Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
NixieTherm RGB, an IN-13 tube indoor thermometer (DIY kit or assembled) with build-in true RGB controller; powered by 5V USB
NixieTherm RGB, an IN-13 tube indoor thermometer (DIY kit or assembled) with build-in true RGB controller; powered by 5V USB
34 backers pledged €3,294 to help bring this project to life.

About

NixieTherm RGB - Nixie Tube Thermometer project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

NixieTherm RGB - Nixie Tube Thermometer

€3,294

34

A Russian Bargraph-Nixie-tube shows similar like in the good old time a mercury thermometer the room-temperature with a variable glow hight lenght; however with NixieTherm RGB you have a wonderful red-orange glow. At the same time six high quality 3528 SMD-LEDs, together with a true RGB controller with selectable colour pattern, give a never ending play of million different colours. 

This is NixieTherm RGB - The Original, first published in 2011

It is the eye-catcher par excellence – at your home, your office or as a very specially gift idea for Birthdays or Christmas.

Oh, what are "Nixie-tubes"?

The word "Nixie" was formed from the words Numeric Indicator eXerimental No. 1  and first introduced 1954 by Burroughs Corporation from USA as a brand name for numeric displays. Nixie tubes were used until the mid of the 1970's as numeric displays in measuring devices, calculators, TV sets and the very first computers. The evolution of modern style display types like Numitron, VFD, Light Emitting Diodes and Liquid Crystal Displays, which have a very low supply voltage (battery power supply) eliminated these Nixie tubes from the market, and they are not produced anymore. In the former USSR Nixie tubes were produced as surplus in vast quantities until the beginning of the 90's – and from this sources is this tube. But even these supplies are now running short. And when they're gone, they're gone. The tube is taken from "NOS", what means New Old Stock. They were never used before and spent their first thirty or more years forgotten in some Russian warehouse. The principle of the Nixie tubes is based on cold cathode discharge and it is used today a million times  e.g. in small neon bulbs of illuminated mains power switches.

The Bargraph tube in the NixieTherm RGB is a special Russian construction of such a neon bulb, it can produce a current depending variable glow hight lenght when a current regulated voltage of around 140 VDC is applied.

Often I was asked: "What is the lifespan of a Nixie tube" and than there is a simple answer: "Have a look at your illuminated power switch of the multiple outlet strip. How many years does this small neon bulb lights continously without any aging issues?"

Features

Only analoge technique is used
        The temperature display electronics runs without any processor or other digital circuity.

Power supply via USB
        Power consumption is as less as NixieTherm RGB can powered up from a simple USB port. No driver needs to be installed. NixieTherm RGB only "catches" the supplied voltage. As an alternative, NixieTherm can be powered from a standard Mini-USB charger.

Low power consumption and self heating
        25...300 mA @ 5VDC depending on the lenght of the glow coloumn and the RGB LED brightness thanks to the high efficiency voltage converter in the HV supply.

High accuracy with the expensive Texas LM35DZ temperature sensor
        +/- 0.5°C (+/- 1°F)

Displayed temperature range
        14...35°C / 58...95°F can be easy adjusted with a slotted screwdriver

Fully smoothed display
        Stepless and in realtime 

Build-in true RGB controller
        with a lot of selectable colour sequences, operates by pushing a simple button

The electronic kit:
        You get a complete electronic and mechanic DIY kit – and complete means complete: 

• All electronic parts + PCB with assembled and soldered SMD parts
       • Tested IN-13 Nixie bargraph tube (also available w/o tube)
       • All mechanical hardware and enclosure parts 

SMD pre-assembed
        Thanks to the SMD pre-assembly and soldering only a small handful of through hole parts (and a few "big sized" SMD components) needs to be fitted and soldered by hand.

Optional assembed and tested version
        If you don't have enough soldering or electronic skills, you can also get a fully working NixieTherm RGB together with an USB power supply with EU / UK or US mains.

The SMD preassembled board - please note that this is a fully hand soldered prototype; you'll get a machine assembled and soldered board.

