One Tube Clock

One Tube Clock

I have been slowly getting to grips with the various pieces of hardware that I would want in my own Nixie Clock designs. To make sure that I could get everything to play nicely together, I put it all on a testbed which you can see below:

As it happens, I have recently been using this as a one-tube clock. I can plug multiple different tubes into it using the various tube adapters I had made at OSHPark. So it seemed like a good first actual Nixie clock project to take this from the breadboard to an actual PCB. So take all of that mess above and reduce it to this:

One Tube Clock with IN-12

The brains of the clock is an ESP8285, so it has on-board WiFi, which is used to sync the time with the internet and to provide a web-based configuration tool – here is the main page for that:

It is powered from a USB connection and can be re-programmed using an Arduino IDE through the same connection or over-the-air.

In addition to telling the time, it can be used to cycle through the digits and to condition the cathodes of a Nixie tube – the voltage can be controlled from the GUI, allowing you to effectively double the normal current through a tube. Here’s a video of the clock driving an IN-18:

As usual, I am documenting the whole procedure over at Hackaday.io.

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