Nixie-based tube clocks

By nico160381 / Nico Zurmuehlen

$179 / for sale on eBay (for sale as of 8/2/2009)

t.1972 Nixie Clock

While browsing through eBay, this clock jumped out of the hundreds of thumbnails on the screen. This is one of the very few nixie clocks that actually takes a hanging form factor.  I can only think of one other design that was intended to be hung on a wall and this one looks significantly better.  Of course, there is a catch.  This comes as a kit and you need to assemble it.  However, for $179, it is still a great deal.

From the auction:

The hardware is an single-board PCB.It has an own switching power supply, two nixie drivers(74141) a high precision crystal and a PIC-microcontroller on board.It is supplied by a 9V AC 5.5mm jack.

The Software in the version V4.0 F is very easy and confortable controlled by only one button. That means you setup the clock and correct the speed of the crystal by following a menu with only one button.

You can choose between date-mode or time-mode (in date-mode only the to neonbulps bolow glow in time mode the four neonbulps are blinking(with fading). All events in the calendar such as leap years are considered.

The very special and new thing is the FADING  of the nixie-tubes and neonbulps. That means  that the ciphers are not only digitally switched but faded in change from one digit  to the other. For example the "5" disapears (gets dark) and the "6" appears (gets bright).

This clocks are intetionally not radio controlled, because then you could not use it in any place and the recievers would disturb the clear design of the clock  For a very high precision the clock's crystal can be trimmed by the software.


Nixie Tubes Fading

Nixie Clock Assembled




By Dieter Wächter / Nocrotec



Chronotronix V600-NT Nixie Tube Clock

This is the latest creation from Dieter Wächter / Nocrotec and it is based off of RFT Z5660M tubes.  There are two version of this clock listed on Nocrotec: V600-NT and the V600-RT.  The NT is the one for sale and has the "nipple top" whereas the RT version has the rounded tube design.  I believe the clock has a buy it now proce of around $800USD but since bidding has started, I cannot find the price.

As usual, Dieter has done a great job of documenting the design and building of this clock.  You can see all of the details here:


  • Fading digits (see video)
  • Stainless Steel Case
  • Directly driven display


v600 tubes


From the auction description:


This Nixie clock combines nostalgic Nixie tubes with innovative circuitry in a nobly stainless steel case. Its elaborate software and features, the good craftsmanship and the beautiful case make this clock a distinctive top-quality product. It's a handmade masterpiece in design and functionality.

This clock uses the beautiful Z5660M tubes with a digit height of 1.2" (30 mm) made by RFT!


Well balanced proportions and a clear geometry making up for a coherent and disciplined yet charming design. The clock is a celebration of purist elegance. The case is made of brushed stainless steel - a complimentary material for this unique Nixie clock. The surface is very shiny and reflects the orange glow of the Nixie tubes - you won't be able to take your eyes off it. We will send a pair of cotton gloves along with your Nocrotec V600-NT Nixie Clock in order to avoid leaving fingerprints on the case. Please wear them whenever you touch your Nixie clock.
View the wonderful case finish here:


The Nocrotec V600-NT Nixie Clock uses a state of the art circuitry. Time is kept by precise real time clock. It's accurate to within 0.0003s per minute. Nixie tubes require a high voltage to operate. In Nixie clocks there are different techniques used to generate this voltage. The Nocrotec V600-NT Nixie Clock uses the most innovative power supply we are aware of. It is a highly efficient, super low noise switch mode power supply in a very small shape (inside the case of course). The clock is not multiplexed, but the 6 Nixie tubes are driven directly.


This clock uses the beautiful Z5660M made by RFT! A popular tube with a great digit height of 1.2" (30 mm). The shape of the numbers of the Z5660M Nixie tube has been considered to be one of the most beautiful ever made. Long life and stable operation are the benefits of these tubes.


  • Digit height: 1.2" (30 mm)
  • 12/24h mode
  • Date in configuration DD.MM.YY or MM.DD.YY
  • Leading zero suppression: The leading zero can be blanked or shown
  • Cross fading: different modes to fade the digits from one number to the next
  • Alarm clock
  • Power down mode: tubes and supply can be totally switched off for a user programmed period in order to save energy and increase life expectancy of the tubes
  • 12VDC input voltage
  • Wall power supply for worldwide use is included
  • Time is battery buffered when no line power is available; battery will last for more than 10 years
  • User settings are always stored
  • Tubes are not soldered but mounted in sockets, that means they are easy to replace
  • Case is made of brushed stainless steel; bottom plate and all screws are made of stainless steel as well
  • Security protection against contact of the high voltage. The high voltage can not be touched also if a tube is pulled accidentally

DIMENSIONS Overall dimensions (incl. tubes):

  • 9.9" (250 mm) long
  • 3.1" (80 mm) deep
  • 3.4" (86 mm) high


  • Diameter: 1.2" (30 mm)
  • Visible part is 2.25" (57 mm) tall from the glass surface to the top of the tube
  • Digit height is 1.2" (30 mm)


  • 9.9" (250 mm) long
  • 3.1" (80 mm) deep
  • only 1.1" (27mm) high




IN14 6 Tube Nixie Desk Clock

eBay seller uniasia82 / $111


IN-14 Nixie Clock Front

Here is a great little clock from eBay.  It is a 6 digit, ON-14 based nixie clock.  It appears to be built in two layers - the bottom performing the time keeping functions and the top one simply holding the display.  The PCB has a shiny black finish which adds a nice contrast to the display.  While you could probably build or find an enclosure for this device, I would leave it open as it is right now.

The nixie clock is powered off of an external power supply so there is little to no risk of shock from this design.  However, since the displays are still running at 180v, you probably would still get a bit of a shock if you grabbed the wrong place.  That is just my oppinion, you could probably still find a way to do more harm to yourself if you tried :)

From the auction:

IN14 6 Tube Nixie Desk Clock


This is Fully Assembled and Tested Nixie Clock with 6 Pieces IN14 NOS Tubes.

* Fading Nixies:  cross fading from digit to digit

* User Selectable:  12/24 hours mode

* Digit Height:  Approx. 2cm

* Brand New!

* Power by: DC 12V AC Wall Adapter (mains AC 110 ~ 240V) Not Included.

   remarks:  Extra Price for DC12V AC Wall Adapter : USD9


IN-14 Nixie Clock Rear



Designed by Peter Hand, built by Mike Bowers



I have been wanting one of these since I first learned about them.  It is a 4-letter-word device, like the Super Electrofluorescent Profanity Machine except that this one uses Panaplex style ZM1350 neon displays.  Essentially, they are flat versions of the B971 and can be used as a replacement with no electrical changes needed.

Basically, the device displays random words that are four letters long.  The video gives you the basic idea of how this works:

This device was built by Mike Bowers but was designed by Peter Hand.  It appears to be based off the original Raymond Weisling design.  (Warning, a few people have had bad experiencing ordering from Zetalink.  I trust Jeff's reviews so I would personally avoid this site as well....)



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