Welcome to the Test Equipment Clocks Page These clocks are all made from original 1960's / 70's test equipment that originally used Nixie tubes to indicate the measured reading. Equipment from this era was usually incredibly well made and usually 2 to 3 foot long! Each clock has been cut down to size and re-kitted out with modern electronics to give a truly original clock. If you have any old test equipment to offer, or donate then please get in touch as I'm always looking out for other projects. Current items for sale are at the top of the page, everything else in the middle has been sold, but gives you an idea of cost and what we can do. The Pipeline page here shows current clocks in progress I would suggest if you want a clock that is in progress to reserve it.
Something different to my usual Steampunk clocks, this is a nice little 1960's Bakelite cased Ammeter that has been cleaned up and converted into a simple little 4 digit Nixie Clock.
Has the Brass Bad Dog Designs label on the top, and I can back light the Nixie tubes to the colour of your choice, just drop me a line when ordering. I have 10 of these available.
The Meters were originally from Sheffield University and have now been given a new lease of life upcycled into a clock, looks very nice with the original leather handle and connectors on the front.
Believe it or not, this piece of equipment was used as a box by someone to send me a load of Nixie tubes inside, and has then been sitting in the stock room waiting to be turned into a clock!
The device was original used to determine the value of unknown electronic components, you connected to the terminals and then turned the knob until the reading balanced.
As it measured many different values, I used a small micro to make the panel with all the scientific units light up in sequence, with the speed varied by the large dial on the front.
Sent in by a Customer, this is a Universal Avo meter - with the request to convert it into a little Nixie clock. Looking at the proportions of the meter it is just possible to squeeze in 4 digits.
It uses the IN-12 tubes and has a PV electronics FunKlock hidden inside. The dial plate was expertly machined out by the guys at Engraving studios.
On the rear are the controls for setting the time and other parameters, and the date when I put it together. A nice little project and easy to repeat if you have an old Avo gathering dust.
There is another Advance TC-8 Counter Timer on this page, and that is the first Nixie Clock that I made. I was delighted to get another one into the workshop to convert.
Almost made to fit a 'Halo' Kit, these are lovely to put together and easy to assemble once the casing has been chopped to size. They can be hung on the wall or sat on a shelf.
Very well made from cast aluminium that has polished up nicely, and contrasts very well with the red and orange glow from the nixie tubes and LED backlighting.
It may not be much to look at, but this clock is a beauty, 4 large GN-4 tubes UV backlit (of course) and built from an original 1960's Scaler. Still has some chips to the paint and character!
Originally it had 5 Dekatrons to do the scaling, just the one remains, but it has been brought up to 2014 and has quite a few programmed patterns, especially the one where it turns into a VU Meter!
Lovely UV back lighting, not to over the top - just right. I've got a clip of it running here Scaler dancing to a bit of J.S. Bach I love this clock!
This was a very basic oscilloscope, designed for schools and collages. 1 channel, 5Mhz on a good day - very heavy and full of valves. Now a commissioned clock!
Considerably cut down, the original scope was just under 2' long and is now about 3 inches in length. Inside is a FunKlock kit and 2 of the OG-4 dekatron tubes, each individually adjustable form the front panel controls.
I like the way that the blue tube back lighting projects a pattern of dots onto the wall directly behind the clock although you can only make it out when it is dark.
This is a very old 1960's digital voltmeter, not a lot of info about it on the internet. Made by Coutant in England. I refer to it as 'Little Blue'
Originally inside were 3 1/2 tubes, so not quite enough to make a clock. I therefore fitted 4 off GN-4 tubes and it all runs from a PV electronics Quattro kit.
This had about 14 inches chopped off the back, and the casing re-folded. Very typical styling with the pale blue and the chrome handles. Designed to be hung on the wall or sat on a shelf. The two red buttons on the front are to set the time / date and other parameters.
This was a 1970's Advance instruments Counter Timer. Originally this one was used by the RAF for servicing Avionics and radio transmitters.
