Thanks to all of your very creative designs and projeccts, you all have inspired me to build my own Steampunk Audio & Chronograph Station.  This project took me WAAAY longer than I anticipated and went way over budget, but once I got started, I found it hard to compromise and kept getting more ideas, so it essentially evolved from a basic - "let's build a Nixie Clock" project to a Frankenstein project from hell.  Here's how I did it...

1.  Built the Nixie Clock from a kit ordered online from PV Electronics.  Fun to build and completed it in 3 evenings approx. time 10-15 hours if I recall.  $112 including shipping I believe.
2.  Found a period case to put it in.  This took several weeks and prying a 1902 Symphony Talking machine from an antique dealer who rebuilds all sorts of machines.  This one had many parts missing so he reluctantly let me have it for $25. 
3.  Bought a Henry Kloss AM-FM Model One radio from eBay $102.  A great quality radio with very simple controls I thought would be very easy to convert.  Toughest part was reconfiguring the tuner to a new dial and knob and trouble shooting a missing ground that i failed to land.  I violated my own rule of using a printschematic and even though I took lots of pics, I didn't have the one that I needed.  To get the radio working, I had to take apart ANOTHER Model One I had and compare.  Yep... One stinkin' wire that was easily removed inadvertently.
4.  Bought the tesla coil from Edmund's Scientific on the web, and Aerolux light bulb on ebay.    $12 and $9 respectively.
5.  I had the old medical book for a Halloween prop.  And had to cut it in half horizontally to fit it on the deck.  iPod station was $60 (ouch) and I destroyed the charger taking it apart so I had to purchase another for an additional $20. Oh yeah the charger has an IR remote control so I cut a window in the pages of the book for it to work.
6.  Additional Items:
        Copper plates - etched with Muriatic acid and Hydrogen peroxide method. 
        DC Ammeter - bought off eBay approx $15
        Brass knobs for Volume & Radio function - Antique Bobbin drawer knobs $10
       Brass Channel for Clock Frame - Hard to find in USA, got from UK approx $20 (0.25 inch angle)
       Copper Came for stained glass tuner dial porthole - $20 off web.
       Tuner knob - Hobby Lobby $5
       Misc switches, LEDs, wire, solder, terminal strip etc. - Radio Shack $60 all told...

So yeah... way over budget, but hey I don't drink so...  well I did while making it.   Let's get started.

Step 1:

Step 1:  Get a DECENT work space set up.  This is how I started but later it became a hassle finding screws etc. that rolled around.  I know better but when I reset my workspace it went better.  I had to do this 3 times so I could find my tools and parts easier.  I even started with a parts tray but I got sloppy at times.

Step 2:  Build your Nixie clock and find a nice compatible transformer to run it.  Take your time.  Trouble shooting electronics without the knowledge or equipment to do it would be heartbreaking because you rushed it.  Also... NEVER throw out phone recorders or any electronic device with a wall charger.  They all essentially use a very narrow selection of voltages - mine came from a phone machine.

Step 3:  Find or build your case.  Here is how mine started out.  Note the hole for the wind up crank.  This is where I put the iPOD charging eye (was an electrical fitting with a clear marble in it.  If an existing case, give it a day or two and the best way to layout your project will take form.
<p>wonderful !</p>
Nice, nice, nice. I'm always amazed how creative people like yourself are. I see an old wooden box and all I see is a an old wooden box! One comment tho, that plastic extension cord has to go. Do you have any ideas for or seen any cord that would look steam punk?
Very nice indeed. <br> <br>Just for future reference though, it's &quot;one off&quot; not &quot;one of&quot; unless you use it in the context of &quot;one of a kind&quot; - it's just one &quot;of&quot; those things... <br> <br>
Thanks for the compliment - glad you like it. <br> <br>I do appreciate your &quot;correction&quot; to my tag line however, I seem to have a knack for remembering these useless phrases as I believe it is correctly spelled as I have written it. &quot;One off&quot; is a common mispronounciation of the proper English of &quot;one of.&quot; Not quite as bad as people who spell &quot;a lot&quot; as &quot;alot.&quot; But nonetheless, something I think I have correct. <br> <br>Per Wikipedia... <br>&quot;A one-off (also known as one and done) is something that occurs only once, or is independent of any pattern. It is correctly spelled &quot;one-of&quot; and often this term is used to differentiate these items from items in a series. When referring to a comic book, the term one-shot is used.&quot; <br> <br>So I guess sloppy pronounnciation made it different over the years? Who's to know for sure? Interesting evolution however.
&quot;One-off&quot; is also used to describe a device or vehicle that was essentially built from scratch, or from an assemblage of disparate parts, and not in a designed production scenario -- much like this project. Therefore: &quot;one-off&quot;.
I just bought the Frank 3 nixie clock from pv eletronics and i am waiting for it to arrive. i have quick question about the frank 3 kit you used, how did you power it and what voltage did you use? I haven found a power supply for mine yett what would you reconmend?
I had a power supply from a phone answering machine. I never throw these things out when the device dies. Cell phone chargers too are a good source. These can range from 5 vdc, 9 vdc, or 12 vdc. I believe the kit needs 12 vdc. If you need to you can buy the transformer off eBay or at a Radio Shack. Good luck.
this definitely going into my &quot;to-do&quot; book, as this is just awesome! I would probably only make some cosmetic changes, but it's &quot;cool factor&quot; is off the charts!
Excellent work! I can't believe I've missed your 'ibles, well no longer I am now a follower!
Thanks... as soon as I build one, I get another idea. Another one in the conceptual phase !!!
Very nice work! It looks awesome. Receive my gratulations from Switzerland.<br> Sincerely &nbsp; &nbsp;The Chocolatist<br> <br> <a href="http://www.thechocolatist.com" rel="nofollow">www.thechocolatist.com</a>
WOW! Nice work, and nice instructsble!
Thanks! I probably would have never started this project if I knew what hours and cash I'd sink in it. But I'm glad nonetheless at how it turned out.

About This Instructable




Bio: I like to read all about the creative ideas everyone has here. I love to make "one of" projects, learn something about doing it and ... More »
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