Saturday, October 14, 2006

Nixie Tubes

Nixie tubes sure are pretty for glyphs:

picture of 50mm tall nixie tubes with numbers on them

picture of clock built by C. Schramm using both Nixie tubes and blue LEDs

I see them referenced occasionally and can't quite figure out if I am facinated by them because of the pragmatic design (10 wires in a tube: 1 for each number 0 to 9) or because they are old and that's cool. Likely, is simply because they are old and cool. Brilliant use of retro Nixie tubes and blue LEDs in that second clock above!

Speaking of pretty... not only are these rockets themselves an impressive achievement, take a look at the motors:

Freeze Frame lifts off using a heavy thick smoke BAMF lifts off using a blue flame and screaming engine

The pretties are fun, but rocketry is interesting to me because it has got my imagination running wild. There is so much technology and opportunities involved! I love this picture because it shows a regular guy that has attempted an altitude record with his rocket and now has to find it with that little antenna.

Active guidance for stability or running through rings is interesting for the code involved. And of course, there is a lot of electronics involved - bonus!

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