Make your own Nixie Tube socket

In this mini tutorial we introduce a quick and cheap way to make your own Nixie Tube sockets to use them on your next Nixie project. A socket enables you to change a damaged Nixie Tube quickly and with minimum effort.

Materials needed:

  • plastic stand-off bases that comes with many of the Nixies
  • universal IC socket header
  • glue (optional)
  • common tools

The Nixie pictured here is a IN-14 Nixie Tube that comes with long solderable wires and a plastic base. This base is normally used to keep the Nixie in a proper distance from the board and helps to mount it vertically during soldering of wires.

We will show you how to convert this plastic base to a socket for your Nixie Tubes

Step 1 – Use a universal IC socket header (you can find them in almost every electronics store) and smash the plastic case to extract the metallic pins.

The number of pins needed depends on your Nixie pins. So extract as many as you need

Step 2 – Use the plastic base and open the holes a little bit bigger than already are. This step is optional as the holes of your base my be already big enough for the next step.

Step 3 – Place the extracted pins on the plastic base. The pins may fit securely on the holes or you may apply a tiny amount of glue.

Take care so that the pins are extended from the base ~2-3mm

 After placing the pins on the plastic base it will look like this

 Step 4 – Cut the Nixie wires so that they are ~5-6mm long

Step 5 – Plug your Nixie on it’s new socket!

  This is how you Nixie will look inserted on your DIY socket.

Step 6 – But… can this socked soldered on a PCB? Of course it can. As you can see on the photo above pins are long enough to be soldered on a standard PCB with a little effort.

– Enjoy your new sockets!

One Response on “Make your own Nixie Tube socket

  1. Do you solder the tube lead wires into the sockets? The lead wires are much smaller than the normal pins that these sockets are used for correct? Won’t the tube fall out if jostled?

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