Nixie Clock Type `Frank 2 IN-8-2`

Nixie Clock Type `Frank 2 IN-8-2`
Assembly Instructions
And
User Guide
Nixie Clock Type
‘Frank 2 IN-8-2’
Software version: RTC-1.3
PCB Revision: 14 Jan 10
Nixie Clock ‘Frank 2 IN-8-2’
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1. INTRODUCTION
1.1
About the clock
Nixie clock type ‘Frank 2’ is a compact design with all components
and tubes mounted on a single PCB. The efficient use of board
space is achieved by using a multiplex design to drive the display
tubes. Only a single high-voltage binary-to-decimal decoder IC
(74141) is required, and each tube is switched on in sequence very
quickly to give the illusion that all the tubes are actually lit.
The tubes are type IN-8-2 with a digit height of 18mm. These
tubes are Russian in origin and were produced during the 1980’s,
when the technology was at it’s most advanced. It is expected that
the tubes will last for many years and should not need replacing.
1.2
Clock Features
Nixie clock type ‘Frank 2’ has the following features:
- Hours, Minutes and Seconds display
- Uses a Temperature Compensated Crystal Oscillator (TCXO) as
the timebase
- Lithium coin cell backup / RTC. Keeps time during power outages
- Simple time setting using two buttons
- 12 or 24 hour modes
- Programmable leading zero blanking
- Five programmable neon colon settings (Flashing AM/PM
indication, illuminated AM/PM indication, both flashing, both on,
both off)
- Maintains time during setup mode, eg. When changing between
Standard Time and Daylight Savings Time
- Seconds can be reset to zero to make small adjustments /
precisely set time
- Infinitely programmable night time blanking period to save tubes
- Separate modes for colon neons during night time blanking
- Four display modes: Dim, Bright, Fading digits, Blanked
- Ten different possible fade speeds in fading digit mode
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1.3
SAFETY
DANGER: The clock pcb includes a switched-mode voltage booster
circuit. This generates nominally 170 Volts DC, but is capable of
generating up to 300 Volts before adjustment. Assembly may only be
undertaken by individuals who are suitably qualified and experienced in
electronics assembly, and are familiar with safe procedures for working
with high voltages. If in doubt, refer to a suitably qualified engineer
before proceeding.
The voltages generated by this circuit can give a potentially
LETHAL ELECTRIC SHOCK.
DISCLAIMER: This product is supplied as a kit of parts, intended only for
suitably qualified electronic engineers, who are suitably qualified and
experienced in electronics assembly, and are familiar with safe
procedures for working with high voltages. The supplier, his agents or
associates accept no liability for any damage, injury or death arising from
the use of this kit of parts.
This is not a finished product, and the person assembling the kit is
responsible for ensuring that the finished product complies with any
applicable local regulations governing electrical equipment, eg. UL, CE,
VDE.
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2. TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT REQUIRED
2.1
Tools required to assemble the PCB
The following tools will be required to assemble the PCB:
- Soldering iron with a small tip (1-2 mm)
- Wire cutters (TIP: A small pair of nail clippers works very well
for this function)
- Wire strippers (TIP: A small pair of scissors is quite suitable)
- Multimeter
- Small flat screwdriver for adjusting the high voltage supply
2.2
Materials you will need
Solder – lead / tin solder is preferred. Lead – free solder, as now
required to be used in commercial products in Europe, has a much
higher melting point and can be very hard to work with.
Desoldering wick (braid) can be useful if you accidentally create
solder bridges between adjacent solder joints.
2.3
Other items you will need
The clock kit does not include a power adapter. This is because the
kit is sold to many countries around the world, each with very
different household mains outlet socket types. It is more efficient
for the user to buy a suitable adapter locally. This saves shipping a
heavy adapter with the kit, and also the extra costs of managing
stocks of many varied power adapters.
