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Bringing Nixie tubes back to life (daliborfarny.com)
108 points by RubyMyDear on Aug 18, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 23 comments

Super persistence and what a nice result. Nixies are really quite neat, I love the shapes of the digits (compared to LED digits).

Last year I cleared out an old warehouse that I owned (and have now sold) and I came across a box with a whole pile of nixies. Tossed them into the trash, if I had realized what they were worth... The inner pack-rat in me weeps.

My good friend makes awesome Glonass clocks out of Nixies:


I did not know that you can get time from GPS/Glonass before that.

GPS/Glonass satellites are (by simplification) only orbital atomic clocks with a radio transmitter.

Many things use gps time especially cell towers to sync radio cycles

The link at the bottom goes to the Russian order page.

Told him that, maybe he'll fix.

Thanks for the reference. Just supported him too.

There's a link there to a his Shanghai Time nixie clock [1],"a two-tube nixie clock". I wonder how you read a two-tube nixie clock. From the pictures it looks like it just displays the minutes, but that wouldn't be enough info for me. I'd be like "OK, I see it's 10 past, but 10 past what? Judging from the position of the sun, it may be 10 past 2 or 10 past 3. Not sure though."

[1] http://www.daliborfarny.com/shanghai-time-nixie-clock/

I'd display the hour for three seconds then the minute for one.

Fun stuff, at $145/tube its a bit more than they were originally but its nice to know there is a source if you need one.

I really enjoyed his journey of discovery though, I think if he put it into book form he could self publish on Amazon or some similar publisher and people would be able to support his effort without such a big buy in cost :-).

But cheaper than the available stock of the tube it replaces, and more attractive with that nice aluminum base.

Old Z5680M / Z568M tubes of dubious quality are selling on EBay for $200+.

I wonder who would buy them at such ridiculous prices. Most NOS nixies are in the $0.5 to $5 range, excluding delivery costs. Only exceptions are a few weird and rare ones.

albeit at 125mm height that's a relatively gigantic nixie tube as compared to those in the old spectrophotometer in my grad school lab.

I love nixies. I have a Fluke 8100 with a nixie display; it's pretty much just my battery tester but the most beautiful (and largest) one in the world.

Also built a kit clock that wasn't much more expensive than just one of this guy's tubes (uses Russian surplus pc-mount tubes), but apparently no longer available.

I think I got it here, but the site just shows some lame SQL error now:


As someone who assembled, ran, and maintained high vacuum hardware and furnaces in undergraduate and graduate school, my hats off to the scope of this guy's undertaking.

Love to see the all the steps they made! Those nixie tube clocks have always intrigued me

Wow, impressive quality in details and finishing. And all made in a small shop in rural Czechia. I wonder how the guy financed all the equipment and time in the first place, he looks pretty young.

He says that in the article. He states that he had started two small businesses, one of which was successful enough to let him finance this.

Very nice nixie tubes, now if only he made DHT tubes for my amps with bases like that...

Very cool.


> Anyone else can't stand the anti-chronological format? It's not a changelog!

It's exactly a changelog, blog, newsfeed, any number of things that read in this "newest news first" order.

This is the user friendly order for the repeat visitor and if that's not you, it's not for you. Your one time experience is suboptimal so the recurring interested audience visit is optimal.

That your HN-typical nitpicking was on top of this artisan's thread annoyed me, so I ordered a clock.

No, but it is a log. He just kept adding new entries to the top by the look of it.

Yep it doesn't feel natural in this case. It took me a second to realize I needed to scroll all the way down and read from there up.

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