Closing in on Nixie cuff links

It’s not Nixie cuff links yet, but we’re seeing a lot of potential for a few very classy accoutrements with [thouton]‘s Nixie tube necklace.

The build was inspired by this much clunkier necklace that found its way onto the MAKE blog. Unlike the previous necklace, [thouton] used a much smaller Mullard ZM1021 indicator bulb. Instead of the normal 0-9 digits in a Nixie, this tube displays only A V Ω + - % and ~, betraying its pedigree as part of the display from an ancient multimeter.

To power the bulb, [thouton] is using a single AA battery and a boost converter salvaged from a camera flash unit. All the circuitry is on a little piece of perfboard encased in a handsome aluminum tube. Power is delivered through two terminals with a bit of audio cable standing in as the chain of the necklace. We suppose this could be re-engineered to use a coin cell battery; although a coin cell doesn’t offer as many amp hours as a AA cell, [thouton] is confident the AA will last for a few days. A coin cell would be more than enough for a night on the town, though.

Comments

  1. conundrum says:

    Nice, maybe use one of the Supertex EL drivers as they can do >150V which is fine for Nixies.

    Camera flash transformers work well but are known current hogs, unless you use a unijunction or series multivibrator to “blink” them with a series diode and parallel capacitor to stop the transistors frying with back EMF.

  2. svofski says:

    [thouton] is confident the AA will last for a few days
    I’m skeptical about this, but I would love to be proven wrong.

  3. zuul says:

    i thought of a nixie bracelet/watch but have the tube bend around the wrist, … would have to be custom made so it’ll probably never exist :(

  4. Bonz099 says:

    I would love to make one of these, or cufflinks with a few neons, I have about 50 russian INS-1’s that would be awesome for cufflinks. But I cant find any info on the power supply he used…. anyone have an idea?

  5. Malikaii says:

    This reminds me of the Adafruit iCufflinks, or iNecklace, but cooler.

    http://www.adafruit.com/category/65

    Is there a possibility of the nixie breaking, or is it made of something like Pyrex?

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