Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Nixie Tube Clock

My brother bought me some nixie tubes for my birthday a while back. They sat in my desk drawer for a long time, until I finally got around to building this clock.

The nixie tubes are driven by four SN74141 IC's and a 180v power supply, hanging off the back:

I control it with an Arduino and a DS1307 RTC module, keeping battery backup. The button on the side can adjust minutes or hours with short or long presses.

This was the first time using 3D printing in a custom electronics project. I sketched the model using Blender. The PCB's slide into their respective sleds, and a front gate locks the main PCB in place. The enclosure is designed to be replaceable.

Soldering this beast took a few weeks. I'm going to try printing my own PCB next time.

I resurrected my old Printrbot Simple from five years ago. With a ton of tweaking and calibration, I was able to print the rear sled and bracket, but it was unable to finish the full 10cm base.
So, I finished the base and front gate using an Ultimaker from work. What a beaut

Code and enclosure model:
Help from: