decided to swap the incandescent panel lamps in one of my old minicomputers with LED replacements. The lamps were 28V T1-3/4 midget flange, and I needed 63 of them. The normal incandescent lamps could be had for pennies apiece, but all of the major online parts dealers I checked wanted about $8.00 each for the LEDs, which would've added up to around $500 to replace all of the lamps. I decided to check one of the local electronics stores instead, and found the same parts for $0.40 apiece.

Of course, I couldn't get away with that now, as the store in question now price checks everything online before they'll sell it to you. I guess it's a good thing that I cleaned out their stock of $0.25 Intel 4004s, long before they implemented their price checking procedure. We made some impressive 4004 profits on eBay that year.

Micah Mabelitini
www.decadecounter.com

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