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Kickstarter Project - A supersized Nixie Tube Clock

Discussion in 'Hobby Engineering' started by Duncan, Nov 11, 2016.

  1. Duncan

    Duncan Member

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    Hi All,
    Got the OK from Agg to post this here. I wanted to share with you all on OCAU a nixie clock project I’ve been working on with a very talented guy from Czech Republic, which is currently up on Kickstarter.


    Click to view full size!


    This guy, Dalibor Farny, has spent the last 4 years developing the equipment and techniques to bring back the infamous nixie tube displays, which have now been out of production for more than 30 years. He started with very basic equipment, experimenting with vacuum pumps, glass tubes and a blow torches in a very small room, then progressing to gas filling stations and helium leak detectors, vacuum ovens he bought off eBay, and a proper glassblowing lathe he set up in a garden shed. He then moved his gear into a larger workshop so he would have more space to refine the design, consistency and reliability of the tubes he was making. He did all this virtually self-taught through books, bits of info he could find online and corresponding with others who were trying to achieve the same thing, with lots of good old perseverance. Given this, and the fact he hand-forms the glass and assembles the intricate number stack and does all the gas-filling and sealing and leak detection and QC etc himself, the nixie tubes he has created are quite amazing (and huge!). A fair bit of his process work can be seen in the Kickstarter video.

    [​IMG]
    Kickstarter.

    He has been working on his little production line to make small batches of tubes, but hasn’t got the capacity currently to make them on mass scale (although that is his dream eventually). I’ve always liked nixie displays and had made a couple of nixie clock designs using new-old-stock tubes in the past, so Dalibor and I started talking about doing a new design together using his hand-made nixie tubes in order to get them out there for people to appreciate.

    Size-wise, his tubes are double the size of anything I had used before (the clock stands a bit taller than a coke can) so this was pretty exciting. Now, about 10 months later, the design is finished and we put it up on Kickstarter to help get the word out about his work and allow people to own and enjoy one of his nixie tubes without the need for any electronics know-how or need for any assembly, just plug and play.

    I felt OCAUers would be able to appreciate the work that goes into making something as intricate as a nixie tube and might be interested in supporting the project (and getting one of your very own nixie clocks for your desk!). I know the goal has already been reached, but every clock that goes out there helps to spread the word and goes towards his goal of expanding into a proper production line to make his tubes.

    Cheers for checking it out :)

    [​IMG]
    Kickstarter.


    Duncan.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2016
  2. psychobunny

    psychobunny Member

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    best of luck with the kickstarter. Unfortunately out of my budget, but i love nixie clock

    any chance you will sell bare tubes in the future?
     
  3. _zak

    _zak Member

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    I'm not usually one to romanticise obsolete technology, but I really like the look of these. Looks like you've smashed the funding goal - hopefully I can join the crowd.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Duncan

    Duncan Member

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    Thank you! Yep the tubes by themselves is possible, just BYO driver electronics :)

    Cheers zak, it'd be great to have your support!
     
  5. RyoSaeba

    RyoSaeba Member

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    I love Nixie Tube Clocks. Got 2 myself. This one is a bit more than I'm willing to spend on a clock unfortunately lol. But looks like you guys got plenty of backers already! Good stuff! Would be absolutely amazing (and expensive) if you make one with 6 globes hehehe :lol:
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Duncan

    Duncan Member

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    Haha 2 nixie clocks! That's awesome. Yep about $2.5k for a 6 tube version. Hand-made quality ain't cheap unfortunately, but the workmanship in the tube is phenomenal.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2016
  7. Nitephyre

    Nitephyre Member

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    Wow, sexy as hell! Good luck. :wired:
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Duncan

    Duncan Member

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    Thanks mate! :thumbup:
     
  9. disco frank

    disco frank Member

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    Actually saw his youtube vid a few weeks back was a bit boring in places but
    amazing!!!!

    i have a small nixie i made and really dig the look of them, not sure what it is about them, they are just cool!

    I think your design is fooking awesome! and only using 1 tube is great idea!

    but for me personally no, i would dig a 4 tube version! :p but so dont have the funds to do this

    good luck with it all, and to the dude hand makeing the tubs awesome work!
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Duncan

    Duncan Member

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    Cheers! Haha yep it's a long video. There's about a day's work in each tube, so he did well to summarise it I reckon!
     
  11. Mathuisella

    Mathuisella Member

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    :O i think this is the same guy i saw a while back.

    An impressive setup and awesome achievement.

    I wish there was just a simple nixie that i could back $50 for :(
     
  12. OP
    OP
    Duncan

    Duncan Member

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    Yeah the work he has put into making them is insane, but he's made an awesome reproduction (even better than the original Z568M tubes I reckon!). A $50 nixie would be sweet, sadly hand-made ones like this ain't cheap!
     
  13. money_killer

    money_killer Member

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    Wow top job and idea
     
  14. roamin

    roamin Member

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    holy moly, looks sensational but at $400 a tube its not in my budget. always wanted a nixie clock but this is just too expensive for me.

    i realise theres a lot of work involved in these things but i hope there not priced at a point where people cant justify it and they dont make enough sales to keep the business going.

    top looking product though, well done :thumbup:
     
  15. OP
    OP
    Duncan

    Duncan Member

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    Cheers fellas :thumbup: Yeah the price is a pinch point for me too, but it's still early days. Hopefully his business will ramp up and he can automate some steps to bring some of the tube costs down in the future.
     
  16. roamin

    roamin Member

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    hopefully this is possible because i would love one! ive always had an itch to get one, they look amazing and everyone that sees them for the first time is wowed by them!

    fantastic product and would love to get one!
     
  17. OP
    OP
    Duncan

    Duncan Member

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    Yeah I hope so too, hence this project to try and get his work a bit more exposure :) Seeing how people react to them is the best bit!
     
  18. Kosti

    Kosti Member

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    Amazing skills and would love to back, but hell too rich for me..Well done in raising the funds :thumbup:
     
  19. OP
    OP
    Duncan

    Duncan Member

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    No worries, cheers for the comment! :thumbup:
     
  20. Cynide

    Cynide Member

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    If you had a 4 digit one I'd be in like Flynn!
     

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