Nixie clock: Tearup

-October 12, 2017

What’s a Tea rup, you ask? Oh…Tear Up. As opposed to Tear Down. If taking something apart is a teardown, surely putting something together is a tearup?

With that out of the way, enjoy this photo essay and schematic study of a modern Nixie tube-display clock. My friend Rob enjoys building things like speakers and amps, and has always been enamoured of Nixies (as have I, and many of you). Well, lucky him: he was finally gifted this kit a couple years ago, and took these pictures for us to enjoy.


Figure 1  I made sure the gifter of the clock bought a kit with proper Nixies. Some tubes use an upside-down “2” for the “5”, which looks utterly awful. The kit was made by Ramsey Electronics, not long before they got out of the hobby business. Some may still be available though.


Figure 2  Partly assembled. We have anode voltage!


Figure 3  More assembled, you can see the 0.1 F (or 0.22 F; schematic & BOM differ) holdup supercap at the rear-left, the PIC16F1827 at rear-right, and the HV flyback inductor at front-right.


Figure 4  Good views of the Nixie digit cathodes and screen anode.


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