HOWTO build a nixie clock from near-scratch


Has anyone started manufacturing new nixie tubes for the hobby market yet? Last I heard, they hadn’t been produced in decades and the prices of remaining stock have been skyrocketing as the hobbyist demand increases. Really a shame for anyone hoping to use them in a reasonably-priced project.


There is a fellow in Poland who is starting to make his version of the Z568M tube, which is a large tube with good number shapes. He will probably charge over $100 each for the tubes. He has only made a few tubes at this time, but he is setting up to produce hundreds.

The NeoNixie list on Google has more information.


This clock is very similar in size, shape and circuitry to one I designed in 2001. I sold it without a case, so that people could stick it in whatever piece of driftwood or old walnut cabinet they could come up with. The only one I have left, I put in a rackmount case with a rubidium time source.

I’m glad to see that it’s being offered as DIY instructions rather than as a kit, to get people thinking about doing all the fabrication work themselves. It’s a good way to pass some spare time.

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Once you have that its just a digital clock project.

About 35 years ago I built a dart game scorer for my dad’s Legion club using Nixies, a Touch-tone pad and CMOS logic. Still works great. Who knew I was ahead of the hipster trend? Nixie power schematic if anyone is interested:

There are a couple of good Arduino-based kit for making Nixie clocks for sale at:

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