Jeffs quickie page of vintage NEON
my nixie collection
Front panel array of 7 x 30 NE2
I bought this on New York City's Canal Street in the early 80s
from Argo/Trans Am Electronics (near West B'way).
It's an array of 7 x 30 NE2s deep inside highly reflective plastic wells.
The top PCB still has the 8: NS ulm1010 datecode 6943 (10 bit shift registers),
driver transistor and resistor per NE2.
I stupidly desoldered the ones from the bottom board,
intending to use latches instead of shift registers
since I could not bear to waste I/O just to alter just one bit.
(In 1980, how was I to know that pin count
would be more precious that CPU cycles?
Back then, a 4 MHz Z80 was "king of the hill").
I'm still of the mindset that I'd prefer to directly address each indicator
(instead of shift registers) despite the higher chip count.
I'm enamored with the 74259: 8-Bit Addressable Latch
ever since I saw it in the Heathkit 6800 Microprocessor Trainer manual
driving the 7 segment displays.
It's a 1-8 demux and 8: 1 bit latches in one chip.
One for each column would allow straight forward mapping with
individual direct control of each lamp.
I2C won't work: not enough addresses for 30: 8 bit buffers
(unless I use bus extenders).
This panel of 16: NE2 neon lamps may not look impressive
but I believe I salvaged it from deep inside an IBM 1622
card reader/punch from a system 1620.
The plastic panel went in front with the legends.
It looks like bakelite, and dig that hand wiring
with nylon lacing cord.
What's odd about it
- no IBM part number. IBM was usually fussy about marking everything.
Perhaps the cloth tag fell off?
- the bulbs are all aligned with the electrodes perfectly in front of each other,
perhaps so the cathode's in front for DC operation
- there are holes to see the lights thru the back
A planar neon sign when Willoughby's camera shop closed their 33 St location
The Nimble Neon
I have a lot more, still pulling them out of storage.