Nixie-based tube clocks

By Dieter Wächter / Nocrotec

$TBD

 

Chronotronix V600-NT Nixie Tube Clock

This is the latest creation from Dieter Wächter / Nocrotec and it is based off of RFT Z5660M tubes.  There are two version of this clock listed on Nocrotec: V600-NT and the V600-RT.  The NT is the one for sale and has the "nipple top" whereas the RT version has the rounded tube design.  I believe the clock has a buy it now proce of around $800USD but since bidding has started, I cannot find the price.

As usual, Dieter has done a great job of documenting the design and building of this clock.  You can see all of the details here: http://www.tube-tester.com/sites/nixie/nixie-clocks/v600/v600.htm

Highlights:

  • Fading digits (see video)
  • Stainless Steel Case
  • Directly driven display

 

v600 tubes

 

From the auction description:

JUST RELEASED. LIMITED QUANTITY!

This Nixie clock combines nostalgic Nixie tubes with innovative circuitry in a nobly stainless steel case. Its elaborate software and features, the good craftsmanship and the beautiful case make this clock a distinctive top-quality product. It's a handmade masterpiece in design and functionality.

This clock uses the beautiful Z5660M tubes with a digit height of 1.2" (30 mm) made by RFT!

DESIGN

Well balanced proportions and a clear geometry making up for a coherent and disciplined yet charming design. The clock is a celebration of purist elegance. The case is made of brushed stainless steel - a complimentary material for this unique Nixie clock. The surface is very shiny and reflects the orange glow of the Nixie tubes - you won't be able to take your eyes off it. We will send a pair of cotton gloves along with your Nocrotec V600-NT Nixie Clock in order to avoid leaving fingerprints on the case. Please wear them whenever you touch your Nixie clock.
View the wonderful case finish here:

TECHNIQUE

The Nocrotec V600-NT Nixie Clock uses a state of the art circuitry. Time is kept by precise real time clock. It's accurate to within 0.0003s per minute. Nixie tubes require a high voltage to operate. In Nixie clocks there are different techniques used to generate this voltage. The Nocrotec V600-NT Nixie Clock uses the most innovative power supply we are aware of. It is a highly efficient, super low noise switch mode power supply in a very small shape (inside the case of course). The clock is not multiplexed, but the 6 Nixie tubes are driven directly.

TUBES

This clock uses the beautiful Z5660M made by RFT! A popular tube with a great digit height of 1.2" (30 mm). The shape of the numbers of the Z5660M Nixie tube has been considered to be one of the most beautiful ever made. Long life and stable operation are the benefits of these tubes.

FEATURES

  • Digit height: 1.2" (30 mm)
  • 12/24h mode
  • Date in configuration DD.MM.YY or MM.DD.YY
  • Leading zero suppression: The leading zero can be blanked or shown
  • Cross fading: different modes to fade the digits from one number to the next
  • Alarm clock
  • Power down mode: tubes and supply can be totally switched off for a user programmed period in order to save energy and increase life expectancy of the tubes
  • 12VDC input voltage
  • Wall power supply for worldwide use is included
  • Time is battery buffered when no line power is available; battery will last for more than 10 years
  • User settings are always stored
  • Tubes are not soldered but mounted in sockets, that means they are easy to replace
  • Case is made of brushed stainless steel; bottom plate and all screws are made of stainless steel as well
  • Security protection against contact of the high voltage. The high voltage can not be touched also if a tube is pulled accidentally

DIMENSIONS Overall dimensions (incl. tubes):

  • 9.9" (250 mm) long
  • 3.1" (80 mm) deep
  • 3.4" (86 mm) high

Tubes:

  • Diameter: 1.2" (30 mm)
  • Visible part is 2.25" (57 mm) tall from the glass surface to the top of the tube
  • Digit height is 1.2" (30 mm)

Case:

  • 9.9" (250 mm) long
  • 3.1" (80 mm) deep
  • only 1.1" (27mm) high

 

Links

 

IN14 6 Tube Nixie Desk Clock

eBay seller uniasia82 / $111

 

IN-14 Nixie Clock Front
 

Here is a great little clock from eBay.  It is a 6 digit, ON-14 based nixie clock.  It appears to be built in two layers - the bottom performing the time keeping functions and the top one simply holding the display.  The PCB has a shiny black finish which adds a nice contrast to the display.  While you could probably build or find an enclosure for this device, I would leave it open as it is right now.

The nixie clock is powered off of an external power supply so there is little to no risk of shock from this design.  However, since the displays are still running at 180v, you probably would still get a bit of a shock if you grabbed the wrong place.  That is just my oppinion, you could probably still find a way to do more harm to yourself if you tried :)

From the auction:

IN14 6 Tube Nixie Desk Clock

Description:

This is Fully Assembled and Tested Nixie Clock with 6 Pieces IN14 NOS Tubes.

* Fading Nixies:  cross fading from digit to digit

* User Selectable:  12/24 hours mode

* Digit Height:  Approx. 2cm

* Brand New!

* Power by: DC 12V AC Wall Adapter (mains AC 110 ~ 240V) Not Included.

   remarks:  Extra Price for DC12V AC Wall Adapter : USD9

 

IN-14 Nixie Clock Rear

 

Links:

Designed by Peter Hand, built by Mike Bowers

 

 

I have been wanting one of these since I first learned about them.  It is a 4-letter-word device, like the Super Electrofluorescent Profanity Machine except that this one uses Panaplex style ZM1350 neon displays.  Essentially, they are flat versions of the B971 and can be used as a replacement with no electrical changes needed.

Basically, the device displays random words that are four letters long.  The video gives you the basic idea of how this works:

This device was built by Mike Bowers but was designed by Peter Hand.  It appears to be based off the original Raymond Weisling design.  (Warning, a few people have had bad experiencing ordering from Zetalink.  I trust Jeff's reviews so I would personally avoid this site as well....)

Links

 

By David Forbes / Cathode Corner

$395 (for sale as of 5/1/2009)

 

 

 

This watch was inspired the Jeff Thomas Nixie Watch. It uses an entirely different design - tubes and power supply.  It looks a little more like a watch than the other design but I prefer the clear plastic case on the other one.  Regardless, this is an amazing feat of engineering.  I'd love to own one of these.

FTA:

The Cathode Corner Nixie Watch displays the time on nixie tubes, which are quaint neon display tubes once used in calculators in the dawn of recorded history (1969). It is a two-digit wristwatch designed for everyday use, being water-resistant and rugged.

The watch requires no button pushing to operate - it shows the hours, minutes and seconds in sequence at the flick of the wrist.

Links:

Description: http://www.cathodecorner.com/nixiewatch/index.html

Purchase One: http://www.cathodecorner.com/nixiewatch/order.html

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