Kit for Burroughs B-5092 tubes?

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3 months 2 days ago #13104 by Mathew
Hey all!

I acquired a Nixie clock from the 60s that is broken. I would like to replace the internals with a new kit and use the same or replacement tubes (so it fits the case properly).

Can you please:

1. Suggest a kit that will work with Burroughs B-5092 tubes.
2. Tell me if there are other tube that are the same dimensions of this tube if I need to use something else.

Thanks!
-Mathew

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3 months 2 days ago #13105 by Ty_Eeberfest
1. Since you are looking to make things fit in an existing case I suppose you want the flexibility of a controller board that you can wire up to the tubes - as opposed to one that has the tube sockets on the board. Something like this will work:
www.nixieclock.biz/StoreClassicRev6.html

Disclaimer 1: The linked kit is made and sold by the owner of this forum.
Disclaimer 2: I am not paid to recommend his products nor am I his employee.

2. ZM1020 / ZM1022 are direct replacements for B-5092, If you look here:
www.tube-tester.com/sites/nixie/data/B13...mull/zm1022-mull.htm
toward the bottom of the page, you will find dimensions and a huge list of other substitute tubes. Conspicuously absent from the substitution list are any Russian tubes. AFAIK there are no Russian tubes with the same dimensions. That's a bit unfortunate since Russian tubes are (were?) the easiest to get. "Were?" because most "Russian" nixie tubes these days come from sellers in Ukraine - obviously a problem given the war that's going on over there!

This may be of interest too - best collection of Nixie data sheets that I've found:
www.tube-tester.com/sites/nixie/nixie-tubes.htm

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

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3 months 2 days ago #13106 by Mathew
This is WONDERFUL information. Thank you very much.

I would prefer to use tubes made in the USA, which I'm sure sounds odd, but I hope to post this project later and it will make more sense.

-Mathew

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3 months 2 days ago #13107 by Ty_Eeberfest
No problem - happy to help.

USA tubes are generally harder to find than Russian or Western European tubes. Burroughs and National are the only US manufacturers that I can think of. European tubes by Mullard, Valvo, Siemens, etc, are somewhat findable. Japanese tubes exist, somewhere, but are pretty much Unobtainium. EBay is the most active Nixie tube marketplace that I know of.

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

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3 months 2 days ago #13108 by Mathew
Thanks again. This is a NASA clock, so keeping it USA is in the spirit of it. It has tubes in it, but since the main board is toast I figured I would leave the tubes that were in it alone to preserve it and just build with NOS tubes. The clock contains 7 Burroughs and 1 National tube. I'll source this on ebay like you suggested.

As for the kit, can you point me in the direction of how it's used/made? I assume I'd buy that kit, then sockets, the tubes I wanted, and that's all I would need aside from mounting? Thanks again!
-Mathew

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3 months 2 days ago #13109 by Ty_Eeberfest
Wait... 8 tubes?? What do the extra 2 tubes do? I only know of 6-tube and 4-tube kits, anything that runs 8 tubes (tenths and hundredths? Or what?) would be custom from scratch. I, or any number of other guys on this forum, could design and program such a thing but that's gonna get expensive!

The Classic Rev 6 kit is a complete clock controller. You need to add tubes & sockets, an external power supply (decent quality wall-wart will do), wiring from controller board to sockets, and of course a case. The optional WiFi module is highly recommended. Once set up on WiFi you will never have to set the clock since it sync's up with NTP. Or if you're putting it in a car or something where network access is not constantly available then the RTC (precision timebase, battery backed) option is best.

The Classic kit multiplexes the display so your wiring would consists of 16 wires on a typical 6 tube clock. 1 wire per tube (anodes) plus 10 wires to the first tube (cathodes aka the digits). Then jumpers from tube to tube to tube to common all the digits together. Better to look at the construction manual for clarification of wiring rather than me trying to make sense of it in text.

Look here: www.nixieclock.biz/Downloads/ClassicNixi...nstructionManual.pdf starting on Page 27.
Here is all available literature for all the nixieclock.biz products:
www.nixieclock.biz/Manuals.html
Note that schematics and source code are freely available for almost all of his products, in case you want to customize.

Also - do you actually know the condition of the tubes you already have? There's a pretty good chance they will still work unless they've been physically damaged. Nixies typically have very long lives, 10,000 - 100,000+ hours depending upon model. I personally have tubes that have been operating 24/7 for ~15 years, that's ~130K hours, with no signs of giving up.

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

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