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IN-18 Nixie Clock - Part I | Kevin Rye.net - Main

Kevin Rye

Geek Extraordinaire. Yeh, I said it.

IN-18 Nixie Clock - Part I

By using nine TPIC6B595 high voltage shift registers, I think I figured out how to drive six IN-18 nixie tubes. While I waited for my breakout boards to arrive, I prototyped the circuit with LEDs. In theory, I should be able to just swap out the LEDs with nixies and I'll be good to go.

tpic6b595-test-0021

My breakout boards finally arrived. What a long two weeks!

in-18_nixie_breakout_0010

I first put together another high voltage supply.

hv_nixie_supply_070

I plugged it into my breadboard and connected a 1K resistor to set the output to as close to 160V as I could. I'd like to run them at 170 volts, but then the 50V clamping diodes on the TPIC6B595 shift registers aren't going to work. If I run it a 170 volts, the voltage on the off pins is about 53 volts.

hv_nixie_supply_080

I soldered some pins into place and installed one of the nixies. I then applied power. Nice!

in-18_nixie_breakout_0011

I then repeated the process for the second nixie.

in-18_nixie_breakout_0012

Good to go. I popped the breakout board into my breadboard and moved the outputs from the LEDs to the nixies. I applied 160 volts and crossed my fingers.

Sweet! It works.

in-18_nixie_breakout_0014

Here it is in action:

IN-18 counting

I think it's time to design some PCBs!

More to come…
IN-18 Nixies
TPIC6B595 Shift Registers
IN-18 Nixie Clock - Part I