That which came first: The QTC Clock
After researching the various tube types and options, I settled on a kit featuring with ZM1210 tubes. The ZM1210’s were manufactured by Telefunken in Germany and come with a nice red coating (which can be removed if desired).
This is a really nice clock which supports a variety of different tube types. It features tubes mounted on carriers which can be changed easily (Quick Tube Change) in case of failure.
The well produced PCB is nicely laid out and features all manner of components including resistors, capacitors, inductors, transistors, a PIC micro controller and specialist tube driver IC’s.
The build process is well documented and the whole thing took about 10 hours (for the first one anyway!) to complete. Having never soldered anything before, Jo has completed most of her QTC construction in around 5 hours!
That which came second: The Spectrum Clock
I wanted to build something using larger tubes. I chose the IN-18 tubes (originally made in The Ukraine by Gazotron) which have a digit height of around 40mm.
The Spectrum build is actually simpler than the QTC, resistor networks help reduce the component count and as the board is bigger, everything is a little more spread out.
A useful addition is the optional PIR detector which will switch the clock on for a pre-determined period when activated. This means that the tubes are powered only when someone is there to look at them, thus preserving the life of these vintage items!
That which came third: The IN-12 / IN-17 Clock
I managed to talk my parents in to having a new alarm clock built for them, I built their last alarm clock over 40 years ago and it’s still going – but everyone needs a Nixie Alarm clock these days (don’t they?) so I built them this:
The IN-12 / IN 17
Featuring 4 x IN-12 Tubes and 2 x smaller IN-17 tubes with full alarm functionality and optional GPS/NTP Sync.
That which came fourth: The Halo Clock
Not wishing to be outdone I thought that I should have an alarm clock too so I built The Halo, something for the bedroom, overkill some might say as it comes on at about 21:00 and goes off at 23:00, then again, it’s not about having an alarm clock is it?!?
Featuring 6 top view tubes with full alarm functionality and optional GPS/NTP Sync
I have recently completed some clocks that have been built into vintage electrical equipment housings in what some might consider ‘Steam Punk’ style – pictures coming soon.
I can provide completed clocks in ‘bare bones’ format for you to build in to your own re-purposed or custom designed case.
That which is yet to come: Who Knows!