10 June 2021

Early digital scale with Nixie tubes

Italiana Macchi Mach 55
Until 6 months ago I had no idea that in early 1970's existed digital scales that displayed information with Nixie tubes. That was the beginning of the transition from "analog" to digital weighting at retail shops.

In mid-2020 I saw one scale for sale on eBay which sprung my curiosity. It was a Italiana Macchi model "Mach 55". Not much has been written on Internet about these quite rare devices, and the most comprehensive discussion so far was on tubeclockdb forum from year 2012-2016.

Those devices were probably obsoleted in a decade and their resilience to time travels was heavily affected by their inherent weight.

Considering that a Mach 55 contains about 30 Nixie tubes, I had to own one: the hunt began, for this or similar models (which consists of setting up alerts on online marketplaces). One condition turned out to be compulsory: the scale for sale has to be picked up in person because it weights 30 kg or more!

By the way, Italiana Macchi (Italian) and Bizerba (German) are still active in the weighting sector!