Posts with «nixie tube» label

Lixie is a Nixie tube alternative

Using a series of etched acrylic panes, the “Lixie” display can show numbers in the style of a Nixie tube.

Nixie tubes are beautiful pieces of display hardware that are no longer in production, and are becoming harder and harder to find. They also generally require relatively high DC voltages to operate, making them difficult and potentially dangerous. Connor Nishijima, however, has come up with an alternative called the Lixie.

This laser-cut item employs etched panes of acrylic to reflect the light from WS2812B LEDs as required, revealing digits 0-9. Since the LEDs are RGB, different colors can be selected as desired.

Edge-lighting panes of acrylic etched with a design has been done for decades, but they’ve always been static information like an “EXIT” sign. If you stack multiple panes of acrylic (each with a unique design) and light them individually, you can change what design the user sees! This makes edge-lighting perfect for a numeric display! And since I love the look of Nixies, we’ll emulate the typography as well. At the end of the day, what I’ve made is a beautiful over-sized numeric display using WS2812Bs and a laser cut digit assembly!

You can find more about this “modernized Nixie tube” on

Arduino Blog 13 Dec 19:19

World’s Largest “Nixie” Clock at World Maker Faire

World Maker Faire was host to some incredible projects. Among the favorites was Nixie Rex [YouTube Link]. Nixie Rex is actually a Panaplex display, since it’s glow comes from 7 planer segments rather than 10 stacked wire digits. One thing that can’t be contested is the fact that Rex is BIG. Each digit is nearly 18 inches tall!

Nixie Rex was created by [Wayne Strattman]. Through his company Strattman Design, [Wayne] supplies lighting effects such as plasma globes and lightning tubes to the museums and corporations. Nixie Rex’s high voltage drive electronics were created by [Walker Chan], a PHD student at MIT. Believe it tor not the entire clock runs on an ATmega328P based Arduino. The digits are daisy chained from the arduino using common Ethernet cables and RJ45 connectors. A Sparkfun DS1307 based real-time clock module ensures the Arduino keeps accurate time.

[Wayne] and Rex were located in “The Dark Room” at Maker Faire, home to many LED and low light projects. The dim lighting certainly helped with the aesthetics, but it did make getting good photos of the clock difficult. Long time Hackaday tipster [Parker] graciously provided us with a size reference up above.

Click past the break to see a closeup of that awesome cathode glow, and a video of the Nixie Rex  in action.

Got to love that tube glow.


Filed under: clock hacks