Nixie Tube Clock Enclosure

Nixie tube clock

This is an Arduino UNO computer powered clock mounted in an old radio enclosure. The display uses a Nixie tube, which is a gas-filled tube filled with several glowing cathode elements in the shape of numbers. They were invented in 1955 and in use up through the early 1980’s. DFRobot has been selling this Nixie module that make them super-easy to integrate with an Arduino.

Looking inside the enclosure, one can see the Arduino UNO with an LCD shield from Adafruit on top. Attached to the separate breadboard is a Chronodot. The Chronodot keeps a very accurate time, and includes a battery back-up if the clock is unplugged. The Chronodot also includes a thermometer which helps with the accuracy of the time, and provides a nice way to get indoor temperature.

The project pulls about 0.38 amps at 12.1 volts for about 4.5 watts. The Nixie tubes themselves have the voltage stepped up to 170 volts, so caution is required when working with the electronics.

The LCD screen in back allows a person to set the time, an alarm, and the color of the LCD screen. The color of the LEDs that illuminate the outside of the Nixie tubes changes depending on the time of day. When the alarm time hits, a small speaker beeps, an the lights on the nixie tubes flash.

Arduino control of nixie tube clock


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