Nixie Tubes + Arduino Shield
I want to bring the world of Nixie Tubes to as many enthusiasts and hobbyists as possible. The added bonus of being able to connect this shield to Arduino compatible boards gives you the ability to easily create endless possibilities for this clock. Want the clock to automatically update over wifi? It's possible. Want to keep accurate time with a GPS receiver? You can do it! Want to extend the life of your Nixie Tubes by adding a motion detector? Brilliant! Just stack this shield with any number of Arduino shields to make the Nixie Tubes do whatever you can imagine.
Use Your Own Nixie Tubes
I've designed and created a prototype of the Nixie Tube clock all on a single PCB the size of an Arduino Uno. By default, it fits IN-17 Nixie Tubes, however, you can use any Nixie Tubes with a little bit of custom cabling.
Make It Uniquely Yours
Included with the shield are six blue LEDs to backlight the Nixie Tubes. However, you can pick any color LED you want to make the shield unique. The LEDs are the extremely popular T-1 3mm size, allowing you to substitute whatever color suites you.
High Voltage, Simplified
The difficulty in working with Nixie Tubes is the high DC voltage required to light the tubes. I've included a DC to DC converter capable of boosting the 9VDC used to power the Arduino to 170VDC necessary to light the Nixie Tubes. There's even a potentiometer that allows you to make adjustments to the output voltage of the boost converter. All you have to do is provide 9VDC to the Arduino from an external power supply (9VDC @ 1A).
This Nixie Tube shield has thousands of uses, it isn't limited to telling time. I want to get this shield in the hands of as many makers / hackers / tinkerers / inventors as I can and see what you guys and gals come up with!
Risks and challenges
I'm taking my project to Kickstarter because I need to make a bulk Printed Circuit Board purchase and order all of the components in high enough quantities to get decent price breaks.
It's always good to be cautious around high voltages, and this shield is no exception. Avoid touching components when the shield is being powered. If you need to touch some of the components, always do so with one hand in your pocket.
This Kickstarter campaign is limited to a run of 50 shield kits, 10 fully assembled and tested kits, and one big kahuna who decides the color of the PCBs along with the choice of receiving the kit or fully assembled shield. I need to make a large purchase of the IN-17 Nixie Tubes, and to do so requires working with dealers in Eastern Europe and Russia. I want this relationship to grow over time allowing me to make larger purchases of Nixie Tubes with growing mutual confidence between buyer and seller.
Another reason for going to Kickstarter is because I'd like to use some of the profits to create a website and online store! My ultimate goal would be to be able to provide you and thousands of other professionals and hobbyists with fun, entertaining and useful electronic kits and circuit boards.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)