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Temp'n'Glow Update


The Temp’n’Glow nixie tube thermometer got a bit of an update in the last few days.  Claus-Dieter Urbach and Dieter Wächter have just released a nice enclosure for their thermometer kit.  The device uses a Dallas DS18S20 sensor on lengths of wire between 1 and 10 meters.  It supports up to two sensors so you can use measure both indoor and outdoor temperature at the same time.  The update frequency and error detection settings are user adjustable.  Lastly, to prevent cathode poisoning, the device cycles though the digits in a slot machine like effect to help lengthen the life of the IN-16s.



The enclosure features:

  • black top
  • black base
  • crystal clear sides or black sides (optional)
  • you can see the inside of the thermometer, if you use the clear side parts
  • black side parts as an option
  • the blue LEDs mirror on the black top
  • tubes mirror on black top
  • all holes for sensors and power supply
  • holes for the 2 tubes at the top
  • 4 nixie top plate screws - now included
  • 4 distance holders 6mm
  • very easy to build ( 2 minutes)
  • no glue needed
  • all side parts are pluggable
  • all acrylic parts covered with foil to prevent scratches during building process
  • 105mm x 75mm x 28mm


AVR Nixie Tube Thermometer

Kenneth Finnegan sent me a link to a project that he has been working on - it is an AVR based IN-16 nixie tube thermometer.  It appears to be a pretty straightforward design and what I really appreciate about this is that he does a great job documenting his build and sharing code samples with readers.  I've included the part list below so you can get an idea of what is involved but be sure to check out his website for more details, schematics, and photos!


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Parts list for control circuitry:

  • 1x ATTiny2313 AVR
  • 1x DS1631
  • 3x IN-16 Nixie tubes
  • 3x K155 or 74141 Nixie decoder
  • 3x 22kΩ resistor
  • 3x 4.7kΩ resistor
  • 1x MPSA42 300V NPN signal transistor


Parts list for power supply:

  • 1x MC34063 boost converter (I managed to smoke the first one with 180V pretty quickly, so having it in a socket and having spares is a good idea)
  • 1x 7805 5V linear regulator
  • 1x IRF820 MOSFET
  • 1x 500μH power inductor
  • 1x 1N4937 600V fast-recovery diode
  • 2x 100μF 100V capacitors (or a single cap rated for >200V)
  • 1x 820k resistor
  • 1x 5.6k resistor
  • 1x 150Ω resistor
  • 2x 47μF capacitor (25V)
  • >2x 0.1μF capacitors (25V) - Apply liberally throughout the circuit



AVR Nixie Thermometer
AVR Nixie Thermometer
AVR Nixie Thermometer
AVR Nixie Thermometer
(images and text used with permission)



Nixie Tube Conference Badge

Okay - this might not be the most practical use of nixie technology but it is cool.  They are attendance badges based off on IN-16 tubes and powered by only two AA batteries which provide a shocking 40 hours of life.  Be sure to check out the links below for much more information.

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(Thank's Bob!)

From Warranty Void if Removed via Hack A Day

Sneak Peak: Nixie Therm

Jürgen had been hard at work designing a new non-nixie gadget - a thermometer based on an IN-9 bar graph tube.  This thing is cool.  Not only is it a clean design, it is a fully analog device.

The six LEDs are simple connected in series with the tube. Every LED has also a parallel 100µF capacitor (these RGB LEDs uses their own PWM controller and connecting them in series is only possible with such a capacitor in parallel to every LED).

And one more feature I really like: it is USB powered.  I can't wait for for this to go on sale.  Check out the video:

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(video by Jürgen Grau)

nixie bargraph thermometer


Thanks for sharing, Jürgen!

IN-4 or IN-18 Nixie tube round board with HV transistor drivers

Kosbo Driver Board

Konstantin from Kosbo.com has a new board for IN-18 and IN-14 nixie tubes for sale on eBay.  It is the diameter of a tube and includes the high voltage transistors and resistors needed in one nice package.  For 2.99 GBP, it is a pretty good deal. 

Key Features

  • IN-4 or IN-18 Nixie tube round board with High Voltage transistor drivers and anode resistor
  • High quality of components, board and soldering
  • 29mm board diameter does not exceed tube diameter
  • Ideal for IN-4 or IN-18 1 to 6 digits clocks or other Nixie tube projects
  • Can be used as a High Voltage driver board with other Nixie tubes
  • Two 4pins plug connectors for easy use on bread board
  • Simple, reliable and secure solution for your main PCB design
  • Ideal to use with our Nixie tube pins we have for sale in our EBay shop.
  • Board diameter is 29mm, 
top layer components height does not exceed 2.5mm
  • Sample SW code for Microchip microcontroller for your easy project start

Sample Circuit


Kosbo Driver Board

(images and text used with permission)


Nixie Sudoku

Okay, we're a little late in covering this one;  Hack A Day and Engadget beat us to it.  This is a 81-Nixie tube based Sudoku board which appears to use IN-12's (based on the upside down 2 used as a 5.)  There are two knobs on the board, one controls the x position and the other controls the y position of the cursor.  The number pad controls the actual value of the input. Be sure to visit the site - he graciously includes the source code and schematics.


Nixie Sudoku


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