This POV Clock Combines A Nixie With A Pendulum

Talk about your mixed timekeeping metaphors: there are clocks, and pendulum clocks, and there are Nixie clocks, and persistence of vision clocks. But this is a Nixie pendulum POV clock, and we think it’s pretty cool.

We first spied this on Twitter and were subsequently pleased to learn that [Jayzon Oeve] has posted a more detailed build log over on Rather than a moving array of dots to create the characters to display, this uses a single IN-12b Nixie tube at the end of a pendulum. The pendulum is kept moving by a small nudge created by a pulse through a fixed hard drive voice coil acting on a magnet affixed to the bottom of the pendulum — we’ve seen a similar approach used before.

Pretty much all of the electronics are mounted on the pendulum arm, including a Nano, an RTC, and an accelerometer to figure out where in the swing the bob is and when to flash a number on the display. There’s a video below that shows it at work both at full speed and in slow-motion; as always with POV clocks, these things probably look better in person than on video. And while swinging Nixies around like that seems a little dicey, we like the way this turned out.

6 thoughts on “This POV Clock Combines A Nixie With A Pendulum

  1. Like the use of a HDD coil at the bottom there, a very neat look that would be hard to build yourself.

    I’m also not sure swinging ’em around is a great idea, but this isn’t particularly violent swinging, the direction changes are very very gradual by nature of being a pendulum. So I wouldn’t expect any trouble unless its bumped or catches something. Not really sure just how durable a nixie is to g, but this isn’t putting much on them unless it gets stalled rapidly.

    1. Yeah, I worried more about something solid getting into the path of the swinging Nixie. I’m sure the tube itself can take the tiny bit of acceleration during unobstructed movement. Like they say — it’s not the fall that kills you, it’s the sudden stop.

  2. I heard somewhere that nixies have a surprising-to-me acceleration rating… if I recall, some were designed to be in aircraft.
    Regardless, this is a great way to make use of something like this when you’ve only got one.
    I dig it.

  3. Nice, but the Nixie tube will get black soon. These tubes are rated for 2.5mA max., running them with higher current even at a very low duty cycle is like sandblasting the electrodes with ions.

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