A lot of nixie tubes have been made in Russia, or more accurate, the USSR. These are still fairly easy to find and in some cases, quite affordable and just a few euro’s per nixie. Sadly I couldn’t find a nice overview of all the nixies made by the USSR. Some other popular displays are the VFD and numitron displays, both are also vacuum glass tubes and also used for DIY clock projects. This page will try to be a complete overview of all the nixie, VFD and numitron tubes in the popular IN and IV series.
Nixie tubes are vacuum tubes filled with neon for an orange glow. They need around 180V to operate and where used as indicator or display before newer technology like LEDs where invented. The following table lists all the IN nixies from the USSR. The prices are an indication and sampled on Ebay in the start of 2018. Some nixies can be soldered to a PCB directly, but some use sockets. When a socket is needed, special female pinheaders, nixie pins, can be used as well and can be cheaper and smaller. Some info on these pins can be found here. They can be found online at several stores and on Ebay.
|Name||Photo||Description||Properties||Price indication (jan 2021)|
|IN-1||A round nixie, about 3cm in size. It's front viewing and needs a socket. Some more info and photo's can be found here.||No dot, front viewing, 5 is a reversed 2.||about 3 to 5 euro's, needs a socket which is 8 euro's|
|IN-2||A small round nixie, fully glass, about 2cm in size. It's front viewing and needs a socket or nixie pins, although the pins can be soldered.|
Some more info can be found here.
|No dot, front viewing, 5 is a reversed 2.||about 2 to 3 euro's, needs a socket, about 2 euro's, or nixie pins, about 3 euro's per 100 pins.|
|IN-3||An indicator tube with leads, no socket needed.||Indicator tube||Less then 1 euro.|
|IN-4||A round nixie, about 3cm in size. It's a front viewing nixie and needs a socket or nixie pins. It is available with a course grid or fine grid, the photo is a course grid one.||No dot, front viewing, 5 is a reversed 2.||about 4 euro's for a course grid, 10 euro's for a fine grid one. A socket is about 5 euro's or 100 nixie pins for 10 euro's|
|IN-5A / IN-5B||Identical in size to the IN-2. 2 versions exist, the A and B version. |
These are symbol tubes, the A can show an Y, X and Z. The B version shows S, y and Y
|Symbol tube||Difficult to get, 15 to 30 euro's|
|IN-6||An indicator tube with leads, no socket needed.||Indicator tube||About 1 euro|
|IN-7||Symbol tube, same size as the IN-4. Front viewing, it can show: m, А, V, К, М, П, +, -, ~, Ω. An A and B version exist with different synbols.|
More info here.
|Symbol tube||About 4 euro's, socket is the same as IN-4|
|IN-8 / IN-8-2||A standing, side view nixie. There are 2 versions, the IN-8 needs a socket, the IN-8-2 has leads.|
It has a dot, a real 5 and is about 6cm tall. More info found here.
|Single dot, side view, real 5.||About 10 to 20 euro's, IN-8 needs nixie pins or a socket, same ones as the IN-2. IN-8-2 has leads. Fine grid exist, hard to get.|
|IN-9||A bargraph nixie, about 12cm high. 2 versions exist, a normal orange one filled with neon, and a argon filled one that glows red.||bargraph display||10 to 12 euro's|
|IN-12||A rectangular nixie, about 3cm in size. It's front viewing and requires a socket of nixie pins. The 2 variants 12A and 12B are very similar and only differ if on the dot position. Some more info is found here.||Dot, 5 is is a reversed 2.||10 to 15 euro's, socket (2 euro's) or nixie pins (100 for 4 euro's) needed.|
|IN-13||Another bar graph, slightly larger (14cm) and only available with neon gas filling. Some info about how they work can be found here.||bargraph display||Around 15 euro's|
|IN-14||A side viewing nixie, similar to the IN-8-2. It has a reversed 2 as a 5 though.||2 dots, left and right, 5 is a reversed 2. leads||Around 15 euro's, no socket needed. fine grid ones exist for double the price.|
|IN-15A / IN-15B||A nixie with symbols, side viewing and identical to the IN-12 for size. Meant for multimeters and measuring gear.|
The 15A displays +, –, %, M, k, m, µ, n, P, П and the 15B A, F, H, Hz, Ω, S, V, W.
