Reader [Bradley] sent in his ArduiNIX project, an Arduino shield designed for driving nixie tubes. The shield allows the Arduino to drive and multiplex nixie tubes without any additional hardware. These antique-looking displays are commonly hacked into clocks. It takes 9 volts from a wall wart and steps it up to over 200V in order to drive the displays. The shield is capable of multiplexing up to 80 individual elements. He has example code for driving a 6-digit display and a clock on his site. He is selling kits and completed shields too.
Related: Victorian nixie tube clock
[John Clarke Mills] has pieced together this tastefully done Victorian style Nixie tube clock. He picked up a kit from nixietube.com and an old clock off of eBay. A little bit of elbow grease and solder later, he has this very nice mantle piece. Well done.
For those unfamiliar, a Nixie tube is used for displaying numbers or letters. They are a glass tube, filled with a gas (usually neon). There are metal structures inside that glow when electricity is applied. First widely used in the early sixties, Nixies were pretty much replaced when LED technology got cheap.
We noticed that nixietube.com was down, so you might also check TubeClock.com and neonixie.com for kits.
If you’re looking for more inspiration, read about the Nixie counter clock, Russian vfd, and the 6502 driven Nixie clock all previously on Hack a Day.
[via Retro Thing]
This VU meter project by [Daniel Naito] is a great piece of Russian electrocouture. It’s made up of 14 Nixie tubes that display seven frequency bands for the two audio channels. He found this similar project, but wanted to keep the cost low by avoiding such exotic ICs. First, the two input channels are amplified and then split using seven bandpass filters covering 60, 150, 400, 1000, 2500, 6000, and 15000Hz. Then, the AC audio is converted to DC. The final stage converts the logarithmic scale to a linear output. Besides the semirare Nixie tubes, the majority of the parts are just cheap opamps and comparators. The post is an excellent read and you can see it in action in the video below.
UPDATE: Yep, it’s a repost. I’m awesome like that. The True RMS Plasma Vu-meter seems to be new to us though.
Continue reading “Multiband Nixie VU meter”