Modular Nixie Clock Rev3 - Noise

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3 months 3 weeks ago #10947 by jjansen
I am really enjoying the nixie clock in my living room. A real eye-catcher.

One 'problem'; it is producing a very soft noise. During the day no problem, but when I am sitting on the couch in the evening and it is quiet in the room I can hear it very well. Sometimes it starts to be annoying.

So my question is, is there a way to reduce this noise? Which part is likely to produce the noise?

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3 months 3 weeks ago #10949 by Ty_Eeberfest
Two main choices: tubes or HV power supply.

Sometimes you get a tube that just wants to sing. I suppose that has something to do with tightness / looseness of tube internals, or maybe clearances / tolerances, but I'm not 100% sure. It just happens sometimes. See if the sound changes when you do stuff that affects the tubes: make changes to dim level, play with Fade and/or scrollback settings, etc. If the sound is affected it's probably coming from a tube or tubes.

To see if it's coming from the HV supply you can try pinching, poking and generally tweeking on inductor L1 (the inductor nearest the biggest capacitor). If the noise changes then it's coming from the HV supply.

The HV supply can sometimes be quieted by re-soldering L1 or super gluing it to the PCB or even replacing it. You just have to tinker.

Both tube and HV noises may be affected by making small adjustments to "Modes" 23 - 30 (see user manual). Most of these modes can only be accessed by using the button, not the WiFi. Keep your changes small - big changes can have unintended consequences.

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

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3 months 3 weeks ago #10950 by jjansen
Thanks Ty, I'll follow up on your suggestions.

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3 months 3 weeks ago #10951 by Ian
One other thought about this. If it sounds more like a crackling than a humming, there was an update to the firmware that solved that, figures out by Phil who hangs around here. If you have a slightly older firmware, and the sound is like a tiny frying sound, then we might be able to solve it with a software update, otherwise it is what Ty said.

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3 months 3 weeks ago #10952 by jjansen
I am running latest version of bitbucket.org/isparkes/nixiefirmwarev2/src/master/
So this should be fine.

The sound comes from the tubes. When I remove them all, there is no sound. When I insert one tube (most far away from HV circuit), then I hear the sound around the tube. I don't hear the sound from the HV circuit.
But when I take a insulated screwdriver (magnetic tip) and go near / touch L1, the sound is getting a lot worse.

The sound is a bit influenced by a change of display (for example cover LDR), date display etc.

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