I remembered that Nixie I had lying around, and, that many years later, I thought I might give it a go to make a pendant. I also had this friend in a low moment, and I dediced to improvise a Dieselpunk photoshoot to cheer her up a bit. (and also have a nice model for the pendant, if I managed to get it to work.
Since it was improvised, I didn’t had much time to get the nixie working. I happened to have a used electroluminiscent driver from work, rated at 5/100V, and supercharged it with 12V, thus having around 200V at the output. Yeah, you guessed it, efficiency went down the drain in there, but it worked.
In this short vlog I go over the differences between Nixie tubes and Vacuum Florescent Displays. These displays often get lumped together but they are very different, and not to be confused with each other. I also give a nod to Dave Jones who is the current caretaker of the LVDC board. You can watch the Mailbag episode where Dave unboxes the board here.
I was comissioned to do a nixie clock for a co-worker’s wedding gift. At first I was just going to make the clock case resemble an NES console, as I had just gotten in a shipment of surplus NES console buttons, and needed a project to use them in. However, once I got into making the clock, I realized, it should be a bit more than a clock. That’s when the Nixie Entertainment System was born.
I couldn’t just leave it as a clock. Especially after I saw a post about using the Raspberry Pi minicomputer as a game console emulator. After replanning the inside layout a bit, and a lot of work on the milling machine, I found room for it all. By slinging the ArduiNIX to the side wall, that gives me enough room for the switches, the Tube board and mounting bracket, and the Raspberry Pi sitting about where the ArduiNIX used to sit.
Low-profile microSD card adapter for Raspberry Pi – Make your Pi a little slimmer with this microSD card adapter board. It slides in where the SD card goes but is half the length. Pop in a microSD card for a sleeker machine. The microSD card holder is a push-push type so you can push on the edge that sticks out to remove the card when necessary. (read more)
NEW PRODUCT – Nixie Seven-Segment Art Scratch-Off Card. OK so it’s not really a Nixie tube, its more like a paper seven-segment LED display but still, retro and futuristic at the same time! Scratch away the gold foil to reveal the pink neon 7-segment font. Create your own messages! 5×7″ folded blank card, scratch tool, and envelope. Made in the USA.
Old School Side Project: I wanted to create a universal BCD controlled nixie display driver that could be made into a simple module for any application. Here for demonstration I have breadboarded an automatic counting circuit with a 555 wild clock triggering a BCD output up/down counter to act as a driver for the separate high voltage transistor control/switching board and nixie display, with complete low voltage regulated and high voltage supplies. All vintage parts too. Enjoy!
Here’s a great mini-tutorial from Mike at Electronics-Lab.com Blog about how to create your own Nixie Tube socket that will help protect your tubes (and your project) as you add and remove units:
In this mini tutorial we introduce a quick and cheap way to make your own Nixie Tube sockets to use them on your next Nixie project. A socket enables you to change a damaged Nixie Tube quickly and with minimum effort.
plastic stand-off bases that comes with many of the Nixies
A long, long time ago the folks at bildr.org got their hands on some nixie tubes and some components from ogi lumen, and built a twitter follower counter. You can see the post here: http://bildr.org/2010/11/twixie/ At the end of the post, they outline a plan to give away a set of nixie tubes and all the fixin’s required to work them, as well as a voucher for laser cutting from ponoko.com. Well, it turns out I won that contest!
After a fair amount of designing and redesigning, I decided to make my geiger counter look like an old-timey cathedral radio with a detachable wand to check various sundries for radiation. It was a bit more ambitious of a project than I realized at first but I think the results were well worth the effort.
This developed as a spinoff from the hardware and controllers I’m designing for a range of nixie clocks and watches as a ‘simple’ project that wouldn’t need much software to complete it.
All visible parts are made from materials contemporary with Nixie technology and no modern plastics or resins are used anywhere in its’ consruction (other than the electronic components and PCBs). The board and pieces are machined from phenolic resin laminate and assembled using brass fittings. The brown base pieces have been filled and wiped with gold and silver engravers wax, giving a ‘worn gilding’ appearance.
The displays are ex-Soviet Nixie gas display tubes, manufactured in the early 1980s.
The Cogwheel Circuit Works Nixie Driver board is out. It has its own documentation page jam packed with layouts, CAD files, etc, and the source code can be found on Github. This is the same board which drives his IN17x7 Clock and development of the display boards is said to be coming along nicely.