Rev 3: Socket #5 not working

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3 months 1 day ago #10970 by jrawls
Replied by jrawls on topic Rev 3: Socket #5 not working
I'd like to hijack this thread as it is my exact problem and I have the Arduino All-In-One model.

I checked the circuits as recommended in this thread and all checks out fine. I also swapped the opto chip and the problem stayed with the Hour tube.

The only inconstancy I could find poking around with a DMM was Pin 3 of the opto for the Hour tube was reading 130v instead of 95v of the other pins. That reading stays with the socket and does not move with the chip.

The only thing I don't know how to test is the Nixie tube itself. Anything else I should look at?

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3 months 1 day ago #10971 by Ty_Eeberfest
The difference in the voltage readings across the optos is probably because the one tube is not lit up. The voltage drop across a lit Nixie is considerably different than the drop across an unlit Nixie.

Since you say you've tried all the usual stuff I don't have much to offer, so I suppose it's time to test the Nixie itself. Without taking the tube out of the circuit the thing to do would be the "sparker test". Easy test IF you have what's needed, which is something that emits a strong electrical field. I use my Plasma Ball . Some people use a Violet Wand aka "Portable High Frequency" . I've also heard of using a Taser aka stun gun but have never actually seen it done.

The idea is to get close to the tube (with the circuit powered off) with the testing device. If the tube shows random patches of glow inside then you know it as least has not lost its gas (a common Nixie failure mode), If there is no glow then the tube is almost certainly dead. But if your tube tests dead, try testing one you know is good just to be sure the tester, which is obviously a bit of a hack, actually works.

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

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3 months 1 day ago #10972 by Ty_Eeberfest
BTW - since this is an All-In-One we're dealing with, I strongly suggest you remove the Arduino and pull the chips on the clock out of their sockets before testing - just in case.

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

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3 months 1 day ago #10973 by jrawls
Replied by jrawls on topic Rev 3: Socket #5 not working
Thanks for the assistance. I'll try the EM test. My guess is the tube is bad.

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3 months 1 day ago #10974 by Ty_Eeberfest
Agreed. It happens. 9 times out of 10 if a newly acquired tube is DOA it has outgassed due to a faulty or damaged seal around a pin. Unfortunately when that happens all you can do is buy another tube. Good luck.

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

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