A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:
Proof of Concept
Explorations that test ideas and functionality.
Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.
Looks like the final product, but is not functional.
Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.
Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.
IN-9 Nixie bargraph tubes are a 1960s display technology. Before the advent of LEDs, indicators were made by neon gas discharge tubes. The bargraph tube is a special type of Nixie tube: instead of illuminating a number, letter or symbol, it glows to different heights depending on the current through the tube. This feature means it can be used to indicate any variable, such as temperature, time, internet speed, or atmospheric pressure. If it varies, you can display it!
Unfortunately, Nixie tubes can be difficult to control with today's electronics, requiring high voltage to drive them. That's where the Nixie Clock Shield comes in! The Shield incorporates everything you need to build your very own IN-9 Nixie bargraph display. The Shield generates the required high voltage and all you need to do is provide a 12v power supply and PWM signals from D9 and D10 to control the two tubes. What's more, a real-time clock (DS1307) is included on the board. This lets you keep track of time and build a Nixie clock with just an Arduino board.
The Shield comes pre-assembled and ready to go! Plus, you can choose whether the headers will be delivered pre-soldered or loose.
Of course, although the Shield will plug into an Arduino Uno, it is compatible with lots of controllers, like the Raspberry Pi, Adafruit Feathers, BBC Micro:Bit, BeagleBone Black, and STM32 Nucleo boards to name a few. Simply connect to the two PWM pins and ground.
To get you up and going even faster I have written example Arduino sketches that will read the time, drive the tubes and get you going in no time!
I am offering several different rewards. A single Nixie Clock Shield including 2x tested IN-9 bargraph tubes is only £30. However, if 1 shield isn't enough I am also offering rewards with multiple shields for a reduced unit price.
Shields will be manufactured by Elecrow, using their PCBA service. The boards will be shipped to the UK for testing before being packed and delivered to backers.
All the IN-9 Nixie tubes will also be tested to ensure everyone receives rewards that work straight out of the box.
All rewards will be shipped via the Royal Mail in a impact resistant plastic box to ensure no bulbs are broken during delivery.
Due to shipping restrictions, the CR1220 backup lithium coin cell cannot be included in the shipping and will need to be purchased separately ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Risks and challenges
I have run several successful Kickstarter campaigns, including the first IN-9 Nixie driver board. Therefore, I am experienced in what is required to deliver a successful campaign. However, there are always risks and challenges. For this project, the largest risk is ensuring high-quality assembly of the boards and delivery on time. There are many ways which delivery can be delayed but by working closely with the manufacturer and with already working and tested electronics, I am confident that there should be no problem delivering your rewards.