If you’ve poked around the internets where electronics hobbyists collect, it is likely that you are acutely aware of our incontrovertible affinity for building timekeeping clocks. It is similarly unlikely that you have been able to evade the plenitude of nixie tube based projects. There is a reason for this.
Nixie tubes are cool. They have great aesthetic appeal with their difficult-to-photograph, warm orange glow, and dem curvy numerals. They add an organic je ne sais quoi to a hobby with ostensibly digital design cues. Further, they pose technical challenges in the way of producing and switching the ~175 V DC needed to light each tube element. And as far as I am aware, there are no new nixie tubes being produced; as such, procurement can be a challenge unto itself. My N.O.S. nixies came from Russia thru Ebay, and only 3 were duds. Incidentally the seller replaced those 3, FOC.
The strike thru text above results from a tip from +nicholasStock who points out new nixie tubes ae in fact being produced: http://www.daliborfarny.com/ The linked tubes are really impressive from a technical standpoint as well as asthetics. They seem to amplify all of the design cues we love about NOS nixies and the results speak for themselves. Might still be an issue with procurement, however…
- Single microcontroller design.
- Software based RTC.
- Software driven boost converter for ~175 V DC supply.
- Time, Date, and behavior configuration via USB
- Windows application for clock configuration.
- Time, Date, Temperature, and AC Power line frequency display.
For more detail: Nixie Tube Clock