Igor's Blog

The Nixie clock that I assembed back in 2013 has been acting strangely lately, the GPS was not working and every time it lost power, it would reset the time. This was driving me a little crazy so I decided to investigate.

I talked to a buddy of mine who suggested that it sounds like this was being caused by power supply problems. I took the Nixie Clock apart and noticed that the big blue super capacitor had oily droplets on top of it. Apparently, this is a classic case of capacitor plague and the supercap had to be replaced.

This supercap is a 0.33F 5.5V capacitor. I went down to Jaycar, needless to say they had nothing anywhere near close to a capacitor with that rating and form size (13mm diameter, 6mm height). Eventually I found some of these on eBay in Germany and snapped up 5.

After a couple of weeks they arrived...
IMG_1249.jpg




I went ahead an desoldered the old one, here is a picture of the old and the replacement sitting together, you can see some corrosion on the bottom of the blue cap. I had a photo of the top, but it didn't clearly show the oil drops so I left that out.
IMG_1250.jpg


The new cap was a perfect fit to my surprise.
IMG_1251.jpg


After putting the clock back together and setting the time, unplugging the power and plugging it back in (I tried this a few times), it started to act a bit better...at least it didn't reset the time. I'm still having GPS issues with it, I think that could be the receiver but haven't had time to investigate in more detail yet.

-i

,
About — I'm an enthusiastic software engineer and consultant interested in many fields including J2EE, programming, electronics, 3D printing, video games, wood working and gardening.
See my Resume for more information.
The views expressed in this blog are my own and not those of my employer.
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