But they need about 200 volts to glow and it makes them dangerous and difficult to drive, at least for me.
So i decided to make something similar, a numeric display able to work with low voltages.
After thinking about it i had the idea of making a lightguide display with some glass and copper tape. The result is that ''glass nixie'' wich I'll explain how to make.
Step 1: Materials
To make this ''glass nixie'' you'll need:
-10 smd LEDs (3mm)
-The PCB for the LEDs
-10 glass or acrylic panels (5x3cmx3mm)
-An enclosure for the 10 panels (mine is a glass box)
-Copper adhesive tape
-11 male headers (10+1)
-A resistor (50-330ohm)
Step 2: Making the ''cathodes''
You can make the cathodes from glass as me, or better from acrylic wich is lighter.
The ones i made are 3x5cm pieces from a 3mm panel. If you get smaller LEDs you can use a 2 or 1mm panel wich will rduce the final size significantly.
Once you have the ''cathodes'', using a small drilling mill, draw with dots the numbers (0-9) in the panels.
Step 3: Spacers
Cover the top and bottom edges with copper tape and flatten it.
Then clean all the panels with window cleaner and a soft cloth.
Make sure they're as clean as possible because ten times the dirt of one is too much dirt and it won't look clear.
Step 4: The PCB
Once you etch the PCB, tin carefully all the parts where someting is going to be soldered.
Then solder the LEDs carefully aligned and insert and solder the header pins and the resistor.
Make sure each LED matches with it's panel, if not, heat up the soldering and place the LED correctly.
Step 5: Bonding the Panels
Hold the panels in place with some adhesive tape. Then sloder them together with a powerful soldering iron (mine is 120w).
Once soldered, cover the soldering with more copper tape for a better looking.
Step 6: The Enclosure
You'll need an enclosure for potect the display from dust.
I made mine from another 5 glass pieces and copper tape, i soldered they together making sure the display fits in the box.
Step 7: Closing the Assembly.
Now cover the circuit edges with copper tape.
Put the display in the enclosure and solder it to the circuit.