Picture of Nixie Tube Geiger Counter
A long, long time ago the folks at got their hands on some nixie tubes and some components from ogi lumen, and built a twitter follower counter.  You can see the post here:  At the end of the post, they outline a plan to give away a set of nixie tubes and all the fixin’s required to work them, as well as a voucher for laser cutting from  Well, it turns out I won that contest!

After a fair amount of designing and redesigning, I decided to make my geiger counter look like an old-timey cathedral radio with a detachable wand to check various sundries for radiation.  It was a bit more ambitious of a project than I realized at first but I think the results were well worth the effort.
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Step 1: Materials

Well, there's a lot of things you'll need and I probably forgot some, but here's the main parts:

Nixie tubes, drivers, and power supply
Geiger tube
     -electronic components to build a power supply for said Geiger tube
     -various electronics tools, such as a multimeter, alligator clips, soldering iron, etc.
     -an oscilloscope is helpful
Arduino Uno
Hook-up wire
12 V wall wart/power supply
multiposition selection switch + knob
power switch
curly phone cable + 2 jacks
clear tube to use as a wand for the geiger tube

Walnut plank
     -router and router bit
Money for laser cutting
Wood glue

Step 2: Get the Nixie Tubes Going

Picture of Get the Nixie Tubes Going
The Nixie Tubes I used were generously provided by ogi lumen and bildr.  This project uses 2 Nixie Duos, 2 Nixie Drivers and 1 Nixie Power Supply.  These come as kits and require a bit of soldering, but it's all through-hole parts.  There are instructables already written that detail the assembly of these kits, so I’ll just link you to them instead of rehashing it:

Power Supply

Ogi Lumen has an arduino library written for controlling the tubes which you can download from their website.  This makes testing your assembly easy enough and you can have some fun with the nixie tubes before you get everything else working too.
bigern002 years ago
I'm not currently in the market for a geiger counter, but I really like the way your "cathedral style" came together. The wood choice, proportions, and atomic styling are well executed. Congrats on the Cabot contest.
N.fletch2 years ago
A vote for you, good sir.
Higgs Boson2 years ago
This is Awesome. I love the retro look! I would like to make my own but I would rater use a digital readout, just for the sake of saving money and making it a little smaller. Do you think you could include just a picture of the schematic for the geiger muller tube circuit? Thanks.
moustachenator (author)  Higgs Boson2 years ago
I've added the schematic to the geiger counter section. If you have any trouble getting it to work, let me know. Be careful building it and always discharge the capacitors before touching any wires.
Aleator7772 years ago
I have absolutely no need for this, but I totally want it. Awesomely retrofuturistic! Where did you find the perforated copper sheeting?
moustachenator (author)  Aleator7772 years ago
I don't really remember. I keep a box full of what is basically junk. Every once in a while something from my junk box comes in handy, which justifies my keeping it around.
moustachenator (author) 2 years ago
Thanks for your kind comments! I'm really pleased with how it turned out and I'm glad you all like it.
That's a really cool instructable!!
I just scored a whole bunch of the Nixie Tubes in a couple of sizes and also some of the Fluorescent (Vacuum Tube Fluorescent Display Tubes that look like LED's inside of tubes but glow a blue or green color) versions of the Nixie tubes as well while I was on a 3 week vacation this year in Kiev ,Ukraine.
I found them at their electronics market place.
I had some of the merchants bringing them from home to their shops to sell them to me.
They were not that expensive considering I was getting them almost right from the source.
Some are brand new ,some are actually used ones removed from working equipment.
Some only display numbers while others are alpha numeric.
Most of these Nixie tubes were built in The Russian Federation or Ukraine.
I just packed them up VERY carefully in my carry one luggage and brought them home with me.
Now the next thing is to build the high voltage power supplies for the tubes.
lindenturn2 years ago
This is really nice. The entire idea behind it, the case, the look, the operation, etc. Really great job.
lafnbear2 years ago
Congrats on the contest win! Hopefully, I'll never have need for a Geiger counter, but beautiful build on the case!