Blast from the past hardware: Nixie Tubes

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According to personal experience, Nixie Tubes are really awesome. My Divergence Meter Project made me realize that. But what were they exactly?

Basically a Nixie Tube was a type of Cold Cathode Display, so unlike most cathode displays ( e.g tungsten light bulbs ) they didn’t rely on heat to create their light, but instead it uses a process called glow discharge. Though of course this didn’t mean they stayed cool during their operation, if the current were to go over allowed ratings for prolonged times then it could potentially heat up the tube.

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Divergence Meter Project Update 4: Are you excited? Because I am! It’s finally complete \o/

*Drum Rolls* *Cheers* YES it’s finally complete :’) THE DIVERGENCE METER IS COMPLETE !!! It took me a long time, it took me a lot of effort, it also caused me a lot of headaches but hey its complete!!!! Really awesome indeed, though I still have to tweak it a bit in the software, somehow release 0.1.0a of the software uses up a whopping 6KB out of 8KB of program space, I really hope to optimize the code and make the world line rolling much more visually accurate, otherwise it’s really awesome to look at especially at night 😀 the way nixie tubes display numbers gives that really special retro feeling yet it gives a futuristic feeling at the same time.

Now for some power consumption reports, well so far I’ve only had the thing on batteries with the longest duration of 2 hours but according to my estimations, measurements and fooling around(writing it down makes it science ;D ), I’ve found that it should run for around 4 hours on the lowest brightness settings and 11 hours on the highest. One thing I did though design in an “adaptive brightness” feature into the thing. Basically it uses an LDR (Light Dependent Resistor) and the device measures the environments brightness, when it’s dark it turns the display darker to save power and when it’s bright it turns up the display to make it easier to see.

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Divergence Meter Project Update 2

So exams are done and hell that was crazy, 2 weeks of painful mind torture XD anyways today the Nixie Board of the Divergence Meter is finally assembled >.< !!!!!

Here are some pics 😀

Here we have the front view, nothing really special. Though the female pin headers had to be filed down a bit so that it would fit the height constraints and that’s why they look like that, but the electrical contact and tightness is still great. I didn’t really clean the board before taking a photo so uhh….deal with it :p

Front view of the board
Front view of the board

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