UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Powered By Google Custom Search Vintage Radio Service Data

Go Back   UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Discussion Forum > Specific Vintage Equipment > Other Vintage Household Electrical or Electromechanical Items

Notices

Other Vintage Household Electrical or Electromechanical Items For discussions about other vintage (over 25 years old) electrical and electromechanical household items. See the sticky thread for details.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 16th Nov 2017, 3:18 am   #1
Argus25
Octode
 
Argus25's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Maroochydore, Queensland, Australia.
Posts: 1,105
Default EEC Nixie Clock mystery.

I came across a Nixie clock made by European Electronic Counting. Apparently they were a UK company ? Clearly they had contracted or used an American made LSI IC (possibly be made by AMI), it is a unique looking ceramic IC.

So far this is the only example of this clock I have seen. The IC remains unidentified (I've checked it against a number of LSI clock IC's of the early 70's era, nothing matches), but also I cannot find any information on the company EEC.

Here is the clock & article:

http://worldphaco.com/uploads/THE_19...S_LSI_CHIP.pdf

Has anyone ever heard of EEC ? or can recognize the IC type ?
Argus25 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th Nov 2017, 4:34 am   #2
Radio Wrangler
Dekatron
 
Radio Wrangler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Fife, Scotland, UK.
Posts: 9,439
Default Re: EEC Nixie Clock mystery.

Never heard of them.

The style of the IC package makes me think of Mostek. But that ceramic package could well have been a commodity.

David
__________________
Can't afford the volcanic island yet, but the plans for my monorail and the goons' uniforms are done
Radio Wrangler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th Nov 2017, 1:11 pm   #3
Vintage Engr
Pentode
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK.
Posts: 156
Default Re: EEC Nixie Clock mystery.

Not heard of them either.

The Russian resistors were quite popular in in the U.K. in the late 60's & early 70's.
They were of fairly good quality & good stability compared to some of the easily obtainable U.K. types, but more to the point, were cheap. Looks like cost was a factor.
I still have a large development box of them!

The IC package is very interesting. Being ceramic, it could possibly been a MIL spec type. No markings anywhere I presume.
Vintage Engr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th Nov 2017, 2:37 pm   #4
astral highway
Nonode
 
astral highway's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: London, UK.
Posts: 2,303
Default Re: EEC Nixie Clock mystery.

Huw,

There's a forum for Hewlett Packard collectors. On it, there's a thread discussing Nixie Clocks and sixth post down , a forum member called Paul Berger (Canada) discusses building a clock with an LSI chip, 40 years previously, and also, more excitingly, 'recently'. This was in 2016.

It may be a long shot, but if you can access the forum in some way and then contact this constructor, you may find illumination...
__________________
Al
astral highway is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 16th Nov 2017, 7:17 pm   #5
emeritus
Nonode
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Brentwood, Essex, UK.
Posts: 2,309
Default Re: EEC Nixie Clock mystery.

In the early 1970's it was possible to get ICs of your own design manufactured in the UK by companies such as Plessey and General Instrument that offered foundry services. Plessey used to manufacture large quantities of custom ICs for a French TV manufacturer without knowing what functions they performed: untested packaged ICs were shipped out for the customer to do their own testing and/or labeling. You will find it virtually impossible to find data on such custom devices if the company who had them made is no loner in existence. The chips we designed were made by Plessey using military-grade ceramic flatpack packages imported from the USA.

If our experience at the time is anything to go by, we found that the lid of some types of ceramic package could be removed by applying a sharp tap with a Philips screwdriver. This would break the seal with the ceramic frame without damaging the chip or wiring, allowing the chip (and any manufacturer's codes it might bear) to be seen with an inspection microscope. I haven't come across that particular type of package, but I don't suppose you would like to do that.

ICs were less complex then and you didn't need a computer work station: graph paper, pencils & a ruler were sufficient.
emeritus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th Nov 2017, 9:15 pm   #6
Argus25
Octode
 
Argus25's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Maroochydore, Queensland, Australia.
Posts: 1,105
Default Re: EEC Nixie Clock mystery.

There was another Digeec clock on the forum in the past, but I don't think this type used an LSI IC, I'm pretty sure it was just 74 TTL's, but again an impressive clock:

https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...ec+Nixie+Clock.

I think I once saw an advertisement in a vintage UK magazine by the EEC company, but I cannot recall which mag or when, but it was from the 1970's.

I found some similar LSI IC's, not in ceramic packages though, with differences in the pin configurations and complimented BCD outputs.

It was quite a job to copy out the schematic of my clock, if I hadn't I wouldn't have been able to figure out how to get it to run on 50Hz mains.
Argus25 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th Nov 2017, 10:06 pm   #7
Argus25
Octode
 
Argus25's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Maroochydore, Queensland, Australia.
Posts: 1,105
Default Re: EEC Nixie Clock mystery.

Quote:
Originally Posted by emeritus View Post
You will find it virtually impossible to find data on such custom devices if the company who had them made is no longer in existence.
Yes, I thought as much. I had also wondered if the IC might have some markings on its under surface, but I don't want to take it off the pcb, unless perhaps it fails.

I'm a bit suspicious of metal top ceramic IC's. They look beautiful enough, but I think some may possibly get the same type of tin whisker problem seen in AF11x transistors, that is if the tops are tin plated. For example I had a batch of other ceramic metal top digital logic IC's, never used and very well packed/stored, in theory they should have worked but two out of about 12 were stone dead. I seldom see this with batches of NOS plastic or ceramic case 74 series logic IC's without the metal tops. Only perhaps one dud in many hundreds if that. I really should crack the tops off the dead ones and look with the microscope to see if I can identify why they failed.
Argus25 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th Nov 2017, 10:10 pm   #8
Argus25
Octode
 
Argus25's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Maroochydore, Queensland, Australia.
Posts: 1,105
Default Re: EEC Nixie Clock mystery.

Quote:
Originally Posted by astral highway View Post
On it, [URL="http://www.hpmuseum.org/forum/archive/index.php?thread-6003.html"]there's a thread discussing Nixie Clocks
Al, Thanks for that link.
Argus25 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th Nov 2017, 10:00 am   #9
valvekits
Pentode
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Nottinghamshire, UK.
Posts: 215
Default Re: EEC Nixie Clock mystery.

It seems odd that anyone would fabricate a clock chip at a time when such a chip had become available to the market from AMI and Motorola. Perhaps this IC was an early development chip that just missed the boat?
Searching European Electronic Counting Ltd under Google books produces a result for the magazine Electronic Components- Volume 14, Issues 1-12 Page 360


Eddie
valvekits is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools



All times are GMT. The time now is 4:05 pm.


All information and advice on this forum is subject to the WARNING AND DISCLAIMER located at https://www.vintage-radio.net/rules.html.
Failure to heed this warning may result in death or serious injury to yourself and/or others.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2002 - 2018, Paul Stenning.