This Nixie Device Is Useless, But Pretty

Nixie clocks, they’re a bit of a cliché, aren’t they? But still, they’re pretty to look at.

[Marcin Saj] has completely got our number, and with his Useless Nixie Device has stripped away any pretence of functionality from his Nixie  and concentrated solely on the looking pretty part. It’s a box that steps through the display on any Nixie tube through the use of a set of pluggable socket modules, and it’s encased in an extremely attractive lase-cut acrylic enclosure. Internally it’s an extremely simple device, with a trusty 555 oscillator clocking a 4518 counter that in turn feeds 74141 driver. There is a MAX1771 boost converter in there too to create some high voltage for the tubes.

So it’s a pretty device and you can plug almost any Nixie into it given the right adapter. We guess it might be useful if you have a warehouse full of Nixies to test, but beyond that it’s a pretty desk toy. Still, it’s nice to see a Nixie project that’s not just another clock.

10 thoughts on “This Nixie Device Is Useless, But Pretty

  1. I have just received mine from Marcin. This is the second project I’ve backed from him. Both have been exceptionally put together, fantastic build quality, delivers exactly when he says, and emailing him directly gets an answer within 24 hours. When he has another project, I’ll probably help fund it, not be cause I need it, but because he is worth it.

  2. I think it says a few things about both people and the stuff they make when even the author here can’t fully claim this product is useless. It may very likely be impossible for anyone to make anything that is totally useless beyond all hope. :-)

  3. I bought six Nixies in about 1973, when the only thing I could think of to build with them was a clock. 45 years later, that still seems to be the go-to project. Now someone is showing them off without any pretense at all – just for their own sake.

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