It was de-comissioned by the RAF in the early 80's and put into storage. I recieved it still in the brown waxed paper, and inside a hermatically sealed bag where it had sat for 30 years.
The original instrument was about 2 foot long, so the whole bit of kit was dismantled and machined down to just a few cm thick so it can sit on a wall.
This was a 1970's Racal counter timer, originally aquired from Ben's collectables on eBay. Very well made bit of kit and weighed half a tonne!
As per the Advance Instruments counter, this was just over 2ft long and required substantial cutting down to size. The Lid is now what used to be just the inspection panel for calibrating the unit!
The Rear of the instrument is preserved and there is a Calibration label dated 1975! All the rear panel parts are original. Likewise the front panel switches are used to set and adjust the clock.
This was a 1970's Racal 9839 Desktop frequency counter, uses the tiny little Rodan 116D Nixie tubes, the last model they made before moving onto LED Displays.
As you can see, with the casing cut down and the lid removed, there is not a whole load of room inside. At the rear is a PV electronics 'Remote' Kit and at the front the original Nixie Display PCB, although chopped down!
As there is not a lot of room, you cannot fit a Colon separator between the HH:MM:SS on the display, so I used the old decimal points inside the tubes.
This was an extremely well made piece of Equipment, not an ounce of plastic. Completely made from cast Aluminium and Steel. The build quality is second to none, not made like this these days!
Originally inside were 6 Buroughs tubes, but I found plenty of room inside so I could fit bigger IN-12's to give a much clearer display. It is powered by a PV electronics 'remote' kit.
This is a substantial looking clock, I have not specifically made it to hang on a wall, so ask if you intend to wall mount it and I'll put some suitable fixings on the rear.
This is a lovely little clock, ideal for the bedside - if you must sleep next to an old voltmeter! Definiately different :)
This is based on the PV electonics 'FunKlock' and used the Russin IN-12 tubes. Fits perfectly with the proportions of the clock.
To set the clock and change the parameters, there is a little toggle switch on the front panel. Press one way to set, and the other way to adjust.
Identical to the other little Solatron voltmeter, except that this one has got UV Led backlighting for a different effect.
The original voltmeter had a red perspex front panel, this has been replaced with a clear acrylic one to show off the Nixie tubes.
Overall a very nice clock to build, and would not look out of place on any engineers study. Small and compact and doesn't take up any room.
This was a 1960's Solatron precision voltmeter. It is one of 4 Solatron units that were rescued from a colleage and hidden away in a barn for quite a while.
Each tube is backlit with a High intensity yellow LED. The clock is based on the 'Frank3' Kit and as such you can program the backlight level for each hour, or switch off all together.
The existing buttons are used to access the 4 main controls of the clock 'Set' - 'Adj' - 'Alarm' - 'DST' and the tubes used are the original ones that came with the instrument.
Another Hewlett Packard Counter, a bit smaller than the other one. Has a larger IN-12 tube for the hours and minutes and little IN-17 tubes for the seconds.
It is powered by a 'Frank 3' kit and just fits perfectly inside. The clock is just the right size to hang on the Wall, and beautifully proportioned.
One of the hardest things to work with is the casing where it has all the little holes punched in it, drilling a hole between the existing ones is almost impossible!
One effect of have the casing full of holes is that the backlighting projects a pattern of dots all over the wall. Picture kindly provided by it's new Owner!
“I wouldn’t change a thing about this clock, the depth of the display and richness of colour with the lighting effects is spot-on. I have it scrolling through the ‘slots’ mode every minute and the date display too so I get animation 60 times an hour. It makes me feel like I’m either in a nuclear bunker, about to engage time travel or waiting to be found at the bottom of the hatch in ‘Lost’! There are so many setup options available on this clock that there is no excuse to dislike anything at all about the clocks operation. I love the fact that this classic old counter has been given new purpose and a new lease of life. Overall, this clock is absolutely superb, I couldn’t be happier. Andy Shepherd (Notts).”
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