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I've used some SN74141 BCD-TO-DEC/DRIVER I had laying around to drive some nixie tubes recently, and I have also seen someone on the internet use HV5622 High Voltage Shift Register. I looked at both devices datasheet, but I can't find any information about why the work with high voltage, how much voltage can they take or why they act as a GND connection (as in the example below from http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Control-a-Nixie-Tube-with-an-Arduino/).

Circuit Example

PS. By acting as GND I mean that the tube is discharging through it, has this something to do with High Voltage capabilities?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Parameter "High-voltage Output Voltage"? \$\endgroup\$ – pjc50 Dec 15 '17 at 19:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Page 4? ww1.microchip.com/downloads/en/DeviceDoc/20005854A.pdf \$\endgroup\$ – Wesley Lee Dec 15 '17 at 20:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, but High Voltage could mean any High Voltage, how do I know what exact maximum voltage is? \$\endgroup\$ – prenone Dec 15 '17 at 20:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @WesleyLee So... as I understand, the High Voltage has to do with the IC outputs, being open drain? \$\endgroup\$ – prenone Dec 15 '17 at 20:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ Not directly, since many open-drain devices can't tolerate 200V+. \$\endgroup\$ – Wesley Lee Dec 15 '17 at 20:03
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Please note that 200VDC can be quite dangerous and if you are not familiar with electronics perhaps you should start with other projects. Be careful and stay safe.

From HV5622 datasheet page 4:

enter image description here

p.s.: was a bit conflicted about answering this since its just a URL, but I guess its better than leaving it open and the question popping back up..

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok thank you very much, don't worry I have already worked with high voltage electronics in other sectors ;) \$\endgroup\$ – prenone Dec 15 '17 at 20:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh, ok! Good luck and have fun. (The note is also useful for future readers) \$\endgroup\$ – Wesley Lee Dec 15 '17 at 20:16
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SN74141 BCD-TO-DEC/DRIVER [...] HV5622 High Voltage Shift Register

I looked at both devices datasheet, but I can't find any information about why the work with high voltage

They have output drivers which are specifically designed to cope with high output voltage (e.g. high VCEO for BJT and high VDS for MOSFET).

how much voltage can they take

This is given in the datasheets. Recommended maximums:

  • SN74141: 60V
  • HV5622: 220V

why they act as a GND connection

This is the nature of open-collector (74141) / open-drain (HV5622) output drivers.

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