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.

6 thoughts on “Closing In On Nixie Cuff Links

  1. 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. 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?

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