Nixie Timer Is Easy To Read Across The Kitchen

Nixie clocks. Nixie power meters. Nixie thermometers, speedometers, and even Nixies for personal adornment. Is there anything that hasn’t been Nixie-fied? How about a Nixie kitchen timer? Beyond the Nixie tube, this is a great build. Check out the video below the break.

As so often happens with Nixie aficionados, [Kouichi Kuroi] started with tubes and searched for a project to use them on. A wonky kitchen timer provided the thinly veiled excuse for the build – after all, anyone can drop a couple of yen on a commercial replacement, right? The timer features four IN-12 tubes and a large numeric keypad up front on a laser-cut acrylic case. For those who quibble with the keypad’s aesthetics and the wisdom of a Nixie project in the kitchen environment, [Ko] points out that an IP65 keypad would have more than doubled the price of the build, and a little common sense goes a long way to keeping the high-voltage side from meeting anything wet. In addition to countdown capability, the timer can also act as a stopwatch and display the time of day, and the Nixie tubes provide great visibility compared to seven-segment LCD timers.

As for the aforementioned Nixie projects, here’s a clock, power meter, thermometer, speedometer and necklace that we’ve featured before. What’s next for Nixies? We don’t know, but we’re keen to see what you come up with.

16 thoughts on “Nixie Timer Is Easy To Read Across The Kitchen

  1. Can anyone recommend a build to clone or fork off of?

    Like a pixie desk top clock I could actually use.

    I made a simple one some years back with a PIC and a single nixie tube but I got a nasty shock off it which has put me off for some years.

  2. Anyone know where i can find really small neon lamps?
    mouser and digikey aren’t much help, as they don’t search by dimensions. I’m looking for ones close in size to a 5mm led. i know they exist because i have exactly one in my drawer, but i need 12.

  3. Nixies are best used for things that are actually counting. A thermometer doesn’t show the best attribute of Nixies, which is the depth as the numbers change. The numbers are in line behind the front of the Nixie. When counting fast, you see the numbers change, but so does the depth.


      1. Perhaps.
        They just don’t aesthetically match at all. If you’re going to use nixie tubes
        Use them in a proper enclosure. Like a brushed aluminum panel, with proper
        mechanical switches.

  4. Why does the “5” (second digit in left picture) look so weird compared to the “5” (last digit in right picture). The weird “5” kinda look like an uside down “2” that’s been mirrored.

    1. Manufacturing variation between companies or lots. Probably saved a penny or two per piece by inverting the 2, or ran out of 5 filaments and had to improvise for a time while waiting for more 5s. You’ll see both variations here and there. I’m partial to the standard 5 myself, but the inverted 2 has a certain flair to it.

  5. At first nixie tubes were a slightly interesting novelty. But the novelty wears off fast. As soon as that happens you should realize nixie tubes are just bulky & horribly inefficient. I can certainly enjoy some steampunk or retro styling but spare me more nixie tubes.

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