HOW TO MAKE A STEAMPUNK NIXIE TUBE CLOCK
Here are some pictures & some info on how I made my nixie clock

Here are some pictures of my nixie clock that I built. I got the nixie tubes & the PCB etc. from here. I downloaded the instruction from the site as well, the only thing that I found confusing was the bit about which lead out wires to use for which type of nixie valve. You have 8 to chose from and you will just have to look & read the instructions very carefuly.

image of PCB & parts

image of PCB & parts

Below here you can see that I have marked the resistor Values on the ends of the leads

image of PCB & parts

image of PCB & parts

Below, here you can see the PCB with some of the components fitted to it, at this stage you can also test the two on board power supplies, one at 5v & one at 175v

image of PCB & parts

This is one of the valves with the leads pushed through the PCB, the "v" shaped thing is a bit of plastic I cut from a old credit card, I used it to make a gap between the PCB & the valve, you can see what I mean in the next two pictures. It also means that all of the valves are at the same height above the PCB.

image of nixie tube

image of nixie tube



image of nixie tube

Next here is the box I have had in the workshop for years, I normaly keep some of my dial gauges & lathe tools etc. in it. All I did with it was rub it down & then varnish & then lacquer it with some spray lacquer. I stained the box with some dark mahogany stain, then because mahogany has lots of small open pores, I put on six coats of water based varnish. Then I rubbed the box down almost back to bare wood & gave it another two coats of varnish again. I then sanded it back and applied three coats of spray lacquer.

image of wooden box

image of  wooden box

image of  wooden box

image of  wooden box

image of  wooden box

Below is the result of all that sanding & painting.

image of  wooden box

image of  wooden box

image of  wooden box

image of wooden box

These are the long pins that I made to reach from the outside of the box to the tactile switchs on the PCB inside the box. the tactile switchs alow you to set the alarm & time & date etc.

image of pins

The brass bar was drilled out so that the smaller bar would go inside the larger bar, then soldered together.

image of pins

Below are the guide tubes for the pins, you can see that it I have turned the ends down so that they fit the holes in the back plate, again they have been soldered onto the back plate. The other three holes are for the LED's

image of pins

image of back plate & pins

image of back plate & pins

image of back plate & pins

image of back plate & pins

Below the finished plate.

image of back plate & pins

image of back plate & pins

Below this is a back door that came of a old clock, it was obtained from Ebay.

image of brass door

The LED's are worked by a LED chaser circuit.

image of  brass door

image of  brass door

The back of the door. The round thing at 8 o'clock is a magnet. That works a reed switch that turns on the clock inside the box. I really need to tidy this up a bit, I think I will put a CD in there to cover it all up.

image of  brass door

Below you can see the PCB for the LED chaser( top left ). The motor below that, drives the gears on the front of the clock, & on the right, the black box is the reed switch to turn on the internal clock when the front door is opened. The silver foil is there to reflect the light from the LED just below the reed switch.

image of  brass door

image of PCB

The key is what turns on & controls the speed of the LED's, it is connected to the 10k pot on the PCB.

image of turn on key

image of turn on key

The turn-on key & back plate.

image of key & back plate

image of bits & bobs

Top plate with holes for the nixie tubes.

image of bits & bobs

image of top plate

Some of the brass work

image of top plate

image of bits & bobs

This is the internal clock, this came from Ebay. I had to remove the two main springs & the linkage that worked the hammers. Then it just needed to be cleaned & polished up. I nearly forgot to say - that a motor has to be installed so it works when the door is opened.

image of internal clock

image of internal clock

image of internal clock

image of internal clock

The big gear on the left hand side had one of the two main springs on it. It just needs a good polish.

image of internal clock

That looks better

image of internal clock

Just had to make a new key.

image of new key

image of new key

Just need to file off the solder & then clean it.

image of new key

Dry run just to make sure that it all fits before I start varnishing the case, also 2 small mods to the clock. 1. I had to add a gear ( the white one at the bottom ) so all of the clock gears turn, & mod 2 I added a piston & crank just for show.

image of inside the box

image of side veiw

image of side veiw

Now we start putting it all together. You can just see the long pins that work the tactile switches right at the top of the box.

image of inside the box

The hands came from an old clock that I had.

image of inside the box

Here you can see the bore & piston & the drive motor.

image of inside the box

image of inside the box

Well I got it all done in the end

image of finished clock

image of finished clock

image of finished clock

image of finished clock

image of finished clock

image of finished clock

The internal LED changes colour

image of finished clock with door open

image of finished clock with door open

Close up of internal clock.

image of finished clock with door open

image of finished clock with door open

image of finished clock with door open

Below is the circuit for the LED chaser, I only used nine LED's so the 10th one ( pin 11 ) is connected to the reset pin 15. If you only want to show four LED's then connect the next output pin (10) to the reset pin.

image of ciruit

If you want to download the PCB file so you can make your own PC board,it can be downloaded from here. The file will only work if you have "Express PCB installed on your PC". Its a free programe & can be downloaded here. You can download the circuit diagram here. You can see a video here of it working.



free
web stats