Chronulator clock kit

Gareth Branwyn reviewed the nifty Chronulator clock kit on Federated Media's Holiday Gadget Guide:
200711271413 The Chronulator picks up on two popular techno-culture trends: bizarre, even tortuously geeky ways of telling time (a la Toyko Flash Watches) and the steampunk/retro-tech craze. Here, time is translated via a microchip and a crystal to two needle-gauge/panel meter displays, one for hours, one for minutes. The kit includes the PCB, all the parts to populate it, and the two meters. The kit does not come with the instructions. Those are downloaded from the ShareBrained site. Viewing them beforehand will give you some idea of the difficulty involved in building the project (which should be easy for even the newbie wirehead) and for the level of care evidenced throughout the product.


  1. Pardon me? Obtain the ? After they have been good enough not to provide you with any? Nonsense! Have at it my good fellow? Who needs instructions?

  2. With great respect to Gareth, what precisely qualifies this as steampunk? I realize that’s mostly an aesthetic descriptor these days, but this is, at best, UNIVACpunk. No Nixie tubes? FAIL.

  3. Re: “steampunk”
    Yeah, tenuously so. I was thinking needle gauges as being stempunky. And was looking at the version of the clock seen on their website housed in a box of gearworks. And to me, the whole thing ties in with a general trend of analog displays, digital-to-analog translation of Net data, casemodding in old tech boxes, etc. Retro-tech (of which steampunk is the most virulent example). THAT’s what I should have said.

    And thanks for the “great respect.” A nice way to preface criticism.

  4. I’m the designer of the Chronulator. I would *LOVE* to design a clock with Nixie tubes and have considered it on several million occasions. But they are so hard to come by. For a while my wife and I were hatching an idea to learn how to blow glass and make *our own* Nixie tubes. Then the drugs wore off…

    P.S. Thanks Gareth and Mark for the post!

  5. Making your own Nixies, or at least something similar, is far from out of the question. There are plenty of places (like the Crucible in Oakland) that have classes in Neon sign making (Nixies are neon). It wouldn’t be easy, I admit, but it would be very cool to have your own free form numerals, in home-made tubes.

  6. lots of old Russian nixies. The problem is making drivers and controllers to go with them. How about a faux nixie that has the look but is LEDs inside?

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