I grew up long after vacuum tubes had stopped being used, but I always found technology from that area to be fascinating. Nixie tubes in particular I think are very cool. They are filled with neon gas, and work by accelerating electrons from the digits to the grid in the front. You actually get a gradient of different colored plasma as the electrons gain velocity; the layer nearest the digits is a light orange, while the next layer is blue. I suspect that if you looked at running nixie tubes over a wide-spectrum camera that can view ultraviolet and infrared they would look very cool. But I digress. I have seen plenty of nixie tube clocks around, and I thought it would be cool to make my own. I used six IN-12B nixie tubes from ebay with six vintage russian high-voltage driver ICs (to the best of my knowledge there is no modern equivalent of this IC). To run it all, I used a preprogrammed driver microcontroller from AllSpectrum Electronics. I considered programming an Arduino to run the clock functions, by the microcontroller AllSpectrum sells is far more advanced than anything I could program in a reasonable timeframe. I designed an acrylic case to have a unique aesthetic that I think separates my clock from most others that you can find on the internet. I then used a laser cutter to cut out the case, and glued it all together. The tube orientation I used is a bit weird because I didn't want any tubes upside down. In the picture below, the time is 12:03:00. The lit numbers are much clearer in person, it is difficult to capture the way they look on camera, but I tried my best.

Step 1: Parts

You'll need the following stuff:
Six IN-12A or IN-12B nixie tubes (The only difference is the side the decimal point is on) (eBay)
Six IN-12 nixie tube sockets (eBay)
Six 74141 high voltage nixie tube driver ICs (eBay)
A high-voltage supply circuit (around 170 Volts)
Two 1/4"X12"X12" sheets of plastic (or whatever material you need for your own case design) (Mcmaster-Carr)
Two normally open pushbuttons (eBay)
A 6-digit nixie tube clock controller IC (www.allspectrum.com)
Various resistors, capacitors, and supercapacitors as called for in the datasheet for the controller IC
A temperature-compensated crystal oscillator (TCXO) or a regular crystal (I got a free sample of a TCXO from maxim-ic.com)
Neon bulbs (if you want delineating colons and and am/pm indicator, I skipped them)
A circuit board (I used one with copper pads on the bottom to make it easier to solder on components) (futurlec.com)
An epoxy capable of gluing plastic


<p>that's beautiful!</p>
i would realy like more atention to the electrical part of the instructable <br> <br>you act like everybody have the stuff lying around
A concised / detailed BOM (bill of materials) for the build would be good here as I have been considering doing a Nixie clock of my own.

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