The type of power adapter can be obtained at very low cost. The
following type of adapter should be obtained and used with the kit:
Output 9-12V AC OR DC
Minimum power output capability of 250 mA
Output plug: 2.1mm pin
A suitable adapter is shown in figure 1 below:
Figure 1
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3. LIST OF COMPONENTS
3.1
Table of components (In sequence)
Circuit Designation
Resistors
R1
R2
R3
R4
R5
R6 – R11
R12 – R23
R24 – R29
R30, R31
R32 - R34,
R35
R36, R37
Capacitors
C1
C2
C3
C4
C5
C6
C7 – C12
Transistors
Q1
Q2
Q3-Q8
Q9-Q16
Diodes
D1-D4
D5
D6
Integrated Circuits
IC1
IC2
IC3
IC4
IC5
Miscellaneous
L1
NX1-NX6
SW1, SW2
NE1, NE2
VR1
PCB
IC Socket
BATT
CONN
Part Description
33K, ¼ Watt
1K, ¼ Watt
1K, ¼ Watt
390K, ¼ Watt
1K, ¼ Watt
390K, ¼ Watt
5.6K, ¼ Watt
Wire link
390K, ¼ Watt
33K, ¼ Watt
Not installed
33K, ¼ Watt
470uF, 16-25V, Electrolytic
100uF, 16-25V, Electrolytic
470uF, 16-25V, Electrolytic
22nF ceramic or polyester
1uF, 250V, Electrolytic
Not installed
100nF ceramic
MPSA42
IRF730
MPSA92
MPSA42
NPN
N-Channel MOSFET
PNP
NPN
1N4001
1N4936 fast recovery diode
Not installed
78L05 5V voltage regulator
NE555 Timer IC
PIC16Fxxxx 8-bit Microcontroller
74141 / K155N Nixie driver
DS3231 TCXO / RTC
100uH – 470uH Inductor
Nixie tube IN-8-2
Miniature push button
4mm wire ended neon
1K Potentiometer
PCB
18 Way IC Socket for IC3
CR1220 Cell + Holder
2.1mm PCB Power socket
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3.2
Parts list / Packing sheet
Part Description
Resistors
1K, ¼ Watt
5.6K, ¼ Watt
33K, ¼ Watt
390K, ¼ Watt
Capacitors
470uF, 16-25V, Electrolytic
100uF, 16-25V, Electrolytic
1uF, 250V, Electrolytic
100nF, ceramic
22nF, ceramic or polyester
Transistors
IRF730 N-Channel MOSFET
MPSA92 PNP
MPSA42 NPN
Diodes
1N4001
1N4936 fast recovery diode
Integrated Circuits
78L05 5V voltage regulator
NE555 Timer IC
PIC16Fxxxx 8-bit Microcontroller
74141 / K155N Nixie driver
DS3231 TCXO / RTC
Miscellaneous
100uH – 470uH Inductor
Nixie tube IN-8-2
Miniature push button
1K Potentiometer
4mm Wire ended neon
PCB
IC Socket, 18 way DIL
CR1220 Cell + Holder
Clear insulation for Neons
2.1mm PCB Power socket
Quantity
3
12
6
9
2
1
1
6
1
1
6
9
4
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
6
2
1
2
1
1
1
1
1
It is recommended that the kit is checked against the list above, to
ensure all parts are present before commencing assembly. Don’t be
alarmed if there are some extra components, as some component
bags are shared between different kit types.
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3.3
How to identify the correct components
Resistors:
The resistors are easy to identify by the coloured bands
across the cylindrical body. Using a multimeter it should will
be possible very quickly to identify the different values.
Capacitors:
Take care when identifying the small ceramic or polyester
capacitors. Depending on part availability, 2 or more different
types may be supplied. The 22nF capacitor (C4) may be
marked 22nF, 22n, or 223. The 100nF capacitors (C7-C12)
may be marked 104.
Transistors:
The MOSFET Q2 can easily be identified as it has a large
metal heatsink. Note: Due to part availability, this part may
be substituted for a different but equivalent part number so
the part marking may not necessarily be ‘IRF730’
Diodes:
The four 1N4001 diodes D1-D4 are black and are marked
1N4001. 1N4007 diodes may be supplied instead. They are
identical for this circuit. The other black diode is D5, and
again due to part availability it may be substituted for an
equivalent such as UF4004
Inductor L1
The inductor is a coil winding on a ferrite core and may or
may not be finished with a heatshrink sleeve depending on
part availability
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4.
