Over on [Techmoan]’s YouTube channel he’s excited about a new gadget that finally arrived after months of waiting — the EleksTube IPS fake Nixie tube clock. This is a re-imagining of a Nixie tube clock using six 135×240 pixel IPS display panels. They are mounted like tiny billboards, each one inside glass bulbs to mimic that retro look. Based on [Techmoan]’s measurement of these displays, it appears they are the same 16:9 IPS displays used in the TTGO ESP32 modules. The effect is quite impressive, and the fact that each digit is a complete display leads to quite a bit of flexibility. For example, if you don’t like the Nixie look, you can select from a suite of styles or make your own set of custom digits.
While this is a finished product put out by EleksMaker, the concept is clearly adaptable to DIY projects as well. One beneficial side effect of having all these display is that changing the settings of your clock is no longer a cryptic experience — the displays are used to show and select options in clear text. This is a selling point for many people, as this device doesn’t require a phone app for control. We wish more products would follow this trend. Thanks to [IanS] for the tip.
This isn’t EleksMaker’s first attempt at a Nixie tube replacement. This earlier plywood-based clock uses edge illuminated acrylic digit panels to mimic the Nixie tube effect. Back in 2019 we covered the FIXIE (faux-Nixie) project which used OLED screens in a similar manner, but wasn’t quite as compact as this IPS panel approach.