 The bag with the through hole components for hand soldering and mechanics

What you'll need for the DIY kit  

  • Around 2 hrs of your evening time with no hurry  
  • A clear, well-lit area in which to work  
  • Soldering station with fine tip and fine electronic solder  
  • Multimeter to check and adjust the generated voltages
  • Electronic tools 
  • TX10 (Torx), PH1/2 and small slotted screwdriver 
  • Download of the assembly manual from www.Nixiekits.eu
  • Enjoyment of your work of course
  • And last but not least a simple USB port on your PC or a Mini USB charger to power up the NixieTherm RGB.

The programed RGB pattern

Improvements compared to the former NixieTherm SMD

  • PIC processor based true RGB controller with pre-assembled LEDs. The colour sequences can be stopped at every desired colour by pushing a simple button instead of continuously colour changing LEDs in the former SMD version as many customers from the former version don't want to have a "light organ" but a constant colour for the scale.
  • More brightness of the RGB LEDs compared to the SMD version.
  • Fully satuated colours possibe (incl. true yellow).
  • The calibration potentiometer can be easy accessed without demouting the top cover.
  • Bigger sized through hole potentiometers instead of very tiny SMT versions.
  • Higher accuracy because of optimized circuity design and less self heating.
  • Expanded scale to 35°C or 95°F temperature range.
  • And last but not least we could keep the price at the same value as the SMD version.
 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

 See here the comparement: Left: NixieTherm RGB • right: The former NixieTherm SMD

Photo of the very first NixieTherm version in middle of 2011

and here is the PDF for design protection from 13th June 2011


Customizing the NixieTherm RGB

When ordering at least five kits / assembled versions we can make a modification of the scale engraving and / or enclosure colours for free. See here an example:

for availabe colours have here a look. Please mail to: Mr.Nixie@Nixiekits.eu

Risks and challenges

The Story behind NixieTherm

The first version of the NixieTherm was introduced in 2011.
In the meantime more than 950 devices has been sold.
After launching the NixieTherm SMD in 2018 on Kickstarter with successful crowdfounding, the remaining batch is now nearly sold out. So a new version needs to be created which considers many wished from the customers. This new PCB batch with build-in RGB controller needs to be ordered (and pre-financed for sure) with nearly fully SMD pre-assembled and soldered parts - and of course, a new enclosure design was created and needs also be ordered.

Fully hand made prototypes are working perfect, as you see in the photos / video.

"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."

In the meantime there are a lot of cheap copies - specially from Lithuania, Ukraine and - with faked accounts now also from Italy - on the market, but they have never reached the top quality of the German original Mr.Nixie's NixieTherm.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge €69 or more About $77

    NixieTherm RGB DIY kit but without tube

    Complete DIY kit incl. enclosure but without IN-13 tube to build within 2 hrs a fully working thermometer, when supplying your own IN-13 tube.

    Please note: The shipping costs for DE/EU includes the German VAT

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    2 backers
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge €74 or more About $83

    NixieTherm RGB DIY kit

    Complete DIY kit incl. enclosure and IN-13 tube to build within 2 hrs a fully working thermometer

    Please note: The shipping costs for DE/EU includes the German VAT

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    4 backers
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge €74 or more About $83

    NixieTherm RGB DIY for specialists

    Complete DIY kit incl. enclosure and IN-13 tube but without pre-assembled and soldered SMD parts to build within 2 hrs a fully working thermometer.
    You need to solder all parts (incl. SMD) by hand! This tiny parts will be included in the kit.

    Please note: The shipping costs for DE/EU includes the German VAT

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    4 backers
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge €79 or more About $89

    NixieTherm RGB DIY kit + Power Supply

    Complete DIY kit incl. enclosure and IN-13 tube to build within 2 hrs a fully working thermometer, also a Power Supply with EU, US or UK mains adapter is encluded.

    Please note: The shipping costs for DE/EU includes the German VAT

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    6 backers
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge €104 or more About $117

    NixieTherm RGB assembled + Power Supply

    Complete assembled and tested NixieTherm RGB incl. Power Supply with EU, US or UK mains adapter.

    Please note: The shipping costs for DE/EU includes the German VAT

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    15 backers
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)