Nocrotec
Nixie Clock
"The Nixie Queen"

Designed by Dieter Wächter
last update and finished: July-11-2009



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The initial idea of that project was a Nixie tube clock which has a flat shiny stainless steel case and 6 pcs. 30mm Nixie tubes of the very rare GR10J (and GR10J/F) types.

 Here you can find the details of that great looking tubes:

Bilder/
Pictures
Typ/
Type
Hersteller/
Brand
Sockel/
Base
Zeichen/
Symbols
ZH
mm
Kurzbeschreibung/
Short Description

GR10J Hivac B26A 0-9 30 Der "Numicator" mit der kupferfarbenen Anode ist meiner Meinung nach die schönste aller 30 mm Röhren und deshalb die Queen of all Nixies!
The "Numicator"
with the copper colored anode is in my opinion the prettiest 30 mm tube and therefore the Queen of all Nixies!

GR10J/F Hivac B26A 0-9 30 GR10J mit rotem Farbfilter - extrem selten!/
GR10J with red filter coating - extremely rare!

You'll find all technical data about that tubes here at my Nixie Tube Data Archive.


The Power Supply:
I used the same circuitry as for the V600 Nixie Clock
Here you see the very first test- and improvement-board:


Next step was a self made milled board for a SMD-circuit in an elongate shape - fitting perfect for the later clock PCB:

TOP:


BOTTOM:

Note that this is a double sided PCB and was milled at a self made milling machine.
Many thanks to JR electronics who built this machine and generated the G-code for the board!

The finished and optimized test board:


It worked perfect for 170V/30mA at 90% efficiency with input voltage 12VDC. This is very high for a step up converter.
It remains nearly hand warm at full load and works nearly noiseless.
GREAT!


The clock PCB
was the next I designed.
Here you can see the final version of the board:

BOTTOM:


TOP:

the blue layer you see here over the tube pin pads is not huckleberry jam but the solder mask, which protects the pads from soldering while the boards run through the solder wave.

The assembling
could be done now.
The next pictures show the assembled board. The first prototype was hand assembled and worked perfect.

BOTTOM:

On top right you can see the PSU taken over from the PSU design above with little changes.
On the top left you see the buttons, the RTC, an ATMEG8515.
On lower side there are the Supertex (Nixie) driver chips for the direct drive.
All in all this super flat board provides a total height of 13mm.
SUPERB!


TOP:

You can see the self made tube sockets here. So the tubes easily can be replaced and aligned.


The first prototype was born:



Next step: Designing the case

I made some designs and ended at this stainless steel cubic style (first a 3D-animation only)

The first prototype case was done:

It is a laser cut stainless steel sheet, welded and grind.
The dimensions of the case are: 250 x 80 x 27mm (only!)

Check out the wonderful surface finish:


The coding
The features I put in:

  • 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
  • Time is battery buffered when no line power is available; battery will last for more than 10 years
  • User settings are always stored

 


Finally: The result of the finished housing:

The clock at night:

Here you can watch a video which shows the V600-NT clock.
This type does have the same case and features as the Nixie Queen clock, so you can imagine the look of it
:


Here you can download the user manual:
Manual Nocrotec Nixie Queen

Interested in buying a Nocrotec Nixie Queen Clock?
click here!!


This Project is finished
Thanks for reading.


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