Arduino code slots mode suggestion and question

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1 year 7 months ago #8949 by NicoNixie
Hello, I have a suggestion for the Arduino code Ian wrote and a question.

First the question: Just how important is having the slots mode enabled? From what I understand the slots mode is there to keep the Nixie tubes healthy right? How would it affect the tubes having it off when I have ACP (Anti Cathode Poisoning night suppression) enabled?

My suggestion is adding a function so you can choose how often the slots mode is run. Every minute is a bit too frequent for my taste. I've look at bit at the code and from how I understand it you could just add 2 byte variables, the first would hold how often you wanted it to run the slots mode (for example every 5th minute) and the other would then count up every minute and reset to 0 once slots mode have been run, at line 1334
if (slotsMode > SLOTS_MODE_MIN) {
you could then change it to something like:
if (slotsMode > SLOTS_MODE_MIN && minuteCount >= slotsMinute) {
and at line 1344 do minuteCount = 0;

Do you guys have any comments on this?

Thanks

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1 year 7 months ago #8950 by Ty_Eeberfest
My opinion is that ACP is sufficient to prevent cathode poisoning and Slots is unnecessary (unless you like the look of it). That's an opinion - cathode poisoning is always good for a lively argument, so somebody else will no doubt tell you something else. :side:

The rest is up to Ian.

Look into it later when the dust is clearing off the crater.

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1 year 7 months ago #8953 by NicoNixie
Yes that's also what I learned when I searched around, there isn't really any great research on the subject but then again I guess it also heavily depends on which tubes you are using, their age, how they were handled, if the person who made them were doing good the day he/she made it etc. :laugh:

But from how I understand it, both ACP and slots mode is to prevent cathode poisoning right?

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1 year 7 months ago #8956 by Ty_Eeberfest
My understanding is that Slots is primarily a special effect for entertainment value. I suppose it would contribute a little bit to preventing cathode poisoning too.

I have Slots turned off on this Modular sitting next to me. It's been running like that since May of this year with no sign of tube degradation so far. Perhaps more to the point, my IN-18 clock (direct drive) does 30 seconds of ACP "spinning" once an hour, has been running constantly for coming up on 7 years, and has no tube issues of any kind.

I agree that Slots time interval should be adjustable or if not that then set to more like 5 minutes.

Look into it later when the dust is clearing off the crater.

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1 year 7 months ago #8984 by Ian
I'm also on the same page as Ty. Slots is eye candy, but I'm not really sure that it makes any difference.

What DOES make a difference is turning the tubes off when they are not is use. I've been going down the path of always having a motion sensor input on new designs. Clocks are rarely in a place where there is always someone to see them.

Using a microwave type sensor, you won't even see that the tubes were off, because it's totally magic and can detect movement in adjacent spaces, or at very latest when you enter the room.

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1 year 7 months ago #8987 by Ty_Eeberfest
Agreed about the microwave motion sensor. I've been using the one you (Ian) sent me to try out for a while now and it's working very well - exactly as advertised. It apparently sees through walls to some extent. That's fine for my calm little household but might not be so good if there were kids going crazy in the next room or something. So my thought is that between PIR and microwave a good solution can be had for most any situation.

Look into it later when the dust is clearing off the crater.

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