Nixie Tap

Minimalist Wi-Fi Nixie Clock

Available for pre-order

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May 20, 2019

Project update 4 of 10

Preparing for Production: Part II

Thank you for backing us!

Here’s what we’ve been up to in the meanwhile.

Power supply section was tested, and we found that it has ~84% efficiency, which is a figure we’re happy with. This means that the PSU section will draw only 200mA from the USB port, leaving 300 mA for the ESP8266 and other circuitry.

Since most of the orders are actually kits, we needed to optimize Nixie Tap to be solderable by us mortals (no pick and place machines will be used). This means no 0603 parts, no QFP, and certainly no QFN with thermal pad.

With this in mind, a redesign was made:

The most difficult part to solder is in SOT23-6 case. Other stuff is SOIC for ICs and 0805 for resistors and capacitors.

This concept is good because it offers modularity. If some section is broken, we can easily put it aside and plug in a new one, in order not to waste time in production.

On the production front, we ordered a small batch of Nixie Tubes, to inspect how they are packed, and to see if the supplier is reputable. It arrived in a nice, Soviet, recycled-cardboard box, with a vintage datasheet:

Also, we ordered and received the whole quantity of pins for IN-12B. It’s a big reel of 10000 pcs. These pins are soldered onto the PCB, and act as a socket, which facilitates easy replacement of defective tubes.

The next steps are:

Have a nice day!

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