My Nixie Timepieces

My Nixie Addiction

that which came first

The QTC Clock

After researching the various tube types and options, I settled on a kit featuring with ZM1210 tubes. The ZM1210’s were manufactured by Telefunken in Germany and come with a nice red coating (which can be removed if desired).This is a really nice clock which supports a variety of different tube types. It features tubes mounted on carriers which can be changed easily (Quick Tube Change) in case of failure.

that which came first

The QTC Clock

The well produced PCB is nicely laid out and features all manner of components including resistors, capacitors, inductors, transistors, a PIC micro controller and specialist tube driver IC’s. The build process is well documented and the whole thing took about 10 hours (for the first one anyway!) to complete. Having never soldered anything before, Jo has completed most of her QTC construction in around 5 hours!

that which came second

The Spectrum Clock

I wanted to build something using larger tubes. I chose the IN-18 tubes (originally made in The Ukraine by Gazotron) which have a digit height of around 40mm. The Spectrum build is actually simpler than the QTC, resistor networks help reduce the component count and as the board is bigger, everything is a little more spread out. A useful addition is the optional PIR detector which will switch the clock on for a pre-determined period when activated. This means that the tubes are powered only when someone is there to look at them, thus preserving the life of these vintage items!

that which came second

The Spectrum Clock

There are a number of different tube options for this clock including IN-18’s, ZM1040, Z566M and the newly built R|568M from Dalibor Farny.

that which came third

The IN-12 / IN-17 Clock

I managed to talk my parents in to having a new alarm clock built for them, I built their last alarm clock over 40 years ago and it’s still going – but everyone needs a Nixie Alarm clock these days (don’t they?) so I built them this.

Featuring 4 x IN-12 Tubes and 2 x smaller IN-17 tubes with full alarm functionality and optional GPS/NTP Sync.

that which came fourth

The Halo Clock

Not wishing to be outdone I thought that I should have an alarm clock too so I built The Halo, something for the bedroom, overkill some might say as it comes on at about 21:00 and goes off at 23:00, then again, it’s not about having an alarm clock is it?!?

Featuring 6 top view tubes with full alarm functionality and optional GPS/NTP Sync

more recent builds

The Elite

The electronics for this have the same footprint as the QTC clock but this all new design is for smaller plug-in tube types such as the IN-8 or NL840 (or equivalents). The Elite also features built in wireless time sync from an optional outdoor GPS and Temperature sender. An optional Motion Detection module only powers up the tubes when someone is near to the clock.

something a bit different

The MOD-6

The MOD-6 features super rare B7971 tubes from the Burroughs Corporation. These tubes were originally used to display up to date stock information.  They feature 14 segments in a starburst pattern which allows them to display letters as well as numbers. The MOD-6 displays time, date, temperature, humidity and random four and six letter words – why? because it can!


Something different

Display the time with a single tube – how can that be? The single tube clocks display the time by displaying each digit from the HH:MM in sequence. Once you get the hang of it you can tell the time I no time at all! This clock has an intuitive menu as well as optional GPS or NTP Sync modules to display perfect time. Single Tube Clocks c support a variety of different tube types including IN-18, Z566, ZM1040, R|568M  and B-7971.
And another one

Single B-7971

Here is a Burroughs B-7971 tube on top of a Single Tube Clock which features built in WiFi for configuration and NTP time sync. It also has a built in battery which provides a degree of portability though I would not suggest that it is suitable for wrist mounting. The same clock base has multiple adapters for supporting different tube types including: B-7971 IN-18 Z566M ZM1040 R|568M 4 x IN-12
DIY Clocks

I made it myself!

As well as the wealth of excellent kits available it is possible, depending on your skills, to come up with your own designs, however crazy (in my case!) they may be. See ‘Gemini – Two Tube Clock’ for my attempt.

See More

More Clocks

See the section ‘It’s all about the case’ for details of clocks in slightly alternative cases!