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”
The HV5622 isn’t a “controller” – It’s high voltage shift register. It can drive up to 32 outputs directly, not 32 nixies. Get the facts straight, thanks!
Looks like a steampunk time bomb… must call for bomb squad that is versed in steampunk technology.
I would like to volunteer for the steampunk bomb squad
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.
And of course the scene would open on the tallest bomb in London.
“These would become the colon of the clock”
I imagine he meant to write “the core of the clock” and either got autocorrected or very, very confused…
Ah, never mind, I re-read the article and he actually meant the flashing “:” in the middle. I’m stupid.
yea I actually felt very weird writing that, and had to google it to make sure I hadn’t derped :P
“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.
the bulbs are lumped together into nixie projects so often, and with the designator ins-1 they’ve been lumped into most nixie tube parts libraries I use
You spelled “bomb” wrong like 10 times.
“Nixie Tube Clock Isn’t Just a Clock”
It’s a bomb?
I’m hoping it blows up the internet ;D
Nice 1990s retro look with the blue LEDs
Thanks :D Originally they were going to pulse when an external geiger counter sent a click to the controller, but I haven’t gotten around to that yet :)
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 http://www.eevblog.com/forum/projects/slightly-overengineered-nixie-clock/
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.
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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