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Numitron tubes, what are they versus Nixies?

numitron clock

A Numitron utilizes eight filaments for the display, seven for the segments, and one for the decimal point, all of which are enclosed in a typical tube glass body. In effect it can be seen as an eight-way incandescent globe.

The big advantage of using a Numitron as compared to the more popular Nixie tube is that it only requires a very low control voltages of 5VDC as opposed to about 170VDC for the typical Nixie tube or around 5 VAC and more than 20 VDC for the well known green / bluish VFD displays.

Because of these lower voltages a Numitron, such as the smaller IV-9, can be directly driven from the control counter circuits. For this reason there are already a number of Numitron clocks using this smaller IV-9.

However using the much larger IV-13 requires a more complex and powerful driver circuit as each of the eight segments of the IV-13 draws about 32mA of current!


1 thought on “Numitron tubes, what are they versus Nixies?

  1. […] Numitron vacuum tubes are sort of like Nixie’s poor sister. They utilize a seven segment display which makes them clearer to read. The tubes only require 5 volts making them ideal for use in an arcade cabinet. Very few bronze age arcade games use external displays for scoring. As a collector, it’s a real treat to see something like them in action. […]

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