Spectrum 568

My Nixie Addiction

Spectrum 568

February 12, 2019 Uncategorized 0

For nearly a year I have had a Spectrum 568 board from PV Electronics sat on the shelf waiting for the moment when I allow my self the pleasure of it’s construction. At the same time, a set of Dalibor Farnys excellent tubes have also been sat there awaiting the same moment.

Having recently completed a previous project (PV Electronics Elite in laminated wooden case with brass insert) I finally gave in and assembled the electronics.

It was the usual joyous experience though on a much larger scale (the Spectrum 568 board is mahoosive). I would say though that, as my addiction has progressed, whilst I still enjoy wielding a soldering iron and bringing electronics to life, my focus has shifted ever so slightly towards seeing the completed clock in a nice looking case rather than completing the electronics alone.

I am fortunate to have a ‘spare’ tube, an early production unit that has a fault (‘0’ does not work) which I can use for testing rather that releasing the shiny new ones from the safety of their robust packaging. Within a couple of hours, I had a fully functioning Spectrum 568 clock albeit without the switches, LED’s and sockets fitted as this will be going into a custom built case with different switches etc. I fitted as many components as possible to the ‘underside’ of the board to minimise the overall height of the completed clock. This will allow the tube sockets to sit as close as possible to the ‘lid’ of the case so that as much of the tube as possible is displayed.

The kit includes upgraded ‘colon towers’, part of which are aluminium turned bases which are designed to match Dalibors tube bases. As I have a customised finish on mine (Nickel Metal Hydride – which looks like ‘gold’) I had to do something about the plain aluminium bases for the colon towers. My solution was to take them to a nearby anodising company where, for a consideration, the colon tower bases were anodised ‘gold’. Not a perfect match but little more in keeping with the tubes.

The plan is to create another laminated case design as used for the Elite Clock. This time the layers might be a little thicker and the plan is to round off the top edge of the case with a router to reveal a little more of the laminations at the top of the design. At least I am now ready to take measurements and work up the design. My CNC router is of a certain size which is not actually big enough to cut the required pieces out so this one will most probably be made using laser cut wood, that’s my idea of woodwork! So, its off to SolidEdge 2019 to see what comes out. Watch this space (but please do not hold your breath).