Picture of Radial Display Nixie Tube Clock
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.

that's beautiful!

robot7973 years ago
i would realy like more atention to the electrical part of the instructable

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.