Friday, May 31, 2019

Systron Donner 8350 Timecode Reader/Generator

Here's a lousy shot of my Nixie tube timecode generator/reader:

Click for a much better view!

I'm not sure what tubes are in it but the envelopes are only about 2" high. The thumbwheels set the starting time for generator mode so it can be used as a Nixie clock. The entire case is only one unit high.

Note the two missing keycaps between "Hold" and "Power". The plastic has become so brittle that the ears snapped like twigs with I pulled them off to replace the light bulbs. Not only does it look stupid but without the caps in place the switches can't be actuated.

I saved the pieces. I suppose they could be glued back together with a thin, springy piece of steel reinforcing the joint and making it flexible enough for them to be put back on again.

If I had new, blank caps I could reproduce the text with decals. If anyone has a fix please message me.

Perhaps later I'll have time to take a better picture and get some interior shots. And get the part numbers on the tubes.

9/12/2020: I just noticed that the lens cap is sitting on top of it.   👁


  1. Have you got a manual for this beast? I'd be very interested in seeing what is inside the box, but BAMA doesn't have docs.

  2. Unfortunately, no. If YOU ever find a service manual for ANY Systron-Donner equipment with Nixie tubes PLEASE let ME know!

    I also need a fix for the lighted push-buttons. The plastic has become brittle and the tabs that hold them in (and actuate the switches) have broken off. A friend thinks he can do it but he's too busy right now.

  3. If there are enough of the broken pieces to consider gluing back together, would it be possible to measure the piece, then 3D print a replacement? ABS seems like it would have about the right springiness and toughness, and with acetone polishing one can achieve a pretty good surface finish. I believe that natural white color is available, and if thin enough the light should shine through just as it did on the original.

  4. They're really, REALLY thin. I keep saying that I'll take some pictures and then forget about it.

    It's on tomorrow's list.


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