Introduction: Steampunked Nixie-tube Cryptographer

About: I love to invent and create new things in a "steampunk styled way" working with brass, copper, vulcanized-fibre, brass gears and (ply)- wood. On one side I am fascinated in neon lights and small ele…

Hi everybody

I think this is the right time to present you my latest steampunk project from the "Dampfkraftlabor" called the:


It combines the well known HV-technology of mine by using a flash module of a disposal camera, see: High-voltage-power-supply-for-Nixies, with my most beloved materials brass, copper parts and  plywood and vulcanized red fiber and the nixie-tubes! If you take a look to my other instructables e.g the magic-eye-winker you will find a lot of similarities in creating. 

Notice: Don´t wreck your health and please obay the following advices:

***Disclaimers***This instructable works with voltages in excess of 250V. This is more than enough to give you a potentially fatal electric shock if handled incorrectly. If you are unfamiliar with how to work with high voltage, please refrain from performing this instructable. Exercise caution throughout the following steps to avoid electrical dangers and also use insulated tools like pliers and screwdrivers and so on.

If you choose to undertake this instructable, you do so at your own risk.

So this is just a funky steampunked gadget for playing or using in RP but it also can be used for simple encoding and decoding messages if your partner build himself the same apparatus. Another modification is to connect both parts with some wires togther so you can "translate" numbers into letters and the other way round......

So have lots of fun with it  and with this summer-instructable ;-))))

 Cheers Aeon Junophor

Step 1: The "letter-lantern" I

The construction of the "letter-lantern" follows my other instructable,  the steampunked magic-eye-winker.
The essential steps  for this instructable can be seen here:

step 3 , step 4, step 5, step 6

and in summary at the following pictures

Step 2: The "letter-lantern" II

I used a nixie-tube "IN-19-B" for the "letter-lantern". To protect this tube use an 100 kOhm resistor at the anode, see High-voltage-power-supply-for-Nixies

Step 3: Electrical Equipment I

The electrical equipment is very simple and follows the instructable High-voltage-power-supply-for-Nixies

I used a step switch with 12 positions to light the 8 different signs. Some steps are soldered together as an "intern decoding" to make it individual. The nixie tubes are running with only one AA-battery best.

Step 4: The "number-box"

For this box I took a nixie-tube IN-4. The box itself follows the construtive design of the "letter-lantern".

Step 5: Electrical Equipment II

The electrical equipment is nearly similiar to the "letter-lantern" with only one aditional switch and follows the instructable High-voltage-power-supply-for-Nixies.

I used a step switch with 12 positions to light the 10 different numbers. Some steps are soldered together as an "intern decoding" to make it individual. The nixie tubes are running with only one AA-battery best.
The IN-4 nixie has got a special "screen". So if you switch to this pin the whole nixie glows as one big light. You can do it so tricky that this "screen" can be used either as a background light or a full flash-light.  If you change the polarity this "screen" works as an additional anode. I chose a separat switch to let the nixie glow full bright (to keep the secret which number was shown if someone wants to find this out ( a spy game).

To connect the nixie IN-4 with the wires do it best with selfmade pin holders, as you can see
in this instructable "steampunked nixie-tube switch" of mine.

Step 6: Some Signs

At the end you can see some of these letters and signs for creating your own and individual code.

Hope you enjoy my summe instructable

Cheers Aeon Junophor

Hurricane Lasers Contest

Participated in the
Hurricane Lasers Contest