What do you do with all of your clocks?

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5 years 1 month ago - 5 years 1 month ago #6428 by Ty_Eeberfest
My IV-18 clock is the widely available "Ice Tube Clock" kit. If you just build it and plug it in, IMO it sucks. If you're willing and able to put some work into modding it then it's pretty decent.

First thing I did was download the source code for the firmware (at least they make it available, unlike some companies). After I got done laughing and crying (the code looks like it was somebody's first ever attempt to program a micro - total shite) I got to work fixing all the bugs, inadequacies and downright stupidities. In hindsight I should have rewritten it from the ground up as a proper state machine but I opted to patch it up. A few hundred edits later, I got it to where the display no longer "glitches" occasionally (when certain interrupts coincide), it sets properly, it no longer misuses EEPROM, it keeps time properly during power loss, it handles daylight savings time gracefully, etc., etc., etc.

After all that, it still lost on the order of 10 seconds per week, so I yanked the stupid crystal off the board and replaced it with a proper TCXO on a tiny daughter board of my own making. With the TCXO and some more code mods it keeps time to within a couple seconds per year which is good enough for a clock with no GPS.

So there ya go... my mini-review... in short it's an okay starting point and the case is kinda cute (and it doesn't cost all that much) but if you want a serious clock you will have to do quite a bit of modding.

Look into it later when the dust is clearing off the crater.
Last edit: 5 years 1 month ago by Ty_Eeberfest.

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5 years 1 month ago #6429 by Ty_Eeberfest
Regarding the device with the 16 alphanumeric tubes... I'm guessing you never saw it when it used to be "live on the web". In short, I had a webcam pointed at it so visitors to the site could watch it on a live stream. My site allowed the visitors to type messages - up to 80 characters - into a textbox and hit a Send button. Then they would see their message on the tubes, scrolling if longer than 16 characters. Reddit and 4chan got word of it and it got very popular for a while. After while I got tired of paying for the large amount of bandwidth the live streams consumed, so when I moved house a few years ago I never bothered to set the camera and server back up.

Nowadays it serves as a clock, plus it displays indoor and outdoor temperature and humidity periodically. I have a little micro-ATX computer that draws minimal power and runs 24/7 to schedule and control all my home automation stuff. In its "spare time" the micro-ATX runs Perl scripts that build semi-random sentences and/or word games that get sent to the tubes and displayed periodically for entertainment and lulz.

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

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5 years 1 month ago #6430 by Ty_Eeberfest
In case anybody's interested here's some more about the 16-tube alphanumeric device AKA "Nixie Shoutbox".

eeberfest.net/gallery.php

eeberfest.net/aboutnix.php?page=1

As for the "small fortune"... yeah, it was a bit extravagant... I bought the tubes a few at a time, from various sources, as they became available. Prices varied and I think the average was $40 or $45 per tube.

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

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5 years 1 month ago - 5 years 1 month ago #6432 by Pacman223
Nice..

I did not know about your web cam nixie message board.. I'm still new to the world of nixie clocks.

Here is a list of clocks I have built.

1st clock . A simple IN-16 clock. I purchased the clock as a kit on ebay, built a wood box for it.. it worked for about 6 months.. A couple of tubes had problems, I tried over volting one of the tubes, but some how shocked the clock :( its not working now.. I still have it one day I will try to fix it.

3 qtc clocks... Two are waiting cases. The third was given as a Christmas gift

Sven using in-8-2 love this clock. Its on my desk at work. My co-workers love it.

My own clock.. using nl-841 tube, a tcxo and direct drive. This one I designed my own PCB using a pre programmed pic chip. It worked great for a while,?- then one day I noticed its time was way off.. I opened it up and noticed the 7805 was supper hot...
I need to replace it with a more efficient part. I just haven't found the time. I used its tubes for a new 841 clock below.

2 nl-841 clocks from pvelectronics.. love them. My wife has one on her desk at work, the other was given as a Christmas gift.

A pvelectronics fun clock. I donated it to a charity to auction it off. It only earned $50...I learned a leason... other people don't see how cool Nixie clocks are.

A Z5666 clock from pvelectronics with the shiny metal case. This one I have at home. I really love it.

Last one, I built a maestro IN-12 clock from pvelectronics. This one was given as a Christmas present also. Took about 30 min to solder, as most of it was pre done.

So at the moment it doesn't seem like I have a lot of clocks, but once the QTC clocks get finished.. and I build the numitron clock.. I don't know what to do with them!....

That's why I asked the original question... what do I do with all of your clocks :)
Last edit: 5 years 1 month ago by Pacman223.

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5 years 1 month ago #6438 by Ty_Eeberfest

Pacman223 wrote: Nice..
I did not know about your web cam nixie message board.. I'm still new to the world of nixie clocks.

Thanks. It was online from 2008-ish til October 2012, I don't remember when I first "met" you and I just kinda assume everybody already saw it.

Pacman223 wrote: A pvelectronics fun clock. I donated it to a charity to auction it off. It only earned $50...I learned a leason... other people don't see how cool Nixie clocks are.

Yeah... people in general just don't seem to get it. I've heard "Why do you have so many clocks?" too many times, and the ones who say that usually still don't understand after I explain it a bit. Oh well. If everybody was into this there wouldn't be enough tubes to go around and the prices would become ridiculous.

Pacman223 wrote: So at the moment it doesn't seem like I have a lot of clocks, but once the QTC clocks get finished.. and I build the numitron clock.. I don't know what to do with them!....

That's why I asked the original question... what do I do with all of your clocks :)

Well... my answer is that you collect them, decorate the house with them, become "that guy with the clocks" and realize that if people don't understand it's their problem! B)

- Ty

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

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5 years 3 weeks ago #6442 by Pacman223
I love that answer Ty :)

I will try to post some clock pictures.. some I have already posted in other threads.

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