I've built a total of 10 of these boards and they build quick, work well and the support from Rob is great. If there is an issue email him and he will help you. The documentation needs a little updating and I would be willing to help write up a build guide. Building these requires a little soldering skill and some basic electronics knowledge but are not bad to build at all. You WILL need a heatsink or ideally a 10w lamp housing available on ebay to finish these off.
I received Rev 8 boards. They don't match the V2 board pictured, and that picture is the documentation. There is a Wiki, but that board is even older. New documentation is needed. Or a photo of what ships with the parts loaded.
One needed resistor was missing for each of the ordered boards, but I had those in my own stock. Still, it's sold as a "kit"...
The design itself works flawlessly, and drives a 10W LED to its limits with the 12V 3A supply I'm using. I did not test 24V supply, but 24V is supposed to work. The board worked both wired to the beginning of a cheap 300 LED strip (leds), or at the end (leds), driven by an ESP8266 using the FASTLED library. There is no false triggering as happens on some of the cheaper WS2812 strips. As someone else said, this was much easier than designing it myself, waiting for the boards to arrive, etc.
It was hard to read the diodes, and resistors, had to ohm them out to verify values before putting on the board. The nixies arrow was confusing, the docs should have just said to match pin one with the board to nixie. the arrow on the board for nixie viewing didn't work for me. The IC sockets were kind of cheap and didn't take well to taking the chips out and back in for testing. I did not get the unit to work, tested power supplies and nixies and the counter chip, all OK. One neon lamp was broken, and I think the 340 chip is bad, since I can't get any thing out of it. If I put the chip I can force the Nixies to light per digit. I will use the nixie board with a daughter board for the clock functions since everything else works. Contacted vender and he just wanted to see my soldering work via pictures which I don't think would work good. I have been building projects for 50 years starting with tubes in high school then heathkits to pi's and other projects.
Response from RobG | Feb. 18, 2017
Sorry to hear you have issues with my kit. The reason I want to see pictures of the board is to verify that everything was assembled correctly and the there are no issues with soldering (more than half of the issues I deal with are related to soldering.) All Nixies and Neons are tested before shipping and are packed in bubble wrap. MSP430s are programmed and tested manually, so I can guarantee they are good. If there's anything I can help with, let me know.
Any clock involving nixie tubes operating at >100VDC absolutely requires a case that prevents inadvertent contact with high voltage. But what's sold as a case here is simply two plexiglass sheets that cover the front and back only, leaving all four sides open.
Of course it's possible to fabricate a case for the thing. But I shouldn't have to.
When I was a kid in the 70's my dad and I used to make clocks from old frequency counters - this was a fun, nostalgic, kit! The leds that came with the kit might have been mislabeled as they work, but not at the 3v (that seems a reasonable voltage after the resistors to me...) I measure at the solder pads. Frankly, the display without the blue leds is much more in tune with my memories - I doubt I'll rummage through my parts to find ones that work.
I have paid _much_ more for kits of this quality!
Response from RobG | May 18, 2015
Hi Clark, looks like you have discovered a problem with PCB. The latest PCB batch has a missing piece of track.
If your LEDs don't work, please contact me and I will let you know how to fix it.
I have been using the V2 versions with Tiva and CC3200 LaunchPads and have recently purchased 2 of the V3 Booster Packs. Where can I find the V3 Schematic?
Response from RobG | May 4, 2015
Hi, documentation link now points to the v3 schematic. http://430things.com/pdf/320x240_LCD_BP_v3.pdf If you want to use your existing code, you have to change solder bridges JP1, JP2, and JP4 from #1 to #2.