This project was inspired by, "netzener". I took his design and doubled the number of Neon Lamps from 5 to 10, selected an off-the-shelf DC to DC Converter and designed a Printed Circuit Board instead of hand-wiring the project.

This project flashes 10 Neon Lamps in random fashion, as the name implies. It is a fun project to build but its functionality provides nothing more than an interesting, "conversation piece". Although kids do love it!

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Step 1: Schematic Diagram

All Electronic Projects start with a concept and are then captured to a Schematic. We can now develop our Parts List.

Step 2: Parts List

Resistors R1-R10 are 1/4 watt, 5% Carbon.

Resistor RX is a 1/4 watt ,1% Metal Film.

Step 3: Main PCB Parts Layout and Assembly

Assembly Instructions for Main PCB

Place Resistors, Capacitors and Neon Lamps on Printed Circuit Board, and solder in place. The Parts List shows the Reference and the Parts Layout shows where to place the part. These components are NOT polarity sensitive.

Example: Reference from Parts List for R1-R10 shows these as 4.7 M resistor, place at R1-R10 locations as shown on the Parts Layout.

Solder 3 leads to the Switch. Use leftover capacitor leads as they are fairly stiff. Put double back tape on switch underside, then attach assembly to PCB at the "Pwr_On" location and solder.

Install 9 volt battery holder inside of the enclosure using either double-back tape or 4-40 screws. Insert battery leads from the PCB underside then solder leads to PCB from the top. Please observe polarity, Red lead goes to “+” and Black lead goes to “—“ on the PCB.

Step 4: Assembly Instructions for DCDC Converter

Assemble DC-DC Converter Kit as per the instructions.

Instruction Link: https://threeneurons.wordpress.com/nixie-power-su...

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Do not install the header supplied with the kit. Use the straight-line header and install as per the Photo, shown above.

This header allows the DC to DC Converter to lay flat on the main PCB. Install on the PCB in area marked DCDC Converter with pin 1 on PCB lined up with Pin 1 on DCDC Converter board..

Install Battery and attach PCB to Enclosure using the self-tapping screws supplied.

This concludes assembly.

Step 5: Reference Photo

Reference Photo shows Main PCB fully assembled and mounted in enclosure.

Please note this is the first box that was built and the new PCB incorporates minor position changes for the power switch, battery connection and DCDC Converter. Also, R11 and C11 are eliminated.

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    3 Discussions

    Alex in NZ
    Alex in NZ

    2 years ago

    Really neat, and a nice PCB as well.

    The original "Nothing Box" could be regarded as the first entertainment electronics produced by Apple Corporation.


    Reply 2 years ago

    I appreciate the feedback. Joe

    Penolopy Bulnick
    Penolopy Bulnick

    2 years ago

    Sounds like a cool project. Thanks for sharing it :)