Skip to main content


Showing posts from June, 2017

Cold Cathode Display Tubes - Nixies

A hobby project needs to be simple, so that I can sit down, stare at the circuit for a few seconds and carry on without having to read a manual and consult six data sheets, because then it feels like work.  Consequently, I found that thermionic valves make ideal hobby toys, since the circuitry necessarily has to be simple.  One can use a double handful of ICs and transistors in a hair brained design, but with tubes, two or three are the practical limit and this forces one to think carefully about what one wants to do and keep it elegant. Here is my olde skool guitar amplifier: It works a treat. There is nothing quite like the mystical glow of a Nixie Tube.  The Nixie is a special kind of neon lamp.  The Neon glows in space surrounding the almost invisibly thin cathode wires.  The wire itself is cold - it is the gas around it that glows and the glowing area is much wider than the wires. A Nixie has something in commo