Can you remember...
...on grandma's old tube radio with the "magic shining green thing" in the front panel which showed the quality of the signal reception?
If you're looking on the well known selling platforms for "Magic Eye" than you'll find not only a lot of tubes but also offers of VU meter kits. But here as against the most available offers you need not to supply all the voltages (normally 6 V and 250 V), you do not need to build a case, solder adapter wires for the tube's connections, have only a mono display or only one tube type which can be fitted, etc...
Mr. Nixie has taken all these kits, put them in a pot, added a hefty dose of the legendary Mr. Nixie Magic, and finally the Magilyzer EM800 was created.
Absolute unique on the (DIY) world market !
The Magilyzer EM800 is an analog audio spectrum analyzer, based around an analog analyzer chip. It offers the display of six selective audio bands: 63 Hz, 150 Hz, 330 Hz, 1 kHz, 3.3 kHz and 10 kHz.
As an extra feature, you can mix the signal of a build in microphone to the display, to use the Magilyzer as a stand-alone device when no audio source is connected (as done in the video, standing in front of Amazon's Echo).
The Magilyzer EM800 operates with six EM800 Magic Eye tubes and has two RCA stereo in- and outputs (for easy daisy chaining the device within an existing audio path) and also two 1/8" TRS jacks for simple connecting your MP3 player, mobile phone plus headphone for listening etc.
Both signals (RCA and 1/8" TRS are only internal mixed and do not affect each other.
The Magilyzer EM800 uses no digital processor or FFT (Fast Fourier Transformation); so the display is stepless and fully in realtime.
What is an audio spectrum analyzer?
You surely know a VU meter, which shows the level of an audio signal, often build with LEDs on the DIY market.
The Magilyzer EM800 now separates this audio signal into six selective bands and show their special audio level within this frequency band:
63 Hz = Low Bass (e.g. Bassdrum)
150 Hz = Mid Bass (e.g. Bassguitar)
330 Hz = Low Mid (near concert pitch of the most musican instruments)
1 kHz = Mid of voice frequency (e.g. the "beep" sound for indecent words in interviews)
3.3 kHz = Presence (e.g. "sch" in the word Schedule or the imitated sound of a steam locomotive)
- 10 kHz = Heights (e.g. "ssss")
And as an absolute unique feature, the Magilyzer EM800 displays the level not on "ordinary" LED display (as seen on the sample picture above) or VFD display or on a computer screen or even in an App of your mobile phone but on six EM800 Magic Eye tubes made in the end of the 60's by TELEFUNKEN / Germany.
You'll get a fully complete DIY kit and complete means complete:
- PCBs with pre-assembled SMD parts
- All necessary through hole components
- All necessary mounting hardware
- Complete enclosure with anodized aluminium and acylic frames
- 15 VDC wall mart power supply with EU mains and (if necessary) adaptor for US included
- 6 x EM800 tubes on request (you can order a 2nd set for spare)
- 15 V DC supply input
- Inrush current suppression.
- 2 x Stereo RCA in- and outputs for easy daisy chaining in an existing audio path.
- 2 x Stereo 1/8" TRS jacks for easy connecting your MP3 player, mobile phone or headphone.
- Selectable audio channel (right / both / left) for display.
- Build-in microphone signal can be mixed.
- 63 Hz, 150 Hz, 330 Hz, 1 kHz, 3.3 kHz, 10 kHz spectrum level are displayed on 6 x EM800 Magic Eye tubes
- Positive grid bias for the tubes adjustable for a kind of "screen saver" when no signal is applied.
- Audio compandor for a wider display range.
- Engraved frequencies on top cover are red illuminated.
- Solid anodized Aluminium profiles.
- Anthracite mirrored acrylic top cover with engraving.
What you'll need for assembling:
- Good electronic and soldering skills.
- 3 hours of your evening time with no hurry.
- A clear, well-lit area in which to work.
- Soldering station and fine electronic solder.
- Multimeter to check the generated voltages.
- Electronic tools.
- A loupe may be helpful
- TX8/10 (Torx), PH1/2 and mini slotted screwdriver
- 6 x EM800 Magic Eye tubes
Wouldn't it be the ultimate Christmas present for any tube audio enthusiast?
Now you have the opportunity to "capture" this unique DIY kit for an absolute special Christmas price.
Here's a part of the schematic for the exact input configuration
Some words about the "unkown" EM800 tubes from TELEFUNKEN
These tubes were the absolutely final development of Magic Eye tubes in 1966. They has been primary designed as a channel-no. display on the upcomming first generation of European colour TV sets.
However, the time was just too late for preamplifier tubes as in the end of the 60's transistors came up to be used in the tuner stages of the TV sets and tubes become extinct (except for the picture tube for sure and their high voltage supply).
This very first production batch of the TELEFUNKEN EM800 tubes were comercial never used in many devices. Radiomuseum.org for example reports only from three GRUNDIG colour TV sets from 1967 and two DYNACHORD power amplifiers which has used this tube (and for sure the Magilyzer first version).
So the EM800 have never left Germany or Europe, are very unknown in the rest of the world and has spend their last 50 years unused in German warehouses.
On the other hand, these tubes has been a big improvement of the well known EM84 / EM87 (6FG6 / 6HU6) or their clones 6E2 (China) and 6E3-P (Russia) as the illuminated screen started here from bottom (like a real VU meter) and not from the middle.
The EM800 are still available in thousands of pcs. for a resonable price.
Here you can read the German datasheet of the EM800
How hot will the aparatus run after two weeks of continuous operation (!!!)
You're asking about the lifespan of these EM800 tubes?
Me too, many years before ;-) for sure.
So I have created a "NixieCam" on my old homepage:
Left and right hand on the screen you'll see four of my "Magic Eye Winkers"; Video here.
I kept all these devices (incl. Nixieclock "Marcel" and the NixieTherm ) powered up for one year ~ 8,800 hrs continuously.
The left hand "Winkers" are equipped with an EM84 and EAM86, the right hand Winkers with EM81 and EM80. But every three month I need to replace the right hand EM's with new tubes as they became really blind and you could see nothing more from the illuminated screen on the webcam. The left hand EM's have not lost any noticable brightness during this one year stress test.
For sure - as you might also see - they are using not such a "fine" green shining phosphor as the older versions on the right hand, but this "more modern bluish green" increases the livespan a lot.
BTW: It looks that this is the same phosphor which is used in the modern VFD displays...
Risks and challenges
The new Magilyzer EM800 is a further development and improvement of the first DIY version (see it on www.Nixiekits.eu) which is now nearly sold out. Therefore are new batch needs to be designed and ordered.
The SMD pre-assembled PCBs are already arrived. Now I need this crowdfounding project to order for an affordable price the electrical / mechanical parts and the EM800 tubes to have the kits ready for shipping just in time for Christmas; therefore Express shipping for backers outside EU in the 1st December week is recommended to compensate the shipping delay during Christmas business on customs clearence on "ordinary" postal service (up to 21 days incl. shipping time).
For a "reference" see my finished project here:
The DIY kit rewards has been shipped until 20th October 2018.
- (30 days)