Nixie Tube Clock Isn’t Just A Clock

With everything that’s been happening in the news lately, [Jarek] decided it was finally time to finish up his latest project. The Internet of Things has been exploding with projects lately, and this clock that also alerts him of the weather is the latest addition. Plus it has the added bonus of using everybody’s favorite display: nixie tubes!

Of course, using high voltage for the nixies can be terror-inducing, but [Jarek] found a power supply on eBay that was able to power the tubes for not too much money. The controller is an HV5622 which can control up to 32 nixies while only using up three pins on a microcontroller which is pretty handy if you have a limited number of output pins.

The clock also has another device hidden behind all of the wires for the tubes: an ESP8266 to give it network connectivity. The clock connects to the Internet and searches for the nine-hour weather forecast. There are a few nixie lights behind the display which illuminate cutouts in the case to indicate a few different weather statuses. It’s a very polished project, and since it’s enclosed in a nice case it’s not likely to be mistaken for any movie props. Of course, other nixie projects don’t have the same comforting look.

17 thoughts on “Nixie Tube Clock Isn’t Just A Clock

    1. I love it. “Steampunk bomb squad”. Sounds like a great SNL skit.

      I imagine a pair of side cuts mounted on the end of one of those scissor bracket exterder things.
      XXXXX. ><SNIP
      And of course the scene would open on the tallest bomb in London.

  1. “There are a few nixie lights behind the display which illuminate cutouts in the case to indicate a few different weather statuses.”

    Just a nitpick, but I think you mean “neon lights”.

    Sharp looking project though.

  2. Nice job dude. I just got the nixies going on a clock I just built. It also has a ESP8266! I was going to use NTP, display weather and such. Also threw on a 13W audio onto mine just in case I wanted to play sleep music (Mine is more of a bedside alarm clock).

    Here is my build log

    Using similar HV5122’s, Im’ wondering if you ran into any problems with the tubes being erratic with short pulses. I am doing number crossfades + brightness pwm in fpga, it works great but there are glitches occasionally.

    1. Sorry for replying late, hopefully you have notifications set up (like i didn’t :( )

      The design iteration before the final one used the HV chip for everything, and since there were 46 elements and only 32 outputs, I had two transistors split the elements into two banks of 23 each, which were switched back and forth according to the data in the shift register. This did not work well, I’m guessing because the transistor I had on the High Voltage side were too slow to keep up? I didn’t dig into this too much as I had the idea to simply not display the first digit’s useless numbers, but yea I had problems too. Make sure your pwm code is not being interfered by the esp’s interrupt-heavy wifi code, I can’t even do reliable led pwm on this thing :(

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