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Fallout 4 Vacuum tubes and Nixie tubes

Posted on February 8th, by Shaun Merrigan in Gaming, Nixie Tubes, Tech, Vacuum Tubes. Comments Off on Fallout 4 Vacuum tubes and Nixie tubes

Fallout 4 Vacuum tubes and Nixie tubes

I have been working my way through Fallout 4 and during my explorations I noticed that the labs and military installations are loaded with vintage vacuum tube equipment.  I thought I recognized the front panel of at least one piece of gear:

Front Panel render from Fallout 4 (Bethesda Softworks):

Fallout 4 RA-17_1

Fallout 4 Front Panel


 Now compare this image with the front panel of the Racal RA-17:

ra17-front panel

Racal RA17 Front Panel

The resemblance of the Fallout 4 render to the real Racal RA17 is striking.  This Racal-like front panel appears in nearly every lab and/or military installation that I have explored.

Another rack of equipment very frequently seen in labs and military installations is this one:


Fallout 4 Equipment Rack (Bethesda Softworks

Fallout 4 Nixie and Vacuum Tube Gear

Fallout 4 equipment rack

This image clearly shows:

  • A nixie tube display (round tubes like the Burroughs 5092)
  • Twin green phosphor CRT displays
  • Several analogue meters
  • A row of vacuum tubes
  • An arrangement of vacuum tubes that resembles that of a power amplifier

This makes sense when you remember that Fallout 4 takes place in an alternative reality which is some ways resembles 1950’s and 60’s technology (as above) but in other ways was far ahead of us (widely used fusion power, ubiquitous robots and artificial intelligence).

For those of us interested in vacuum tube radio and test equipment these images from Fallout 4 are fascinating.


Shaun M.

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