What I had been looking for was a way to easily deal with multiple nixie tube digits in various projects that I was working on. I really wanted an easy way to connect many digits together with minimum digit spacing, and have the digits controlled by a simple serial interface. You'll find all the schematics and board layouts are available through the links in this instructable, released under a creative commons license.

Voila, the nixie tube board that I came up with supports two IN-12A type nixie tubes via two printed circuit mounting phenolic sockets. The nixie tube board is designed to be supported by a nixie driver board below it, which permits a microcontroller ( Arduino, etc.) to address the two nixie tube digits, and via a shift register chain, multiple pairs of nixie tube digits. The edge connecting header pins easily allow the multiple digits to be physically connected and may be powered by an external high voltage supply. This densely packed configuration permits minimum digit spacing while threading power and serial data connections to all elements.

Step 1: Parts List

Picture of Parts  List

1 - printed circuit board
2 - IN-12A nixe tube
2 - IN-12A nixie tube socket
2 - straight 12-pin male header (1x12)
abortoni28 months ago

hey! this looks awesome, could you provide a link with the Eagle files?

TechDante3 years ago
does this board have the capeability to utilise the in-12b decimal point and if so could this be re routed to use a pair of the ins-1 ixie lamp (one from each nixie tube on a duo board
gluplug (author)  TechDante3 years ago
The decimal point pin is left open (unconnected) for those who'd like to use IN-12Bs.
dakegg4 years ago
Do you need a driver for every pair of tubes, or can you make a single driver for more than 2 tubes?
gluplug (author)  dakegg4 years ago
Yes, for each tube pair, a driver board is required.
longsl4 years ago
i need for your help :)

My tube lighting not good. when one number is burn, the number beside is burning too. I beat it on table --> this tube became normally but re_happen next time.

I don't know why and how to repair it ??

Thx you so much !
gluplug (author)  longsl4 years ago
Hello longsl,

If you have a defective tube, allow ten hours burn in time. If the problem persists, let me know and I'll send you another.

Dr.Bill4 years ago
The first real calculators were show cased in NYC about 1964.
They were able to devide numbers unlike their adding machine counterparts.
These calculators were huge at almost 3 feet wide and a foot tall.
They used NIXIE Tubes as read outs with their glowing wire segments.

I saw their introduction on the morning news and wrote down the address where they could be found.
A few days later I skipped out of school (4th grade) to go see them for myself.

New they cost $2000 and they did no more than todays basic calculator out of the Dollar Store for a buck.................

I have seen a clock that used them and thought they were still cool.
junits156 years ago
what is a nixie tube?
and what can i use to power them
gluplug (author)  junits156 years ago
You can jumpstart these tubes with a high voltage power supply like this one.
any way i can make one? (know of any instructables?)
gluplug (author)  junits156 years ago
But, of course. <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.instructables.com/id/NIXIE_TUBE_DRIVER_MODULES_Part_III_HV_POWER_SUPP/">Here</a> it is.<br/>
gluplug (author)  junits156 years ago

there's a great intro to nixies here.
that is sick! i want one of those!
DarkStarPDX7 years ago
This is awesome! I just went to a local workshop where we built our own Arduino boards and I've been looking for some cool projects for it.
gluplug (author)  DarkStarPDX6 years ago
We also like the RBBBs from Modern Device to run these puppies.