Sculptural Nixie Clock Has Shockingly Exposed Design

Single tube Nixie clocks? Been there, seen that. A single tube Nixie clock with sculptural wiring that exposes dangerous voltages? Now that’s something you don’t see every day.

[Andrew Moser]’s clock is clearly a case of aesthetic by anesthetic — he built it after surgery while under the influence of painkillers. That may explain the questionable judgment, but we won’t argue with the look. The boost converter for the Nixie lives near the base of the bent wire frame, with the ATmega 328 and DS1307 RTC supported in the midsection by the leads of attached passive components and jumper wires. A ring at the top of the frame supports the octal socket for the Nixie and a crown of driver transistors for each element.

In the video after the break, [Andrew] speaks of rebuilding this on a PCB. While we’ve seen single tube Nixie PCB clocks before, and we agree that the design needs to be safer, we wouldn’t ditch the dead bug style at all. Maybe just throw the whole thing in a glass bell jar or acrylic tube.

24 thoughts on “Sculptural Nixie Clock Has Shockingly Exposed Design

      1. Cool! Thanks vor letting me know. I didn’t listen to it yet since I’m currently on a very noisy subway but will do that for sure when I get back home again. I did look at the video description at UT, but it didn’t say anything so I just ASS-umed no mentions ;-)

    1. That is a fantastic looking device.

      It could easily be some sort of unit from a retro futuristic movie.

      Can anything be done about the power cable though? Even if it was just covered in a fabric sheath would be a huge improvement in the look of the piece.

      1. Many have. But there’s a huge difference between 120v at high current levels and 170v with probably only a few milliamps behind it. You’ll know you touch it, but unless you have a pre-existing heart condition it’s very unlikely to do you any actual harm.

          1. Capacitive issues at 50/60 hz will make for better conduction thru the skin? Sounds interesting, I’ll have to read up about that.

            BTW, naming my design “lethal” was just a tounge-in-cheek joke, and I guess that this guy did the same.

        1. While that is true they still uses up to like half a watt of energy. (170 volts at a few mA). If the resin is a bad thermal conductor it would get pretty toasty in there after a while. I guess the heat would then also discolor the clear resin.

          Another possible problem would be that some epoxies and resins slightly change size during the hardening process, this might very well crack the thin glass envelope or the evacuation nib at the top… :-(

  1. Too many people have a totally unreasonable fear of electricity. I mean, seriously: how many people are actually ???????????????????????? by it versus those who are simply knocked on their asses? Lighten up and have fun, folks! Think of all the crazy Russians who post videos of death-defying stunts on YouTube! Don’t you want to be famous like them? Now that America is embracing Russia, let’s go all the way and join their wackiness!

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