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Cold War era technology meets modern electronics in a handcrafted wooden enclosure in the coolest gizmo ever.
Cold War era technology meets modern electronics in a handcrafted wooden enclosure in the coolest gizmo ever.
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141 backers pledged $18,818 to help bring this project to life.

About

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The Luminous Electronic Bargraph Clock

$18,818

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     We are a group of engineers who are passionate about vintage technologies. Our mission is to design cool consumer products with a retro style and vintage components. Teaming up with industrial designers, woodworking artisans and artists, enables us to create amazing works of art that are firmly rooted in history, yet with modern, electronics guts within; past and present in effortless harmony.

     We then make these available to you via the wonders of the Internet. We didn’t design the Internet though... Entrepreneurs with a firm foothold in the past, both eyes on the future and touched by just enough madness to make all the difference.

Please visit our website where you can find more amazing vintage products.

  • Nixie Clocks
  • Vacuum Tube Amplifiers
  • Concrete VFD Clocks
  • Many other gizmos
And remember to follow us on our Facebook page.

      The Luminous Electronic Bargraph Clock is the coolest gizmo around. It is made using gas discharge tubes, survivors from the Cold War. A technology that have been given a new lease of life and could now be in your home or office. 

     Crafted by a group of skilled artisans, modern electronics combined with Nixie tubes in a beautiful handmade veneer enclosure. With three modes of operation, the Luminous Bargraph Clock detects its position automatically and changes the mode accordingly, giving you endless hours of vintage entertainment!

The Luminous Electronic Bargraph Clock
The Luminous Electronic Bargraph Clock

     The Luminous Vintage Electronic Bargraph Clock has three modes of operation: clock, sound level meter and timer. In clock mode, it… well, it tells the time. The sound level meter gives you a visual display of audio levels in the immediate environment and the timer can count down from 1, 5 or 10 minutes, whilst displaying a pleasing, and quite hypnotic, pendulum effect.

Cold War era tech into the present
Cold War era tech into the present

     To change modes, the machine is turned round and incorporates sensors that detect its position to change the displayed values accordingly.

     The different modes are indicated via a hidden LED that animates and changes color. Much like a troublesome drunk at a party, to turn it off simply lay it on its side – the side opposite the clock mode – prolonging the tube’s lifespan and preserving the time for the next day.

A faint warm orange glow produced by the vintage display tubes
A faint warm orange glow produced by the vintage display tubes
How to turn it off - How to change the display mode
How to turn it off - How to change the display mode

     We use gas discharge tubes, which, despite what you may think from the name, are not devices for dealing with flatulence. No. They were designed under military specifications with the intention of being used by the Soviet armed forces but were usurped when LEDs were introduced and ended up being abandoned in cold, dark and dusty basements. 

     It was from these very basements that Nuvitron rescued them and gave them new purpose and meaning in the coolest, old-school gadget ever. First, let us look at the technology involved here. 

The vintage display tubes from the Soviet era
The vintage display tubes from the Soviet era

     Exactly what is a gas discharge tube? Well, put simply, it is a device that has an arrangement of electrodes within an insulated environment that is filled with gas or, more accurately in this case, a mixture of gases: Neon and Argon. When a voltage is applied, the gas molecules get excited, then flow and glow but they do so in such a way as to produce oscillations and waveforms. 

How we test and match each pair of tubes
How we test and match each pair of tubes

     Of course, the whole process is very much more involved than this but, for reasons of brevity, this particular science lesson must end here. If you want to make yourself instantly more annoying at social gatherings you can research Townsend Discharge and Paschen’s Law.

     The circuit within the Bargraph is designed using tiny surface-mount components matched with sensors and a micro controller, giving life to the coolest gadget ever. 

The final version of the Bargraph`s circuit board
The final version of the Bargraph`s circuit board

     In order to do justice to this amazing technology, we designed an MDF enclosure that is resistant to temperature and humidity changes, no matter where in the world you are. This makes it impossible to warp, crack or split. We then used a beautiful grain veneer on each piece, hand glued to ensure that they are straight and smooth. 

The Bargraph uses very small surface mount components, together with micro controllers, accelerometers and more!
The Bargraph uses very small surface mount components, together with micro controllers, accelerometers and more!

     The front panel is printed using special ink and then three coats of semi-matt lacquer are applied by hand. Due to the characteristics of the gas discharge tubes, each one is slightly different. This is why we test each one and try to match them so that they can glow together for years to come.

An amazing marriage between retro technologies, modern electronics and handmade enclosures
An amazing marriage between retro technologies, modern electronics and handmade enclosures

     Every Luminous Electronic Bargraph Clock is numbered and will come with a certificate of authenticity. Why? Because we want you to have a unique product. Nuvitron produce limited quantities of each of its products because the tubes that we use are no longer in production. You can be sure that you have a unique piece of history when you own a Bargraph Clock.

