From my alter-ego – the other half of my degree is in electronics – I usually blog this stuff on my separate electronics blog but this is so cool I wanted to share with the wider audience…

A couple of weeks ago I built a Nixie tube clock kit that I got from Peter Jensen at Initially it didn't work properly when I powered it up but this morning I debugged it and found a short between two legs of one of the surface-mount high-voltage driver chips. Fixed that and it works perfectly!

Click below for a 1024×768 image.


The clock uses six IN-14 Russian Nixie tubes running at 180V DC and tells 24-hour time. Nixie tubes were introduced in the early 1950s and provided the display for things like multimeters, calculators and the Apollo guidance computer before LCDs and LEDs were invented.

I uploaded a short video showing the seconds and minute digits changing – I love the soft glow of the digits. Check out the video here.

Next project is building a Theremin