MAKE:TNT Tools 'n' Tips

Nixie Desk Clock Kits

by Mark Frauenfelder

As seen in MAKE 07 Toolbox

Tool photo.

Nixie tubes are vacuum tubes that contain filaments representing the digits 0-9. These beautiful relics of early computing display their numerals with a quivery orange glow. Today, you can buy a Nixie tube clock kit with parts and instructions from Peter J. Jensen of Ann Arbor, MI.

It was a joy to put the clock together, thanks to the clear step-by-step instructions and parts envelopes labeled with numbers corresponding to the numbered instructions. Jensen designed the clock and circuit board himself, and his elegant sense of aesthetics became apparent to me as I soldered the components onto the board and mounted it and the tubes into the handsome metal case. The finished clock looks like the creation of some famous mid-century modern designer. I plan to buy more of Jensen’s clock kits to make and give as gifts.

Prices vary depending on the clock kit chosen.