Nixie Sudoku: a look at the hardware

We’re always happy to receive a tour of the guts that make things work. [John Sarik] posted several pictures and descriptions of the hardware that makes up his Nixie Sudoku build. The modular design uses professionally made circuit boards which greatly improve the durability of a large set of circuits such as this.

The design draws on good ideas from similar hardware. The Nixie Duo kit from Ogi Lumen allows tubes to be mounted on top of driver boards with cascading shift registers for control of up to 8 tubes. The ArduiNIX shield makes the high voltages needed for Nixies easy to control with an Arduino. No, [John] didn’t just order these kits and plug them into each other. He designed his own boards to suit his needs. Each driver board can control 9 tubes in a 3×3 grid, all on one PCB. His high voltage board can supply enough juice for the whole system which is tied together with a single Arduino board.

His writeup is quite interesting so do take a look. He also filmed a walk through video which we’ve embedded after the break. It clears up some questions, such as showing the use of a blinking decimal point to indicate the current cursor position.


  1. M4CGYV3R says:

    I think looping the auto-solver and using it as a cool retro decoration is equally an option to playing it.

  2. Jac Goudsmit says:


    Next project: a version with a tiny user-controllable 9 LED block next to each Nixie to help you solve the puzzles ;-)

  3. EquinoXe says:

    Now this is pr0n!!

  4. Mikey says:

    This is not pr0n. If there was one thing my mom said I was good at, it was at telling if something was pr0n or not.

  5. Katy Huff says:

    John Sarik! Three things..
    1: Fantastic overuse of nixie tubes.
    2: I’m thrilled you’ve called this TrashBear Labs.
    3: Keep it up?

    Katy Huff

  6. venesian says:

    Anyone else tired of sudoku?

  7. Ferdinand says:

    >>His high voltage board can supply enough juice for the whole system which is tied together with a single Arduino board.<<

    I think he uses 1 driver board (including a high voltage power supply) per 9 tubes, not a single supply for all 81.


  8. Collin says:

    this is really cool, im wondering the cost of that though?

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