For some time now, I’ve had a fascination with Nixie tubes. Nixie tubes have been out of production since the ’70s (with some exceptions) and are getting harder to find. After deciding that I wanted to make a clock with them, I spent quite a bit of time researching different tube styles that were available. I settled on IN-14 tubes and found a set of six “new old stock” tubes on eBay for about $50.
Next up was finding a way to turn them into a clock. I considered designing the circuitry myself, perhaps making use of a Raspberry Pi that was laying around. But when I came across PV Electronics and all the different kits they had to offer, I decided to go that route instead. They have an assortment of full-featured clock kits that just require assembly. I ordered the Nixie Clock QTC IN-14 kit without tubes, having already purchased them. I also ordered their plexiglass case for it and a GPS module for convenience.
Assembly took a couple hours over two afternoons. The soldering was all fairly straightforward, and overall I am quite happy with the kit. The board was designed to use only a handful of unique components which made for easy assembly. My kit had one extra resistor and was missing one transistor, but fortunately PV Electronics had the board schematic posted online. Looking through that, I was able to determine that I could replace the missing transistor with one that I had on hand.
Total cost: ~$200 in materials
Without further ado, here’s how the assembly went: