My Dekatron Clocks

One Dekatron Clocks I Made

No. 1 – Time Bucket

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This one I kept for myself. Not a gift. Time shown ~2:50 Its uses a 90S2313 AVR μC, which both runs the dekatron, and pumps the FET, to make the +450V needed by the Sylvania 6476A dekatron. My standard features of DS1307 RTC, hourly chimes, and AC line sync’d time.

No. 2 – Kenny

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Christmas gift to a good friend. It looks a lot like a South Park character, who always sees his demise at the end of each episode. Its the same circuit used for my 1st dekatron clock, but uses a Philips Z504S mini dekatron. The face is LED edge-lit laser engraved acrylic. The case, is from an old wooden pencil holder, with the opening made a bit wider. Firmware was upgraded to support the AVR tiny2313 μC, which superceded the 90S2313 chip.

No. 3 – Moonbeam II

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A present to my oldest brother for Christmas of 2006. Same basic features as all my one dekatron clocks, with a few extras. It uses an Atmel  AVR mega8 μC, for the extra IO bits. These are needed to run two sets of LEDs edge-lighting the laser engraved face. A yellow set and a red set. Yellow indicates AM, and red indicates PM. Sylvania 6476A dekatron used.

No. 4 – The Cube

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Made this  one dekatron clock as a present to a friend, for Christmas of 2009. Its the same circuit as the 1st two clocks, but I sent out to have PCBs made. So no hand wiring.

Other Dekatron Projects:

All-tube Dekatron Spinner:

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Simply spins clockwise. Spin rate is determined by a neon relax oscillator. The pulse is boosted by the triode section of a 12BF6.  A 12AL5 and the diode sections of the 12BF6 are used to get 450V (+150V & -300V) needed to power the dekatron.

Dekatron Do-Hickies:

Dekatron do-hickies are μC driven circuits that make various, selectable glow patterns. Some even respond to ambient sound.

With wooden bodies:

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Okaya/Rodan DK23 Japanese 3-guide dekatron

With engraved acrylic bodies:

Click on image so see video (music)

Russian OG4 standard 2-guide neon dekatron

Ericsson GC10/4B workhorse 2-guide neon dekatron.

Sylvania 6802 common 2-guide neon dekatron

My tube checker/experimenter box:


Originally intended as a tube checker/tester, you can also build simple circuits with it.


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