after quite a long pause (because my carpenter was quite busy) I finally could pick up the cases for my clock and now I'm able to present the (nearly) final product.
The top shell is made of wood (stained beech tree, sides) and MDF (top), back and bottom are made of anodized aluminium. The prototype back plate you see in the pictures already is anodized, but the final version will get an under eloxal printing which is much more robust than the prototype which is just engraved.
I will offer only a small number of clocks (8 to 9). Regarding the features please take a look into the original thread
My VFD Clock Project
More details and a picture gallery are available through my homepage under
VFD clock model "Thomas"
and I will take preorders now.
The price will be somewhere between 400€ and 500€. I will have to do some final calculations now that I know all prices. Yes, it sounds expensive, but the case kit alone is about 200€ and I had to buy the tubes for quite mixed prices and had a quite high failure rate (faulty filament fixtures, broken filaments, unevenly lighted segments etc.). The kit will be available in different variants depending on the destination country.
With best regards,
Last edit: 3 years 3 months ago by Torsten Lang. Reason: Put the images in the message, much nicer ;)
yes, I love the look of these old parts. The clock was inspired by Dieter Wächter's page, especially his overview of some VFD tubes (www.tube-tester.com/sites/nixie/trade11-vfd.htm). The Sylvania 8843 and DT-1704 have a very special look due to the missing control grid and support structure (or in case of the DT-1704C and DT-1704E the translucent mica sheet).
The large CdS LDRs are known to me since my childhood when I possessed these great Philips electronics laboratory boxes. The EE2000 series nevertheless contained a cheaper version where the LDR was sealed in epoxy resin. I had to do some research to even get enough ORP52s for the small number of clocks.
The case of the clock is sized 225x80x33mm, including feet and tubes it is approx. 75mm high.
I definitely plan to also deliver outside the EU and I will also ship to the U.S. The options depend on the destination country due to different regulations. In the EU only a soldering kit will be available where the user has to install all through hole parts, outside the EU I think I will be able to offer an "easy peasy" kit where the electronics is fully tested and assembled and no soldering by the user is necessary.
Regarding the radio options - currently I support DCF77. I was thinking about implementing additional services, AFAIK there are similar radio services e. g. in GB or the U.S., but the problem is that I can't test them over here (well, at least the British MSF service most likely can be received over here).
GPS in theory would be possible if the LocoNet interface was disabled (it shares the same USART) but also would require some soldering to modify the input filters. As my clock uses a connector compatible with Dieter Wächter's great "Blue Dream" clock it shares its restrictions regarding GPS. But currently it's not supported by the software.
Manuel Azevedo was thinking about supporting DCF77 in his nwts in future.
Lately I added support for automatic DST switching (U.S. and EU rules) and automatic drift correction (which can also be set to manual) so in the meantime it shouldn't be too inconvenient to use the clock without radio support.
BTW, software updates definitely will be possible by the user, so I will be able to add features without requiring the clocks to be sent back to me.