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A retro display tube enthusiast from Ukraine and I exchanged my Nixie tube clock kit for his display tube!

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I was contacted by a retro display tube enthusiast from Ukraine. He said he was very interested in alarm clock style Nixie tube clocks.

He wanted to exchange his collection of display tubes for a kit of alarm clock-style Nixie tube clocks, so I made a barter with this Ukrainian retro display tube enthusiast.

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What I sent

The alarm clock-style Nixie tube clock kit that we sell comes with the surface-mounted parts already mounted for easy assembly. However, he wants to mount all the components by himself. For this reason, we specially prepared a kit in which the unmounted board and individual components are individually bagged and all soldered by himself.

I wrapped everything in bubble wrap and shipped the alarm clock-like Nixie tube clock kit to Ukraine. It arrived at the destination in about 10 days.

What I received

This is the display tube that arrived from Ukraine in the exchange of goods. It took about a week to arrive from Ukraine by EMS. The display tubes were all wrapped in cushioning material and arrived without damage.

The long, thin, transparent VFD display tubes and

They included long thin transparent VFD display tubes, VFD display tubes used for calculators and clocks, and VFD display tubes with a single digit display like Nixie tubes.

Let's take a closer look.


A long, thin, transparent 13-digit VFD tube.

The model number is IV-27M.

It's a very beautiful VFD, with all but the 7-segment phosphor showing through.


This is a single digit VFD that looks like a Nixie tube.

The model number is IV-6.

IV-6 with pink back panel was also included.

For watches

This is a VFD for a clock, which is transparent like IV-27M.

Here is the back panel.

Multi-digit VFD

Another VFD with multiple digits, probably used for calculators.

This is the back of the VFD, with IV-18 and IV-28A written on it.

Clock IC



I got a lot of VFD display tubes, so I decided to use them to make a clock. In my research, I found out that there is an IC called MM5316N that is very useful for making VFD clocks. The IC was sold at Aliexpress, so I bought it right away.

1219.0¥ |100% 新品 & オリジナルmm5316n|交換部品 & アクセサリー| - AliExpress
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A circuit using the MM5316N

The circuit is written on the datasheet of MM5316N.


This IC runs on a supply voltage of 21V to 29V VFD, and contains the clock function and the function to drive the VFD. All you need to do is to supply a 50 Hz clock externally. It is very convenient.

I would like to use this IC to make a VFD clock later.

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