10 January, 2011

Nixies and Mitino Radio Market

Well, some of you might not even know what the tittle is all about so let me put some references about nixies. Pretty cool, right? I was always found about that electric shine. The problem is that nixies are history and the only way you can put your hands on something like this is if you salvage it from old equipment or buy it from fairs or even the internet.

Mitino Radio Market
Nixies recovered from an old equipment
Had a few nixies back home donated by a friend of mine but I wouldn't mind getting some more. In a business trip last year I strolled through what I later found out was the famous Mitino Radio Market. I was on the run looking for a megohmeter and some other tools but I couldn't help not noticing one store's showcase. It was packed with nixies, all shapes and sizes. Sadly though I didn't have time for it and the shop was closed any way. After my trip was done, on the way back home, having some extra hours between flights I hopped on the Aeroexpress, changed it for the sub, added a hefty part of walking and I was back roaming the Market. The place is awesome, a lot more shops than I first saw. Anything you can imagine in the field of electronics is there, from car audio and GPS units, to motor rewinding shops, custom battery pack manufacture shops and electronics antiquity shops.

 I went in the shop where I first saw the nixies and this time it was opened. The prices for a piece were insignificant and took quite a few. Bargaining with the seller wasn't a problem since he was patient with me and my flourish. Left the shop with literally a bag full of nixies and VFDs for no more than 15$ or so, quite a bargain I'd say.

Once I was back home, didn't have the time for them so I postponed a close eye review. Now the time came so here are some close-ups:

 The biggest VFD of them all was what looked like a clock display. Sadly it can't be used because the envelope's evacuation tubeglass was broken either before I bough it or while I transported back home. Once the vacuum escapes the envelope it's no longer a V in the VFD so it will definitely not work, hihi.. Another piece for my little electronics history museum.

VFD with evacuation tubeglass broken (right side)
Even though brand new these little wonders are ancient stuff but with a little Google on the search, a little Google on the translation, I got the tech infos I needed in no time. Russian hobbyist keep pretty good records of all mother Russia had to offer in it's glory days.
Now all I have to do is develop a HV supply, draw out a schematic, figure out a purpose and above all find the time to do it all. So.. back in line on the long list of not_have_time projects of mine.

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