Nixie Sudoku

[John Sarik] asked himself why a project should only have a handful of Nixie tubes? Without a good answer to his query he went ahead and built this Sudoku game using 81 Nixie tubes. There’s not much of a description for his work but here’s how we think things go: The two knobs manipulate a cursor, one for rows and the other for columns, while the keypad is used to input your chosen number. The system is Arduino based and [John's] linked to his code, schematic, and board layout files on Dropbox. He’s even written a recursive solver which can be seen in the video after the break. Would it be inappropriate to bring this to work and whip it out during some down time?

[Thanks async1ronous]

19 thoughts on “Nixie Sudoku

  1. Nice, I like it! The solver algorithm is a good inclusion. If he REALLY wants to impress people though, he should build a Sudoku generator that cranks out unique puzzles with exactly one correct solution using a reverse-solver algorithm.

  2. The algorithm for solving the puzzle appears to be little more than a brute force attack.

    I programmed what I considered to be a pretty lame suduko game which would solve (or nearly solve leaving 12 or so blanks) the puzzle in 4 iterations, using the rules of suduko.

    That said, I like it… roll on mark II

  3. Heh-heh, I’d get detained and searched thoroughly if I attempted to take this to work.

    Excuse me while I whip this out! (indeed):0 – Gotta love Mel Brooks flicks.

    This is pretty cool. Far more fun than anything I’ve done lately.

  4. Holy crap, extra bonus points for the keypad that looks like it came out of a Radio Shack tone dialer from 1985.

  5. @Brennan, The Don: Hardware is more fun than software. But a self generating, self solving puzzle would be awesome. I’ll see what I can do.

    @HackerK It would be really easy to build a PIC version. You just need 9 digital outputs for some shift registers, 5 digital I/Os for the keypad, and two analog inputs for the knobs. But I’ve already picked my side.

    @David, mikey I have some spare development boards if you’re interested. They have some minor mistakes, but nothing you can’t fix with some creative wiring.

  6. Really nice!

    I started on a similar project 3-4 years ago, but I never finished it. The reason of that was that I never got the touch grid sensors that I put over the tubes to accurately detect my fingers. Still got 100 IN-17 tubes sitting on my shelf….

    I think I’ll give it another shot this summer and see if I can get it working this time.

  7. That is really nice!

    Yeah the keypad says “Rad Shack ’79″ but that is no bad thing.

    Extremely cool!

  8. Damn, and It was just yesterday when I was trying to think of some creative nixie hacks that aren’t a lame clock or steampunk turd.

  9. This is a beautiful project. You just can’t go wrong with a Nixie display! I really love the old school vibe he kept throughout the project as well. The vintage RS keypad looks sweet.

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