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Bad Remote ? You can always use the camera on your cell phone. It can look into the near IR. But that would be too easy. Use an old phototube, that was once used to pickup the sound tracks on movie films, and early threshold announcers. Also detect and amplify the signal with an old vacuum tube. A 930 phototube, and a 1U4 pentode are used here. The neon bulb flickers to the codes output by the IR remote control.
For making a clock, in addition to the inherent divide-by-10 ability, of a dekatron, you also need to be able to divide-by-6 (0,1,2,3,4,5). This video shows that circuit in action. When the count, transiently, hits 6, the reset circuit is triggered, send the glow back to the zero cathode. The transient 6 position, is so brief, that you can't even see the 6 ON.
Using an A107 in place of a 1-0f-10 counter, and drive a IN-16 nixie tube.
A107 dekatron is a selector circuit. Similar to an A108, but with a different gas mix. These dekatrons are special since they do not have separate guide electrodes, and their cathodes serve both as inputs, and outputs.
A107 Dekatron in a demo circuit. This tube is similar to the A108, but glows a dimmer purple, and needs a higher power supply value. 500V nominally, as opposed to only 300V for the A108. Also It needs 1.5mA, at that voltage.
Bunch of tubes running, with a candy in the middle.
Russian miniature A108 dekatron, in a selector circuit. This tube is even simple than other glow transfer counting tubes, in that the cathodes have both input (guide) and output (main) functions.
Video of selector demonstration circuit, for an A108 dekatron. This tube has does not differentiate between guides, or 'main' cathodes. All cathodes work as both. Both as inputs (guides), or outputs (mains).
An A108 dekatron in a special spinner circuit. It has no guides, and can only spin in the clockwise direction. Its hooked up to a high voltage astable multivibrator. One output tied to the odd cathodes, and the other output to the even cathodes.
Dekatron dohickie Kit. I've made complete units in the past. Now they are available in kit form. They have four selectable display modes, including one that responds to ambient sound.
Got rid of the big iron, and built a 2.5V switcher, from 12V in. Draws only a little over an amp and runs cool. Also generates +25V for the plate voltage.
The 866 is was intended to be used as a high voltage high power rectifier. They are filled with a small amount of mercury in near vacuum. Other than the 2.5V at 5 amps, to heat up the filament, this circuit is outputting less than 40V. Its connected as a "relaxation oscillator", using a 220 ohm resistor and a 2200uf capacitor as the timing elements. Plate current is only 70mA. WARNING: Emits UV light, and may cause eye injury if viewed too long ! That's the REAL item, not this video.
Modified a Spinner Kit with a discrete transistor pendulum circuit.
Here's a dekatron do-hickie bouncing to an Aerosmith tune. Its using a Rodan DK23 tube, and the circuit mimics a magic eye tube.
One of my dekatron spinner kits, with an OG-3 dekatron, that in turn, is tripping a mechanical counter, at every complete revolution.
Here is a winker circuit using a Russian IN-13 neon bar graph tube. Its a linear tube, so it works similar to a magic eye. With a magic eye the shadow varies with voltage. With this neon tube, the glow length varies with current. The circuit used is a low voltage phase shift oscillator using one general purpose PNP transistor. It feeds a High voltage NPN transistor that translates the sinewave voltage into a analogous current. High voltage (140V) is generated using a LM393 based switching supply.
Antique 930 Photo tube picking up signal from common IR remote. These work using the photoelectric effect, first noted in the mid 1800s, and finally explained by Einstein. Circuit has two parts. One generates -75V to power the phototube, and the other section amplifies the tiny amount of current coming out of the tube, to a voltage as high as 10V.
Here is a Western Electric 6167 dekatron in the spinner kit circuit. The WE6167 has a single guide set, and is unidirectional. The count direction is set by the shape of the cathodes. Its a pain-in-the-ass tube - if the anode current drops below 1mA, it will stall, and then become 'sticky' at the stall point. To un-stick it, you need to raise the current above 1mA, and run it for a while to let the crude get burned off. For a the glorious praise showered upon Bell Labs and Western Electric, they sure didn't know how to design a dekatron tube.
Mood Lite controller. Better control than old crappy color organ circuit. Lite is accurately pulse width modulated, by the sound. Not statistical hit-n-miss of old color organ circuit. Whoever first came up with the color organ circuit, new nothing of thysistor behavior.
Clock made with 4000 series CMOS discrete logic. No programmable parts. Just build it and it runs, Requires a separately acquired HV switching supply. On board charge pump boost 170V nixie voltage to 500V dekatron supply.