Like to put your own spin on things

DIY Nixie Clock

Like to put your own spin on things?

If you like to put your own spin on things you might be interested in building your own DIY nixie clock. Let me share with you some important points I found relevant when I was designing my first nixie clock.

When designing a PCB avoid the following mistakes I made.

Make sure that the datasheet you have for the nixie tubes was correct. Below are the different nixie tubes datasheets. Besides having pins datasheet for nixie tubes, check also the physical tube before sending the PCB gerbers to your manufacture. The physical tubes dimensions are a full 180 degrees upside-down compared to the datasheet. You can correct everything afterwards of course, but you will need to send the new gerbers to your PCB manufacture again.

When your new boards are back they can be ready to find more mistakes. Like a resistor, which is supposed to be a pullup resistor for the DS18B20 temperature sensor, not a pulldown you might drew originally. You can discover this one when you couldn't get any temperature readings. You can remake the boards, or like myself fix it by drilling out that resistor via to ground and added a wire jumper to voltage supply on the PCB.

Before discovering the pullup/pulldown mix up on the temperature sensor, I had noticed that my linear voltage regulator supplying 5V voltage was overheating. I had also underestimated how much current the high voltage driver IC would consume - they doubled the circuit total. I also underestimated the voltage that would be coming out of my 12V adapter. Hopefully, my lesson will help you incorporate buck converters more appropriately in the future.

I’m sure you’d agree that a clock case for your nixie clock is very important. The case needs to provide thermal consistency for the clock’s components, mechanical protection from bumps, basic splash protection from water and protection from dust. I attempted to create a clock case from wood timber. From ash, locally purchased this from a local wood timber dealer. Your vision for the case might be different.

One more important thing, please do not skip the fuse in the circuit, if you are even thinking about it, please don't. It is really important. Even using a PTC is a bad idea here. The same comes with a burned fuse, do not move it until you fully understand why it burned.

This project has been a challenge for us but we had a lot of fun and could make a great nixie clock with rich ever features. If you have any questions or would like to buy nixie clock online by Nixie Dream, please feel free to email me or leave a comment.


Nixie Dream was founded in 2014 as a small family owned business of three engineers being passioned about retro nixie technology. We have combined retro nixie technology with pure wood nature and built the nixie clock which is truly unique. Our aim is to provide not only quality nixie clocks, but ones that will make a lasting impression. Our business is located in the heart of Ukraine - in Kiev. Feel free to contact us at any time.