1 Single Digit Nixie Clock


Introduction: 1 Single Digit Nixie Clock

About: I am a researcher working on development of optical atomic clocks. Electronics is my hobby since childhood when my uncle was bringing me old phones to play and take apart.

Young people are fascinated by Nixies. They have not seen such neon lights in the present solid-state era.
IN-18 is the largest neon digit indicator produced during USSR times that was used in scales on food markets and in scientific equipment.

Below is described how to make a single digit Nixie clock that shows time in the following order:

tens of hours - blank - hours ones - blank - tens of minutes - blank - minutes ones - longer blank.

Single digit simplifies the boring soldering task as only one Nixie needs to be connected instead of 4 or 6. Single digit add dynamics to the clock and also makes clock cheaper. A single IN-18 tube on E-bay costs around 30 EUR. Any other Nixie you get hold of can be used with the circuit described in the attached file. Arduino program code is also attached that works with a library ArduinoRTC_DS1307.

  1. First you need to assemble HV module and check that you can light Nixie digits.
  2. Independent task is to learn to read out the RTC chip using Arduino.
  3. Final task is to bring everything together.

Step 1:



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    Seem to fix one thing then another problem pops up

    C:\Program Files (x86)\Arduino\hardware\arduino\avr\cores\arduino/Arduino.h:125:14: note: previous declaration as 'typedef bool boolean'

    typedef bool boolean;


    This is the latest

    Fixed DS1307 issues.Just 1 error left.

    fatal error: WProgram.h: No such file or directory

    #include <WProgram.h>


    compilation terminated.

    exit status 1

    Error compiling for board Arduino/Genuino Uno.

    This is my last problem hopefully

    1 reply

    Google told:
    Try to rename those headers to Arduino.h. In never version they changed names.
    Change the WProgram.h to Arduino.h

    In some examples for another chip
    In MAX6675.h, change "WProgram.h" to "Arduino.h"
    In MAX6675.cpp, change "WProgram.h" to "Arduino.h" (or you can delete the #include completely)


    looks like the libray has fixed most of the errors.

    Now I only have problems with WProgram.h

    The code has all sorts of errors relating to the DS1307 when I try to compile it.Have I wasted my time building this project only to be stopped by the code problems?

    4 replies

    Would be nice if you could post a photo of your setup.

    And error messges

    All I have done in regard to the code is download it, and then try running it in Arduino IDE.
    Comes up with heaps of error messages regarding the DS1307.
    got any ideas?.
    I've started building an open frame construction.
    Don't have my camera working at the moment, but I'll send you a pic when I can
    regards Mark

    Nice to read that you have built the single digit Nixie clock project.

    I often encounter that when Arduino IDE versions change then older projects do not compile anymore. I used old Arduino IDE 0022.

    I guess the first thing to do you need to get DS1307 example running independently. Now I attached the library I used to the instructable.

    Basically, when you get the time, code to display is very simple:

    PORTB =hh/10; delay(500); // show number of tens of hours
    PORTB =10; delay(100); // switch Nixie off for some time
    PORTB =hh%10; delay(500); // show number of hours
    PORTB =10; delay(500);
    PORTB =mm/10; delay(500); // show number of tens of minutes
    PORTB =10; delay(100);
    PORTB =mm%10; delay(500); // show number of minutes
    PORTB =10; delay(2000);

    The library has to be placed under the Arduino libraries folder. Remove the space in the name RTCDS1307.