November 9, 2016 Dalibor

Zen Nixie Clock – Update #4

I am bringing new information regarding the Zen Nixie Clock progress.. Briefly, 99% of all things ready, whole project is now blocked by issues with the aluminum stands.

 

Tubes already waiting for their stands!

Tubes already waiting for their stands!

We successfully went through prototyping phase of the stands in August. Machining company was instructed to make three stands prototypes of 6061 aluminum alloy (good for both machining and anodizing), they delivered it and we sent it for surface treatment (blasting+bright dip+anodizing) to anodizing company. They made great job and the result was amazing, nice silver color in case of blank anodizing and beautiful rich black in case of black stands.

Fortunately, the tube manufacture is running well. Monika ( responsible for inner systems assembly) is well trained and needs very little of my attention, she is big help to me! All the equipment and tooling is doing great job as well. We never had so many tubes in the shop at once!

Here is the first clock built using the black stand from prototyping series, thanks Nima for taking this video:

In mid August I went ahead and ordered batch of 35pcs stands (same 6061 aluminum alloy) from machining company. They made first batch and just before shipping, their QC found the countersing for DC connector too shallow, so they had to rework it – over 2 weeks delay. 20pcs were sent to anodizing company on the beginning of October for the same surface treatment. I was reported in middle of the month that the first treatment was not successful and they are going to repeat the anodizing – this means to strip the current oxide layer and do whole blasting + bright dip + anodizing phase again.

Anodizing issues

Anodizing issues – pale color with stains

On the beginning of November, I received a call from anodizing company that the second try was unsuccessful again. Probably material fault – grain structure, anyway, I immediately ordered new batch from different supplier, using 5083 aluminum alloy from the source that I know. First piece from this supplier is now at the anodizing company and will go to test ASAP, full batch of the parts will hopefully arrive in the week from 21th to 25th and will be immediately resend for the surface treatment.

New stand material sample

New stand material sample

While I was struggling with the stands, we received second batch of glass covers, second batch of crates for the clocks and all other parts.

Second batch of crates for the Zen Nixie clocks

Second batch of crates for the Zen Nixie clocks

Second batch of glass covers for Zen Nixie Clocks

Second batch of glass covers for Zen Nixie Clocks

 

 

Parts for the clock stand ready

Parts for the clock stands ready

 

The demand in Zen Clocks and nixie tubes in general is growing, so I asked local authority (the castle owner) for two more rooms – one for general workshop (machinig, drilling, grinding – dirty jobs), the other one for clock assembly, testing and packaging. Their guys are now making reconstruction of the walls, electricity etc, so that we have nice polished space!

 

New room for clock assembly

New room for clock assembly

 

New room for a workshop

New room for a workshop

 

We are now 7 weeks behind the estimated shipping time and it drives me crazy. It will take our suppliers few more weeks to finish the new batch of the aluminum stands, but I believe it is worth of waiting.

I am extremely grateful for the patience all my customers have, there is no pressure from you and there is 41 of you! Thank you, guys!

 

 

Comments (14)

  1. Markus Wyss

    Dear Dalibor

    I admire your work a lot. You do it all the best way possible. I like your style a lot. I will soon place my order.

    Once you have your suppliers under control and you are back on schedule, my order will surely follow.

    Best regards from Switzerland
    Markus Wyss

    • Dalibor

      Hi Markus,
      thank you for positive feedback!
      I will receive a batch of new freshly machined stands this Friday, sending immediately for second round – hopefully I will start shipping soon!

      Dalibor

  2. Matt Wengler

    Dalibor,

    I’ve been following this project for quite some time. I’m continually impressed with your ingenuity, craftsmanship and business ethics. I know it must be frustrating dealing with the delays, but quality and perfection take time.

    Regards from Hong Kong,

    Matt Wengler

    • Dalibor

      Hi Matt,

      I am really glad how patient and generous customers I have!

      The stands are leaving on Monday to anodizing, very soon will be one clock heading to HongKong!

      Best regards,

      Dalibor

  3. Daniel Giesbrecht

    I just discovered your work recently and I am so incredibly impressed with what you are doing. I can’t wait to see how you progress. I know my friends and I will all be watching closely.

    Regards from Canada!

    • Dalibor

      Hi Daniel,

      welcome, I will do my best to post more 😉

      keep in touch,

      Dalibor

  4. Daniel Ward

    Dalibor,

    Received my board and tubes yesterday but I don’t get the tubes until Christmas since they are a gift from my lovely wife. However, I did get to look at them and admire them a little to make sure they survived the trip ok (they look perfect). I intend to order a case from you as well once you get the kinks worked out. I watched the unboxing video on Facebook and truly admire your craftsmanship. I will put together a temporary home for the Zen parts that I have and look forward to a collaboration on the base design.

    Thank you so much for resurrecting the art of the Nixie tube. I have two other Nixie tube clocks, one I purchased and one I built and I enjoy them both. They are both made from salvaged original Soviet era tubes and have their own charm but I must say the mass produced tubes are no match for your design.

    • Daniel Ward

      Looks like I’ll need a login to the user website as well. 🙂 Enjoying browsing at your web site and the genesis of your tubes and clock. Very impressive!

    • Dalibor

      Hi Daniel!

      I am really happy that the tubes arrived safely, in few days you can test them 😉

      It seems all obstacles with the Zen clock case are solved now, I will soon be able to accept new orders.

      Thank you!

      Dalibor

      • Daniel Ward

        Dalibor,

        Tubes and board married together at last! All working perfectly as expected. I don’t see any settings on the user web site to enable and adjust the LED lighting on the top and bottom sides of the board, will this be long in coming? Also of note the web site identifies my board as the correct serial number (#30) but says it is Version 1.1 while the board has V 1.3 printed on it. Is this a glitch? Thanks for all your hard work. Merry Christmas!

        • Dalibor

          Hi Daniel,

          glad to hear it works 😉 The LED functionality will come with new firmware update (will inform you). I will check while the site is displaying v1.1 instead of v1.3, looks like a little glitch. Happy New Year 😉

          • Daniel Ward

            Hi Dalibor,

            That sounds great! Looking forward to the new firmware.

            Please let me know when cases are available for order again. I also am very interested in the colon tubes to complete the look of the clock.

            As I’ve mentioned in the past this isn’t my first nixie tube device. I am very impressed with the quality of your tubes and their design and execution. I find myself just looking at it and admiring it.

            Happy New Year my friend to you and your family.

            Dan

  5. Andrew Smith

    I came to order on of the clocks todat as my delayed Christmas present and to take advantage of the unlimited warranty, but I see new orders are on hold until the new year.

    Could you send out an email via the clock subscriber list when orders are open again ?

    • Dalibor

      Hi Andrew,

      please send me email to dalibor@farny.cz, I will put you on our list. I will prolong the unlimited warranty to January orders as well.

      Thank you! Dalibor

Comments are closed.

Feel free to contact me.