Monday, February 19, 2007

Nixie Tube Clock

This President's Day, I spent the day doing my taxes and building a Nixie Tube clock kit. It's totally sweet. The clock kit, not my taxes--those kind of suck.

I ordered the clock kit a few months ago from Peter L. Jensen's website. The kit itself is fairly easy to put together, assuming you can solder. I made one giant mistake: I misoriented one of the surface mount drivers. Desoldering that was a pain, and resulted in bent pins. Even after correcting that mistake, the first time I powered on the clock, many of the digits went bonkers:
But with a little debugging, some rebending of pins, and a few more solder/desolder cycles, I ended up with a working kit. Plugging the clock in and watching the tubes cycle through all the digits was an amazing feeling. It worked, it actually worked!

It's also kind of a miracle that I didn't electrocute myself, which makes it that much sweeter. Thanks, Peter!

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