Nixie Tube Clock Project

The latest issue of Make Magazine featured another Nixie Tube clock maker maker and his kits.  His name is Peter Jensen and he operates

A good definition of a Nixie tube is found on Wikipedia (click here).   According to Wikipedia:

“The Nixie display was developed by a small vacuum tube manufacturer called Haydu Brothers Laboratories, and introduced in 1954 by Burroughs Corporation, who purchased Haydu and owned the name Nixie as a trademark. Similar devices that functioned in the same way were patented in the 1920s, and the first mass-produced display tubes were introduced in the late 1930s by National Union Co. and Telefunken. However, their construction was cruder, and they failed to find many applications until digital electronics reached a suitable level of development in the 1950s.

“Nixie tubes were superseded in the 1970s by light-emitting diodes (LEDs), often in the form of seven-segment displays. LEDs are better suited to the low voltages that integrated circuits used, and are much smaller and sturdier without needing a sealed glass tube. Nixie tubes now only exist as a novelty for electronics hobbyists.”

Regardless of their history or practicality, they look really cool, and I couldn’t resist building one of Peter’s clock kits for my office.

I ordered one from Peter, and the kit is of excellent quality with well labeled parts and great instructions.   I began the kit a couple of night ago and will report again as I make progress.  Peter’s kits use new (but old-stock from the space race era) Russian made Nixie tubes, and they definitely have that cold-war aura about them.

About mattsanf

Matt Sanfilippo is the Chief Partnership Officer (CPO) for the College of Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and Co-Director of its Engineering Research Accelerator. In this role, Matt coordinates and enables strategic and sponsored research opportunities across the college, and stewards the development of proposals for major research opportunities along strategic themes. Additionally, he enables collaboration among the college's research institute/center executive directors, and industrial and government relations personnel in the pursuit of opportunities with industry, federal and state governments. Before becoming CPO for the College, Matt was the Senior Executive Director for Research Initiatives, the Executive Director of CMU's SII (Smart Infrastructure Institute) and ICES (Institute for Complex Engineered Systems), and Associate Director of PITA (Pennsylvania Infrastructure Technology Alliance) and RAMP (Research for Advanced Manufacturing in Pennsylvania). Before CMU, Matt was Managing Director of Applied Technology for Michael Baker Corporation, an engineering and energy services firm. Matt managed Baker's technology division including Geographic Information System (GIS), software and web development, multimedia, virtual reality, visualization, Global Positioning System (GPS), mapping and surveying services. Before joining Baker, Matt was an Innovation Director for Redleaf Group, a Venture Capital/Operating Company focused on information security, supply chain and mobility solutions. While at Redleaf, Matt managed technical due diligence for seed-stage investments and coordinated relationships between Redleaf and their partner companies. Prior to Redleaf, Matt was CIO of GZA GeoEnvironmental Technologies, an infrastructure engineering firm, and operations manager for their Internet start-up that focused on web-technologies for health and safety and manufacturing metrics. Matt is on the board of Larson Design Group (LDG), past Chairman of the Board for the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, current board member of the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation (PHLF), current Vice President of the Sewickley Heights Gun Club (SHGC) and former member of the Information Sciences and Technology Advisory Board for the Pennsylvania State University Beaver. Matt is also former Vice President of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Association of Internet Professionals and former Vice President of the Board of Trustees for Baker Combined Charity of Pennsylvania.

Posted on August 24, 2006, in Gadgets and Gizmos, Nixie. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Nixie Tube Clock Project.

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