More info found here.
|Symbol tube||About 2 to 5 euro's, socket identical to IN-12|
|IN-16||Small side viewing tube, about 4.5cm high. More info found here.||left and right dot, side view, real 5||Around 10 euro's, fine grid ones exist for about double that.|
|IN-17||Tiny rectangular nixie tube. Front view and about 2 * 1.5cm in size. More info here.||No dot, front view, real 5||Around 5 euro's|
|IN-18||The big one. side viewing tube with a 7cm height and 3cm width. Very pretty tube, but expensive. More info here.||No dot, side view, real 5||Around 100 euro's, socket, around 10 euro's or nixie pins, 100 for 4 euro's needed.|
|IN-19A / IN-19B||Another symbol tube. This one can show the Celcius symbol :) The 19A displays К, М, Р, m, µ, n, %, °С and the 16B H, A, Ω, Hz, S, F, T, V.|
In size similar to the IN-14. More info found here.
|symbol tube||3 euro's|
|IN-21||An indicator tube with a screw mount. About 1cm in size||Indicator tube||Less then 1 euro|
|IN-23||Weird and rare tube, it's a 14 segment display. Make a clock with these for big internet points. More info here.||14 segment display||Hard to get, 100 euro range.|
|IN-28||A big indicator tube. same size as the IN-4 but different in pins. Some more info here.||Indicator tube||5 euro's|
|IN-30||Another 14 segment display, bigger and with straight segments. Info here.||14 segment display||Unknown, very hard to get.|
VFD and numitron tubes
VFD tubes use a phosphor coating that emits light when hit by electrons. It needs a low voltage for the grid, generally a few volts, and a higher voltage for the anode, generally 30 to 50 volts. These emit a blue/green color although other colors are possible. Numitron are very different and are basically glowing wires in a vacuum tube and need just a few volt to glow.
|Name||Photo||Description||Properties||Price indication (jan 2021)|
|IV-1||A VFD indicator that can show a point and a dash||Indicator, leads, side view||1 to 2 euro's|
|IV-3||A side viewing VFD. The IV-3A looks similar but has a different pinout.||Leads, side view. dot||1 to 2 euro's.|
|IV-4||A side viewing 16 segment VFD||Leads, side view, 16 segment||around 5 euro's|
|IV-6||A side viewing VFD, similar to the IV-3A||Leads, side view, dot||2 to 3 euro's|
|IV-8||A side viewing VFD with leads||Leads, side view, dot||2 to 3 euro's|
|IV-9||A side viewing numitron with leads.||Leads, side view, dot||About 10 euro's|
|IV-11||A bigger VFD, side viewing with leads||Leads, side view, dot||About 10 euro's|
|IV-12||A bigger VFD, needs a socket||Socket needed, side view, dot||2 to 3 euro's, needs a socket, about 2 euro's, or nixie pins, 100 for 4 euro's|
|IV-13||A bigger numitron, pink background and 8 segment so it can display a +. Needs a socket||Socket needed, side view, dot. 8 segment||Hard to get, 40 euro range. needs a socket, about 2 euro's, or nixie pins, 100 for 4 euro's|
|IV-15||Small indicator VFD||Indicator, leads, side view||10 to 20 euro's|
|IV-16||Small numitron.||Leads, side view, no dot||about 10 euro's|
|IV-17||16 segment VFD||Leads, side view, 16 segment||5 euro's|
|IV-18||8 digit display tube||Leads, side view, 8 digit 7 segment tube||6 euro's|
|IV-21||8 digit display tube||Leads, side view, 8 digit 7 segment display with dot||5 euro's|
|IV-22||A front viewing VFD||Socket needed, front view, with dot||2 to 3 euro, needs a socket, 1 to 2 euro's|
|IV-25||A VFD tube with 7 dots, used to make matrixes||Leads, side view, 7 dot tube display||2 to 4 euro's|
|IV-26||Another 7 dot VFD tube||Leads, side view, 7 dot tube display||2 to 4 euro's|
|IV-27||A 13 digit VFD display.||Leads, side view, 13 digits 7 segment with dot||About 5 euro's|
|IV-28||Almost modern looking, a 9 digit VFD display||Leads, front view, 9 digit 7 segment with dot||6 to 8 euro's|
|IV-29||A single dot indicator, big dot and similar to the IN-28 nixie dot display. More info here.||Leads, single dot indicator.||Hard to get, 25 euro range.|