For every engineering and scientific activity, tools are key. At any expertise level, to do electronics, you must have a multimeter. That being said, you usually pick-up a model you can afford and has the right precision for your application. And today, we all have access to a broad range of devices that fit all budgets and projects’ needs. Because the price of the equipment is regularly dropping, while the quality & precision is improving, hobbyists rarely build their own multimeters these days. But that was often the case 45 years ago! The tool I am presenting today – the Heathkit IM-1202 Digital Multimeter – was available in 1972 as a kit than one could buy, assemble, calibrate and of course use. The IM-1202 can measure and display DC voltage and current, AC voltage and current – line frequency is the sampling rate –, and resistance (ohms); with a precision of 2.5 digits (and 10 mV, 10 uA and 1-ohm resolutions). The accuracy is DCV: +- 1%, DCA: +- 1.5%, ACV: +- 1.5%, ACA: +- 1.5%, and ohms +- 2%. Nothing sexy compared to what we can buy these days. To get a good feel of the age of this device, note that when you cold-switch-on the unit, to achieve the best accuracy, you have to give a 15-minute warm-up period. Woo, can you imagine doing that today? Now the really cool aspect of this multimeter: the display. It uses two nixie tubes for the digits, as well as four neon lamps to lit the one (1, this is the leading one, if needed), the plus (+), minus (-) and OVER symbols. A decimal point is also added when/where needed. One word on the polarity indicators (+ and -). You may have noticed a switch on the faceplate marked + and -. Well, you can use this switch to reverse the polarity, so you avoid swapping the measurement leads. A nice touch for the laziest among us! Overall, the Heathkit IM-1202 Digital Multimeter is a cute – not very accurate – multimeter, but a hell of a kit!
DC volts: 0-2, 20, 200, 1000 V
DC current: 0-2, 20, 200, 2000 mA (3 A max)
AC volts: 0-2, 20, 200, 700 V rms (25 Hz to 10 kHz)
AC current: 0-2, 20, 200, 2000 mA rms (25 Hz to 10 kHz) (3 A max)
Ohms: 0-200, 2K, 20K, 200K, 2000K ohms
If you love the glow of the nixies, you may be interest by this picture (and the related album): https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/111136724877107811112/album/5978494043617555665/5978494258564192610
Heathkit did a lot of great electronics kits. In this post, I am presenting a computer kit!
10 thoughts on “Nixie Tool”
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I still likevthe bigger screen of a computer by intel .I wantvto invent with you and Intel with my gifted and talent from school program trying to keep a2year advance on tecnology but Windows is past 10its Windows 14.alot of people know how to program their own computers and lsptopsviphones smartphones without a degree and it hurtsvthose college students taking computer science of business degrees science 101those are $48,000degress and slot of people without those degrees are making the same as a Intel chemical engineer
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