Hi everyone. I built my first Nixie clock last year from one of the kits that Ian sells on eBay, using some IN-14 tubes I picked up. Being fairly new to electronics and drawing on my secondary school electronics module that was part of science class 30-something years ago (along with many questions answered by Ian) it was a steep learning curve, but I loved the experience!
I've just ordered a second kit, and have a set of IN-1 tubes that I'm going to use (once I figure out what to house them in), but I was just wondering if anyone had any ideas on the best way to attach the wires to those big chunky IN-1 pins? I saw this nice little socket that someone 3D printed while looking around. It seems fairly good. I'll need to find somewhere that will print them for me, but that's no bother... github.com/hansj66/Nixie-socket-LC516--IN-1
Just wondered if anyone else had any ideas that might be a little simpler.
that's the thing that's been holding me back. The thought that the IN-1 tubes will need replacing at some point, and that this is not a simple "pull it out and push it back in again" operation. But if there are PCB mount pins available, then that changes everything. Do you happen to know the part number of what you ordered?
Did you also see the piece on back lighting with IN-1 tubes? I'm rather happy with the result of that...
For IN-18 tubes I used Mill-Max 0344-2-19-01-34-27-10-0 which is stocked by Mouser as p/n 575-034420. US$55.00 per hundred in 2012. Before you order anything I strongly suggest you grab calipers and measure the real-world (don't trust data sheet) diameter and length of the pins and then look through the entire Mill-Max line for the best fit.
Don't get tempted to cheap out on this. There are certainly less costly socket pins to be had but you get what you pay for. Cheap pins tend to be stamped rather than machined. They contact the tube pin at one tiny point, whereas the good pins make contact over the entire length of the pin. At Nixie voltages this matters. It may work at first but it won't last, digits will quit working and you'll be chasing down burnt pins all the time.
Yeah this sounds like a pitch for Mill-Max products. I'm not affiliated in any way except that I've had real good results using their pins.
I haven't seen the backlighting article yet. But to be honest, I hate backlighting so I probably won't be thrilled
Look into it later when the dust is clearing off the crater.
there is another alternative that I nearly used once (or, more correctly, am meaning to use as soon as I do another IN-1 clock). There are certain Molex pins that fit IN-1 tube sockets. They look like these:
you can solder these, and then shrink a bit of heat shrink over it, and you can get a pretty good result. I think this covers off the most important requirements for making tubes exchangeable (but does not help for physical mounting question). I guess with a little bit of patented "Heath-Robinson Kludge Sauce" you could even mount these on a PCB and have that problems solved as well.