 These are the rewards we have prepared for you:

     We've designed a Pocket Flashlight specially for Kickstarter that has three types of LED´s. One Ultraviolet that you can use to detect counterfeit money or stains, a red light perfect for use on the night and if you want to preserve your night vision and a regular white light for everyday use.

Our specially designed for Kickstarter Pocket Flashlight
Our specially designed for Kickstarter Pocket Flashlight
How each LED works - Ultraviolet, Red and White
How each LED works - Ultraviolet, Red and White

     Also, we made a Bargraph with a dark oak veneer that looks amazing with the reddish color of the vintage Nixie tubes. They are guaranteed to make you happy with a vintage style.

The Dark Edition has a dark oak veneer enclosure
The Dark Edition has a dark oak veneer enclosure

¿How long would the tubes last?  

     The tubes were made under strict military specifications during the Cold War by the former USSR, with the intention of being part of military equipment. They were meant to function for several years under normal conditions.

¿Is the circuit built to extend the tubes lifespan?

     Yes, The Bargraph will function below the operational point of the tubes in order to extend their life. And to make sure they work properly, we programmed a starting sequence to preheat the tubes that will happen each time you plug in the device and once each week.

¿Can I use the Bargraph outdoors?  

     No, circuits and water are non-compatible. Although it will endure any winter or summer indoors.

¿Where can I buy an extra set of tubes?  

     The tubes will last for years; however, if you want to ensure that the bargraph will be there with you for years to come, we will have available for sale in the website sets of replacement tubes once production starts.

¿Does it work on countries with 220V power outlets?  

     Yes, the included power adapter will work on each corner of the world. 110/220V in 50/60 Hz. The power adapter has two flat prongs (American style plug)

¿How can I contact someone on your team?

     Please visit our website: www.nuvitron.com, and use the contact form. We will help you on any inquiry.

¿How precise is the clock?  

     The clock itself is a very precise component because we use modern electronics. Unfortunately the vintage tubes may show a slight variation of the time because each one is different. You can adjust the time using the buttons on the back and in that way you can fine tune the time.

¿How precise is the sound level meter?  

     The tubes cannot be accurately calibrated to match a measuring scale, however they look very cool when dancing to the beat.

- Please visit Kicking it Forward for more information about this program that we are part of.

Risks and challenges

We have already come a long way in getting the Luminous Electronic Bargraph Clock launched. Since each Bargraph is completely handmade, we are unable to guarantee 100% accuracy on delivery dates but we promise complete transparency in keeping our backers informed and up-to-date on our progress.

We have put a lot on the line for this initiative – our finances, our reputations and our dreams. Whilst we expect there to be ups and downs along the way, we are committed to delivering on our promises. Throughout the campaign and beyond, we will provide you with regular updates and respond to all comments in a timely manner. Alternatively, we can be reached at: www.nuvitron.com

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    CHEERFUL KIT

    Your name will be handwritten in the main wall of our office.
    (We'll take a photo to prove it)
    You will receive every update from our project and the eternal gratitude from our team.

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    8 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    POCKET LIGHT

    We designed a Pocket Light specially for Kickstarter backers.
    It has a coin cell battery and three buttons, each one for a different light (UltraViolet - White - Red)

    You can put it in your keychain, use it to detect counterfeit money and as a backup light whenever you might need it.
    + CHEERFUL KIT.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    10 backers
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  3. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $99 or more About $99

    THE BARGRAPH - EARLY BIRD

    You will be the FIRST ONE to receive a handmade Bargraph that will come with a power adapter, user's manual and a numbered certificate of authenticity.
    + CHEERFUL KIT.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 50 backers
    $
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $109 or more About $109

    THE BARGRAPH

    You'll receive a Bargraph that will come with a power adapter, user's manual and a numbered certificate of authenticity.
    + CHEERFUL KIT.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 7 backers
    $
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $129 or more About $129

    THE BARGRAPH - DARK EDITION

    You'll receive a Bargraph in a special edition with a dark veneer that will come with a power adapter, user's manual and a numbered certificate of authenticity.
    + CHEERFUL KIT.

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    Limited 20 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $149 or more About $149

    THE FANCY BARGRAPH

    This fancy piece of vintage tech will have a Bargraph that will come with a power adapter, user's manual and a numbered certificate of authenticity.

    AND our exclusive Kickstarter Pocket Light + A set of spare tubes + A vintage Soviet data sheet.

    And will be delivered among with the Early Bird Bargraphs.
    + CHEERFUL KIT.

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    Limited 16 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $180 or more About $180

    THE VINTAGE KIT

    You will receive TWO BARGRAPHS (You can choose between the regular and the dark one).

    This makes the best gift anyone can ever receive!.
    + CHEERFUL KIT.

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    Limited 24 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)