ASSEMBLY OF THE PCB
4.1
Diodes D1-D4
Start by bending the leads of the four diodes to approximately
match the spacing of the holes on the PCB. Insert the four diodes
taking care to match up the white bands on the components with
the component marking on the PCB. See Figure 2 below.
Figure 2
Solder in the diodes, then using the wire clippers trim off the leads.
4.2
Diode D5
D5 is the remaining black diode. Again noting the position of the
white band, place in position, solder in and trim the leads.
Figure 3
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4.3
IC2 and C4
IC2 must be oriented correctly. The notch or dot at one end
corresponds to pin 1. This goes into the SQUARE pad. Also place
and solder in C4.
Figure 4:
IC2 and C4
4.4
IC1 and Q1
IC1 and Q1 look very similar, so be careful to identify them
correctly by the white marking on each component. The leads
should not need to be formed, just separated a little. Align the flat
of the body of these components with the marked flat on the PCB.
Push each component into it’s holes until the body is just 2 mm
from the pcb. Solder in and trim the leads.
Figure 5: Q1 (left) and IC1 (right)
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4.5
MOSFET Q2
The board is very densely populated in this area. Depending on
your chosen case design, you may wish to bend the leads as shown
in figure 6, to make the profile lower.
Figure 6:
Bending the leads of
MOSFET Q2 to lower the
profile of the board.
4.6
R1, R2, R3, R4, R5
These resistors, indeed all the resistors on the board need to be
mounted upright to save space. The leads need to be formed as
shown in figure 7. Bend the leads of each resistor as shown and
solder in to the correct postion, making sure the component body
is as close to the board as possible.
Figure 7: Resistor
leads formed for
mounting upright.
Figure 8: R1 to R5 placed vertically
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4.7
Variable Resistor VR1
VR1 is used to tune the switched mode power supply to give the
optimum voltage to drive the Nixie tubes (170-180V).
Figure 9 showing VR1
4.8
Inductor L1
Place L1 in position, and ensure it is as close to the board as
possible. The leads of the component may not match exactly the
spacing on the board – this is perfectly normal. You can slightly
form the leads so it is a nice firm and snug fit to the board. Solder
and trim the leads as short as possible.
Figure 10
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4.9
C1, C2, C3 and C5
Now it is time to solder in these four electrolytic capacitors. These
components must be placed the correct way round or else the
circuit will fail. Each capacitor has a positive lead, which has the
longer lead, and a negative lead, marked by a white or grey stripe
on the body. In Figure 11, the longer lead (+ve) and white stripe
(-ve) can be clearly seen.
Figure 11: Electrolytic capacitors
Place each component as shown in figure 12 below, with the longer
lead in the hole marked ‘+’. Solder in and trim the leads.
Figure 12: Electrolytic capacitors placed on the PCB
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4.9
Power Connector CONN1
Place the power connector in position (figure 13), and solder in
place. Try not to use too much solder which could flood through
and cause shorts. Just lightly solder each tab to one side of its hole
(figure 14).
Figure 13: CONN1
Figure 14: Underside view of CONN1
4.10 Testing the High Voltage (HV - 170V) and regulated (5V)
power supplies.
If you have reached this point and followed the correct order, then
all the components for the 170V and 5V power supplies should now
be on the board, and it is recommended that at this point the
power supplies are tested before proceeding. To do so, you will
need to have the 9-12V power adapter to hand. Also at this stage
you will need a small flat blade screwdriver and a multimeter.
DANGER: At this point, observe the safety warnings in section 1.3.
When powered up, the board will generate up to 300V DC, and live
parts are exposed. Observe high-voltage precautions.
4.10.1 Testing the power supplies
First, check that the 5V supply is in order. Use the GND, 5V and
HV test points to test first the 5V supply, then the 170V supply.
Adjust the position of VR1 until the voltage is 170V. Be sure to
set your multimeter to DC setting.
When all is in order, disconnect the power supply. Take care, as
the output capacitor can still hold charge at 170V after the
supply is disconnected.
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4.11 Socket for IC3, IC4.
Insert the 18 Way IC socket into the PCB, ensuring that the notch
at one end is aligned with the corresponding mark on the PCB.
