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Topic: Freeformed Nixie Tube clock (Read 18115 times) previous topic - next topic

Freeformed Nixie Tube clock

If you combine Ian's adventure into the world of Nixie tubes with my freeformed Litte Wire clone you get something like this:


It's a clock made of a single IN-1 Nixie tube controlled by a ATMega8. The Mega8 directly controls 10 pcs of MPSA42 high voltage transistors for lighting up the filaments in in Nixie. It also generates the high voltage required for the tubes by a pwm output connected to a IRF520 N-FET and the usual inductor and fast recovery diode.

Unfortunately I've lost the schematics and firmware many years ago...

Here's a link to a youtube movie showing the clock in action.http://


Re: Freeformed Nixie Tube clock

Reply #1
You are truly an artist. That thing looks great and functional to. Nice video to. How long did it take to build?

Re: Freeformed Nixie Tube clock

Reply #2
Thanks :-)

Well as far as I remember it it was like two evenings for the hardware and then another for the firmware.... But it was a while ago, probably 6 years, so I might be a bit off in my "rememberings".

The picture-taking, the shooting of the video and the editing I do remember - I did it just a few hours ago and it took all of 30 minutes ;-)

Re: Freeformed Nixie Tube clock

Reply #3
this is lethal but cute clock :oP

Re: Freeformed Nixie Tube clock

Reply #4
Yes, I try to avoid putting my fingers inside the clock while it's running.  The 33uF HV cap is charged to 200 volts and will hurt as hell if you put you fingers across it, but in reality it's only like 0.7 joules and should be rather safe.

I must admit that 33uF is far too much, 2uF should be enough, but it was easier to just add some extra capacitance to get a stable voltage than improving my feedback loop in the firmware :-)

Re: Freeformed Nixie Tube clock

Reply #6
Your servers would be toast right now. lol

Re: Freeformed Nixie Tube clock

Reply #7
[quote author="matseng"]This ended up on both Make blog as well as Hackaday  ^_^  I'm glad that I didn't publish this on my own servers... ... xie-clock/ ... out-a-pcb/[/quote]

I was going to point that out, but looks like you already found out :)  Your other freeform circuit you posted also found it's way over to make a couple days ago I think.

They look great, especially on the front page of some heavily traffic-ed blogs ;-)

Re: Freeformed Nixie Tube clock

Reply #8
Extremely cool !!! Love this artsy freeform construction. A pleasant change from all the 3D-printed & laser-cut stuff we see today.