In Reply to: Nixie Tube reconditioning possible? Expert opinions wanted. posted by Alan Franzman on 10/02/00 at 10:59 PM:
Refurbishing Nixies is an interesting concept, but I'm not too sure how easy that will be. It is pure neon in the tubes (although this may be your opportunity to use argon and have some really interesting display!) and as you suspect, is at very low pressure or they wouldn't glow.
Theory says, sure, it'll work. I'd think that the coatings on the elements would reflect what a moden sign shop would use and they'd be a good source of information. It took a really long time for that build-up to accumulate and I'd think that the inclusion of sand would have its own set of problems, such as making it difficult to pull a vacuum and have it stay down because of air in the pores of the sand. If it takes so long to accumulate, do you really need the sand? I be more afraid of grains of sand getting irrecoverably stuck in the elements. I'd think that everything would have to be done through the exhaust nipple and would involve some reconstruction.
Have you researched things out with Burroughs to see if they still have any information on Nixies?