Insert IC4 directly into the PCB. Solder both components in place,
but do NOT insert IC3 at this stage. This will be inserted at the
very end of the assembly. Refer to figure 15.
Figure 15: Socket
for IC3, and IC4
4.12 Q3-Q8, Q9-Q14, R6-R23
This is perhaps the most time consuming stage of the assembly.
There are six anode driver clusters. The function of each is to take
the logic output from the 5V microcontroller, and switch on the
170V Anode drive to the respective nixie tube.
Pay particular attention to installing the correct transistor type
(MPSA42 or MPSA92) in the correct location.
4.13 R24 – 29 Wire Links
No resistor is used at these points, so use wire links made by
bending a short piece of wire trimmed from some of the resistors
used above.
4.14 R30-34, R36, R37, Q15, Q16
Be sure to omit R35 as it is not used for this design, as are C6 and
D6.
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4.15 Nixie tubes IN-8-2
To facilitate easy insertion of the flying leads into the small holes, it
helps enormously to trim the flying leads with a pair of scissors as
shown in figure 16. Start by identifying the gap between the two
flying leads at the back of the tube.
Then, working around the tube, cut each sucessive lead approx
2mm shorter than the previous one. This will allow you to feed
each lead in in turn.
Figure 16: IN-8-2
flying leads trimmed
to aid insertion into
the PCB
Now you can insert and solder in the tubes, one at a time.
PLACE THE TUBES ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE PCB TO THE
COMPONENTS!! Feed all the wires in progressively. It is not as hard
as it seems at first. After soldering in, trim flying leads.
4.16 NE1, NE2.
The two neons can be installed now. Set at a height appropriate for
the case you will be using. Use small lengths of the clear insulation
supplied on the legs. This will prevent any short circuits.
4.17 C7, C8
These 2 filter capacitors are installed directly across the 5V and
GND pins of IC3 and IC4 on the TUBE side of the PCB. Lie the
component flat against the PCB. The white silkscreen marking on
the tube side of the PCB shows which pins to attach these
capacitors to.
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4.18 SW1, SW2.
Push buttons SW1 and SW2 are mounted on the component side of
the PCB, so that the clock is adjusted from the back (tubes are on
the non-component side). You can also choose to mount them on
the top face if you wish, depending on your own particular clock
case design. There may be two different types of switch supplied,
depending on the case you will be using. Refer to figure 17 to
determine the correct placement of the switches supplied with your
kit.
Figure 17: Correct
placement of the two
different switch types
4.18 C11, C12
These 2 filter capacitors are installed directly across the shorter
sides of the 2 switches, to prevent any glitches causing the
switches to falsely trigger. See figure 18 below:
Figure 18: 100nF
capacitors soldered
across the shorter sides
of the 2 switches
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5.
INITIAL TESTING OF CLOCK – BEFORE IC5 INSTALLATION
All components should now have been installed, except the timekeeping
components IC5, C9, C10 and the Lithium coin cell. Make a final check
that all components are well soldered in, and that there are no solder
bridges – unintentional solder links between adjacent pins.
Insert IC3, matching up the notch on the resin body with the notch on
the socket and the PCB markings. Note that due to part availability,
different ICs within the PIC16F family may be supplied.
Power up the PCB, and check that the Nixie tubes light. They will light
with a spurious number, as there is no time signal as yet. The important
thing is that they light up. This gives a very good indication that all is
well, and the remaining timekeeping components can be installed.
At this point, it is a good idea to re-check and set the HV back to 170V,
as it may have dropped somewhat from the original setting under load.
If there is no sign of tubes lighting, do not proceed as you may damage
the DS3231 IC. Contact support@pvelectronics.co.uk
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6.
PLACEMENT OF THE TIMEKEEPING COMPONENTS
6.1
IC5 – DS3231
Clearly this is a surface mount device (SMD) and will be different
and possibly more challenging to solder than a standard throughhole component. However, it is the largest pin-pitch SMD available
and should be pretty straightforward to solder. Your PCB may look
slightly different to the one pictured however the procedure is the
same.
