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Nixie Tube Module


#1

I stumbled across this and had to have one! http://www.dfrobot.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=738#.UR5N0aUazJQ

Now the only problem is the driver is for Arduino, I have zero experience with SPI and porting drivers, and next to no C++ experience. Oh well… how hard can it be?


#2

Actually it shouldn’t be that hard, the most difficult thing you will encounter is updating calls to STD or STL, or other libraries that do not have a C# equivalent, but a search for what the function does, expects and returns will ease this pain a lot.


#3

I’ve looked at the Arduino code. They just bit bang the pins. Easy to do in netmf. Be careful with nixies (high voltage).


#4

Yup I’ll keep my claws off the conductors! I’ve got 8 years experience troubleshooting avionics hardware… so it’s the code part that’s dangerous for me :wink:

It’ll probably be a couple weeks before I can really get in there and try to port it over.


#5

Now that would be a lovely module. I like the Acrylic covers they put on them for a bit of protection.


#6

Yeah Hackaday featured these a while back and I came across the article. Tons of bellyaching about the price in the comments… meanwhile I’m looking at the stout looking construction and quality hardware and thinking about how much time and money it would take me to come [em]nowhere close[/em] to how good these things look.


#7

Personally i dont think the price is that high. There is a lot of components and time gone into the design. The PCB’s are not expensive especially using the DFRobot PCB service. The quality is great. the nixie tubes etc, i have no idea how much they are individually. With your background in avionics you should be ahead of the curve on designing the modules. Im sure there would be a few takers on this forum who would help with the software side.


#8

I have a bunch of these tubes and some other types. Love nixies. I have built several Ice Tube clocks for friends and family.


#9

Welllll I’m not an engineer quite yet… just an integration tech. My knowledge is a mile wide but an inch deep! Started on RADAR/Comm in the Navy and now I’m at a small test equipment company, so I troubleshoot everything from 5 bay stations down to sub assembly IC level. Mostly old proprietary stuff. Really I’m just great at poking around with an o-scope lol.

But I have recently started doing schematic capture at work, and I have my first personal PCB order in with ExpressPCB right now. Maybe after I finish my current project next month I might get into Gadgeteer (I only have Panda IIs) and try to design an improved module.

What sort of things would you guys like to see on such a module?


#10

Good man :slight_smile: that’s what we like :slight_smile:


#11

It’s a pretty niche product… so I don’t know how worthwhile it would be, but it might be nice on a redesigned module to have hardware PWMs and the ability to set LED brightness separately from the brightness of the displayed character. I know I would like that for my application.


#12

Check out what just showed up in shipping/receiving. Ordered it Thursday night from Shanghai, got it today. Looks pretty nice… but once I get around to finishing the driver I’ll have to scratch out the “Arduino” silkscreen and write FEZ.


#13

I am Jealous :frowning:


#14

That’s a sexy module. Fire it up!


#15

That was very fast shipping. Where are you located?


#16

I’m in Arizona.

I’ve got two other projects to finish first :wink: Fired up my first custom PCB last evening. Works great!


#17

Interesting. I don’t remember seeing any custom boards made for Panda II. You must be the first :smiley:

What is it?


#18

I have a little hobby of gutting out vacuum tube radios and putting RGB LEDs and digital music in them… audio custom edited for different theme channels. I was using Sparkfun MP3Triggers before… Finally finishing my first FEZ version. It has a channel designer I wrote for Windows to set the parameters.

I’ll post a demo video when it is all together.


#19

double post


#20