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Microchip's Nixie Tubes light up DESIGN East

9/13/2012 11:59 PM EDT
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UncleRemus
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re: Microchip's Nixie Tubes light up DESIGN East
UncleRemus   9/14/2012 4:42:30 PM
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$5.00 for a circuitboard from ValueProto? I don't think so. This must be wrong, I punch in a 2"x2" board and they quote 37 dollars.

UncleRemus
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re: Microchip's Nixie Tubes light up DESIGN East
UncleRemus   9/14/2012 4:48:25 PM
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Maybe they got the "mention us in EEtimes" discount for those $5.00 circuitboards.

Max The Magnificent
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re: Microchip's Nixie Tubes light up DESIGN East
Max The Magnificent   9/14/2012 6:11:19 PM
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@UncleRemus: Sorry -- this was my bad -- I was interviewing John over the phone -- he said "$25" but I heard "$5" and that's what I wrote down. I just touched base with John again, he says that the price was $25 each for a 1.5" x 4", quantity = 4, and a 2-week turnaround time. But still and all, I think $25 for a hobbyist prototype board of this level of sophistication is a REALLY good deal. I don;t want to think what I've ended up paying other board vendors in the past...

Max The Magnificent
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re: Microchip's Nixie Tubes light up DESIGN East
Max The Magnificent   9/14/2012 6:13:50 PM
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PS For others just coming in, my article originally said $5 a board for the prototype (unpopulated) PCBs -- I made a mistake -- it should be $25 -- and I just made that change in the article -- so UncleRemus wasn't imagining things (grin)

ReneCardenas
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re: Microchip's Nixie Tubes light up DESIGN East
ReneCardenas   9/14/2012 9:33:37 PM
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Awesome project, very niffty application, even at $25 each board that is a great value, as youo pointed it out Max. I have to confess to been also a fan of Eagle, for their powerful and user programmable scripts. I was able to place 25 items (SOP6 LEDs)with perfect spacing in a square array 5x5. So Excel is a handy tool but Eagle scripts could have been as well suited for that job. Thanks for sharing, wish I could make it, but work and other obligations would make it hard for me. Max, hope you can give us a photo gallery of the event.

Max The Magnificent
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re: Microchip's Nixie Tubes light up DESIGN East
Max The Magnificent   9/17/2012 2:41:07 PM
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Hi Rene -- sad to relate I'm in the same boat as you -- too much to do -- so I won't be attending -- but I know some folks who are there (it starts today)

John Pote
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re: Microchip's Nixie Tubes light up DESIGN East
John Pote   9/17/2012 11:00:37 PM
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WOW Nixie tube nostalgia! First desk calculator I saw, early 70s' in school, used them. LEDs and VF displays that followed just didn't convey the same quality. Curious how the circuit design is a 21st century solution to a 20th century problem, 1 MPU per Nixie. Luxury! Back then 1 MPU/CPU was all we were allowed but we could have a few of octal latches and lots of driver code to multiplex them. How well I remember filling a 2k byte eprom with intricately interwoven monolithic assembler. I still wind up colleagues by threatening to put a 'goto' in my 'C'. They fall for it every time.

Compotek_LB
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re: Microchip's Nixie Tubes light up DESIGN East
Compotek_LB   9/18/2012 8:03:44 AM
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Nice application and at the first look I agree to John Pote: One uC per Nixie seems really a luxury. - The Nixies could also be controlled by some latched shift registers. So you use just one uC port pin for shifting and a second one for latching. But then you will need a uC that has some more PWM outputs for the independent RGB LEDs. So all in all the 4 uC solution is really a 21st century solution. uC are that cheap and breaking up a big problem in parts resulting in more, but smaller problems (thinking of hardware and software) is a very good way to solve engineering problems - IMHO the century doesn't matter in this case... :-)

Chris.Barron
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re: Microchip's Nixie Tubes light up DESIGN East
Chris.Barron   9/19/2012 7:33:49 AM
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I don't see what is so revolutionary about this clock. I first put one uC per tube into my Microchip based B7971 nixie tube 'Smartsockets', back in 2006. I've since made several versionjs for different display types. I was also the first person to put coloured LED's behind nixie tubes. There's a lot about this clock which is familiar to me....I keep my project up to date and I've recently finished VFD display based smartsockets. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smartsockets/

Chris.Barron
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re: Microchip's Nixie Tubes light up DESIGN East
Chris.Barron   9/19/2012 7:36:33 AM
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...I also put a video on Youtube of my Microchip based smartsockets driving different display types, here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ek8S4r7bBUU

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