Use a fine-tipped soldering iron and fine flux-cored solder. Start by
applying a small amount of solder to a corner pad:
Figure 19: Corner
SMD pad wetted with
solder
Now, place the IC carefully in position ensuring it is straight, all
pins are over the pads, and the notch or dot on the IC package is
next to the notch on the PCB markings:
Figure 20: DS3231
placed and held firm
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Holding the IC firmly in place with one finger as shown in figure 20
above, now touch the pin where the solder has been applied with
the soldering iron. The solder will re-melt and anchor the IC.
Take care here, as the IC can still move somewhat. So next, solder
the pad diagonally opposite the first pad. Then the IC will be held
firmly to complete the soldering of the remaining pins. Do not
worry about any excess solder or solder bridges between pins at
first, concentrate on ensuring that each pin is soldered to the pad.
Afterwards, go round using desolder braid (wick) and remove any
bridges and excess solder.
6.2
C9, C10, Lithium coin cell holder
These can now be placed. The battery holder is a large metal
component, and will dissipate the heat of the solder iron away very
quickly so keep the iron on long enough for the solder to fully wet
out the frame of the battery holder. Do not insert the coin cell yet.
It is specified with a capacity only to cater for short term mains
power interruptions. Only insert when the clock is in its final
setting, ready for use.
Figure 21: Showing all RTC components: IC5, C9, C10, Lithium Cell Holder
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7. HOW TO OPERATE THE CLOCK
The two buttons have the following functions:
SW1: Set
SW2: Up / Reset Seconds
Entering configuration mode:
The principal settings of the clock are stored in flash memory –
your preferred configuration is stored even after powering off the
clock. To access the configuration mode press and hold the ‘Set’
button. After 2 seconds the minutes will start to flash. Continue
holding the button a further 2 seconds until the clock displays in
this format: 01 -- 00
In configuration mode the hours digits diplay the current
parameter being adjusted, and the seconds digits display the
current value stored against the parameter.
For each parameter, and referring to the table below, scroll
through the range of possible values by pressing the ‘Up’ button.
When the desired value has been reached, move on to the next
parameter by pressing the ‘Set’ button. When the last parameter
has been set, pressing ‘Set’ one more time will revert the clock
back to time display mode.
Parameter
1
Description
Reserved – leave as 0
2
12 / 24 Hr mode
3
Leading zero blanking
4
Colon neons mode
5
Night blanking
start hour
Night blanking
start minutes
Night blanking
stop hour
Night blanking
stop minutes
Colon neons mode
during night blanking
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Reserved – leave as 0
Reserved – leave as 0
Fading Digits Speed
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Values
0 – 12 Hr (default)
1 – 24 Hr
0 – leading zero blanked (default)
1 – leading zero displayed
0 – AM/PM Indication, flashing (default)
1 – AM/PM Indication, illuminated
2 – Both flash
3 – Both illuminated
4 – Both off
0-23 (default 0)
0-59 (default 0)
0-23 (default 0)
0-59 (default 0)
0
1
2
3
4
–
–
–
–
–
AM/PM Indication, flashing (default)
AM/PM Indication, illuminated
Both flash
Both illuminated
Both off
0 – 9 0:fast, 9:slow (0 default)
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Setting the time:
From time display mode, press and hold ‘Set’ button for 2 seconds
until the minutes digits start to flash.
Press the ‘Up / Reset Secs’ button to set the minutes.
Briefly Press ‘Set’ again and the hours will flash. Press the ‘Up /
Reset Secs’ button to set the hours.
Briefly Press ‘Set’ again to revert to normal clock operation.
Resetting seconds:
From time display mode, press and hold ‘Up / Reset Secs’ button
for 2 seconds. Seconds will be set to zero, and held until the button
is released.
Setting the display mode:
From time display mode, briefly press ‘Set’ button to toggle
between the four display modes:
Dim, standard change of digits
Bright, standard change of digits
Bright, Fading digits
Blanked display, tubes are switched off
Night Blanking:
During programmed night blanking, the blanking may be
overridden to see the time by briefly pressing the ‘Set’ button.
Tubes will remain lit until the next programmed blanking period.
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8. CIRCUIT DIAGRAM
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