(in case you didn't read it elsewhere)
I'm very pleased to announce that all parts for the B7971 x8 display
project are now available. There is a B7971 x8 board set in the
circuitworks store which consists of the assembled and tested display
board along with two 4- tube display boards. In addition, a visual
construction guide is will step you through the acquisition of all the
necessary parts. Construction should take even the casual builder less
than 3 hours.
To the more general reader, it should be emphasized that circuitworks
does not supply B7971 tubes. This project is really for the
established nixie tube hoarder who already has the tubes. There were
tens, if not hundreds of thousands of these tubes manufactured in the
early 70's. They do appear from time to time on ebay. One note; in a
recent ebay auction, a lot of 12 went for over $75 apiece.
Please also keep in mind this is a 100% open-source project; This
includes the enclosure which is produced by personal laser-cut
factory, Ponoko. They offer other colored materials in addition to
Why do I make you go on a treasure hunt for the parts ? So I can
concentrate on future design projects. Since the project is open
source, I hope and encourage people to work on group buys, offer
assembly services to non-DIY types, adapt and extend the firmware to
suit your needs or other types of tubes. I encourage you to use the
cogwheel circuitworks google group for these sort of discussions.
Issue w/B7971x4 Rev A board : There was an issue with some boards; Some B7971s have 'smeared' nipples, consequently, the holes on my boards will not fit all instances of B7971s. Thanks go out to Jeff Thomas for pointing this out. I now have revised boards in stock and I have reached out to everyone who purchased the boards from me and offered free replacements.
B7971x8 Operation Guide : The manual for the B7971x4 is now available. It describes the firmware which has shipped with all driver boards which shipped with B7971x8 board sets.
Running out of driver boards: I only have a few driver boards left. Once they are gone, there won't be any more for a couple of months. So if you were on the fence about building a B7971x8 display, now'd be the time to pick one up. Same story for the IN17x7 clock as it uses the same board.
Bought and assembled one of these recently. Had a few Issues with the order, but they were taken care of promptly and professionally. This clock is amazing. I would highly recommend this clock and Cogwheel.