Bottled Nixie clock


Who could not love the tender glow of a Nixie display? It isn’t a new concept for them to be used in clocks, and usually it’s how they are housed or encased for display that sets them apart. [crazy_phisic] did the near impossible by building his Nixie clock almost entirely inside of a glass bottle. The circuit boards and logic components were soldered outside, but the final combination of parts (sometimes requiring specialty homemade tools) were assembled inside. We wonder how long it took him from start to finish after learning boats in bottles can take from minutes to months. The original post is in polish, but if you want to find out more there is a Google translation.

[via Semageek]


  1. Tom Parker says:

    impressive, he could probably sell those and make a good dime

  2. talkingjazz says:

    Very nice! but i wonder if this would have any problems with overheating?

  3. abbott says:

    Im damn impressed… now i want to build a nixie clock (have for awhile, but havent taken the time to plan one out)

  4. Wolf says:

    I was thinking “that’s pretty cool” then I noticed he assembled it without cutting the bottle open… Best Nixie hack ever.

  5. anon says:

    “Very nice! but i wonder if this would have any problems with overheating?”

    it appears that there are some vent holes in the bottle

  6. spacecoyote says:

    i think those holes are for the buttons

  7. conundrum says:

    10 out of 10 for ingenuity. Now what I’d like to see is someone make a “POV nixie clock” using a row of nixies on a spinning rotor. In a glass jar. :)

    Maybe someone can make a “Borg Cube” of neons with some really ingenious driver circuit and use a 3-D array of them in a glass jar.

  8. mamut says:

    Nice to see that somebody from hackaday found something on elektroda:) Greetings from Poland;)

  9. Drew G says:

    that’s awesome, now I’d like to see it without the buttons and power cords

  10. strider_mt2k says:

    Really quite nice.

    great job!

  11. cantido says:

    really nice. It would be even better if he could work in the idea from that alarm pillow a couple days ago and replace the buttons with an accelerometer. Then maybe use the neck of the bottle to hold a battery?

  12. Ryan Leach says:

    Hope its not battery powered that would be annoying having to replace it!

  13. jubes says:

    Very nice indeed. Use reed switches, some form of digital pot setup and a battery in the neck and that’d make one sweet, portable (and possibly water-tight) clock!

  14. CollinstheClown says:

    I’ll take one!

  15. Richard says:

    if overheating wasn’t a problem, another alternative control mechanism could be infra-red, which of course provides an opportunity for an arduino fanbios/haters flamewar…
    *ducks and runs*

  16. arduino fanboy says:

    We didn’t start the flame war.

  17. draeath says:

    But we did start the resulting fire…. :P

  18. bobdole says:


    IR doesn’t pass through glass well.

  19. mjrippe says:

    Hey folks, this clock was built by my friend Karol in Poland. The translation is a bit poor, especially that “Lord Charles” bit. I think it means “the patience of a saint”. Anyhow, [crazy_physic] helped with the programming of the clock while Karol did the actual building. Karol has made some other very nice clocks, but I agree that this is the most ingenious!

  20. @conundrum:
    At least three POV or “propeller” clocks using nixie tubes have been made, that I’m aware of (but not in glass jars). The whole point of moving the tube is to simulate multiple tubes using only one, so why would you want “a row of” them?

    One design that I’m aware of, which I’m not sure has ever been built, used two nixies in a “disc” configuration, with one tube of the rare inverted display format, so numbers could be shown upright at both the top and bottom of the circle. The other nixie POV clocks I’ve seen were of the edge-viewed, cylindrical configuration and used only a single tube.

  21. Wraith says:

    very nice…

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