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1  Projects / ArduiNIX / Re: Blue Dot on: February 07, 2014, 04:33:43 PM
Ahhh... I hope that is not the case.  I will move on with the Arduinix, IN-18, blue dot (unfortunately) on the digit 1 combination for my first clock build.  Maybe I can get smarter and do a version 2 that is better.  Can you help point me to sources of information?
2  Projects / ArduiNIX / Re: Help - Wiring up six tubes on: February 07, 2014, 04:26:56 PM
Very nice!  I checked out your images... any chance you might like to tell a DIY story about those?
3  Projects / ArduiNIX / Re: Help - Wiring up six tubes on: February 02, 2014, 10:43:48 PM
I am probably the last one to be helping out since I am almost exactly in the same boat as you are... however, I have done something similar so I can try to help out.  First of all, if you are using the IN-17 tubes, you should probably get the pcb from robotpirate; that will basically wire the tubes for you.  If you don't have that tube, you will need to do something else.

First, you may have heard multiplexing mentioned for the Arduinix.  All that means is that not all tubes are lit simultaneously.  They are lit in sequence very quickly so that it appears that they are all lit at the same time.  The key to lighting the tube is the anode connection; think of it as the power and the cathode connections as the value (zero through nine).  To multiplex, the Arduino code will set the value for a tube and then turn on the anode for that tube to show the value.  Then it turns off the anode; changes the value to be what the next tube should be then turns on the anode for that tube... then it repeats for all the tubes.

You may have noticed, however, that the Arduinix has two sets of cathode connections (both zero to nine) and only 4 anode connections.  What the Arduinix does is use one anode to light two bulbs at a time with each set of cathodes providing the value for each of the two tubes.

This means that you will wire half of your tubes to one set of cathode pins on the Arduinix and the other half to the other set of cathode pins.  The anode connections will go across the two groups.

What this means is that you will need to wire half your tubes cathodes in parallel - this means make a connection from one of the cathode 0 pins to the "0" pins on half your tubes at the same time - think of a Y shaped connection from the Arduinix to each of the tubes or from the Arduinix to tube one then to tube two, etc... electrically these are the same.

Next wire the cathode 1 pin (from the same group of pins as the zero prior) to the "1" pins on those same tubes; 2 to 2; 3 to 3, etc... all the way to 9.  Call this group 1.

Repeat the same process for the other half of the tubes using the other set of cathode pins on the Arduinix.  Call this group 2.

Now, you will need to wire the anodes.  Note you have 4 anode pins on the Arduinix... since each lights two tubes at a time, this allows the Arduinix to drive a total of 8 tubes.  As described above, each anode will light two tubes.  You will wire from each anode pin on the Arduinix to two tubes; one from group 1 and one from group 2.  This last part is important or you will get tubes that are showing the same number since the cathodes in each group will provide a distinct value and the anode will light it up (so to speak).

What I don't know is the sequence of the tubes - e.g. anode 1, cathode group 1 is the high order hours digit (or the low order seconds digit), etc.  Each combination will correspond to a time data element - you may have to play with that and you can always adjust it in the Arduino code.

To summarize:

Each tube in group one has each of its cathodes connected to the group 1 pins on the Arduinix corresponding to the digit (0 to 0, etc)
Each tube in group two has each of its cathodes connected to the group 2 pins on the Arduinix corresponding to the digit (0 to 0, etc)
Each anode connects to a tube from group 1 and one from group 2

anode 1, cathode group 1 = something
anode 1, cathode group 2 = something else
anode 2, cathode group 1 = ...
through anode 4

Yes!  This is a lot of wires!  That is why the pcb route is much easier if you can find someone that has built one for your tubes.  I am using IN-18s... no such luck.  I do have some pcb sockets that will help a little, but I still anticipate a lot of wires and soldering... but, that is why I bought the kit instead of a finished clock!

If you don't know which pins on your tube correspond to each digit (they may not be sequential), you will need to google a "pinout" for your tube type.

I hope this helps.

Bill
4  Projects / ArduiNIX / What arduino pins are used for arduinix? on: February 01, 2014, 09:14:05 PM
I am new to both the arduino and the arduinix.  I assembled the arduinix and all appears to be working fine.  I want to extend the model and introduce other hardware (e.g. a motion sensor to turn on the display).  I am of limited experience with the arduino, but I am smart enough to know that I would need to attach it to the arduino to be able to code to it, my question is what pins are available to use?  It looks like the analog pins are optionally connected to the arduinix; I connected those when I assembled the board.  This was not clear to me when I did the assembly so I added the pins and completed the connections.

If this is optional, what was accomplished by connecting these to the arduinix?  If I remove that connector can I then use those pins for other purposes?  Any insight here would be appreciated.
5  Projects / ArduiNIX / Blue Dot on: February 01, 2014, 09:04:27 PM
Has anyone else experienced the blue dot phenomenon?  I just assembled my Arduinix and attached it to one nixie IN-18 tube for a test.  I used the test code for a one bulb setup from this site.  The nixie works correctly, but there is a blue dot that appears when the 1 digit is displayed.  A search on the net turned up a number of posts on this problem, but, to be honest, I don't really understand the issue.  The consensus seems to point the finger at the circuity, not the tube itself.  If that is the case, how would this be resolved?

Any insight would be appreciated.
6  Projects / ArduiNIX / IN-18 Wiring on: February 01, 2014, 08:46:17 PM
I am using an Arduinix to build a nixie clock using IN-18 tubes.  The wiring diagram for the tubes shows 14 pins; 10 for the cathodes of the digits, 2 unused and 2 anodes... my assumption is that I can use either of the anode pins; is that assumption correct?
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