Counting tubes, circuitry & accessories
Numerical Indicator (Nixie*) Tubes.
* Nixie is a registered trademark of Burroughs Corp.
Although the term 'Nixie' is a trademark, it has come into the English
language as a generic term for cold-cathode gas-discharge numerical and
symbol indicator tubes. The name was coined as a vocalisation of the
Burrough's experimental tube designation 'NIX1', which is in turn a
contraction of "Numerical Indicator eXperimental type 1". Such tubes
are no longer manufactured by the big electronics companies; but they
were made in large quantities from the mid 1950s until the mid 1970s, and
are consequentially not difficult to obtain. Storage life of the tubes
is virtually unlimited (the author has 80 year old gas discharge tubes
that still work perfectly), and they can be expected to last for 20 -
50 years in intermittent use, provided that they are not operated at
excessive currents (the cathodes slowly evaporate and blacken the
bulb), and provided that all cathodes are illuminated periodically to
prevent cathode poisoning.
: None of
the items described on the following pages are for sale. The
information is provided to assist in collecting, salvaging, and using
the tubes and their accessories.
Nixie Tube Gallery
Nixie Tube Data: Mullard
Nixie Tube Data: ITT / STC
Nixie Tube Data: Misc (RS, NEC)
Sockets and Holders.
The 74141 BCD to decimal decoder and tube driver IC.
Power Supplies and Tube Operation.
Nixie frequency readout for single-conversion radio receiver.
Nixie frequency readout for the Racal RA17
(see part 4).
Nixie Tube Equivalents or Near Equivalents
Andy Cowley's counting tube photographs
Last updated: Sept 30th 2021