Beautiful, "lethal" freeformed Nixie tube clock

Having seen and admired Matseng's freeformed "The Lethal Nixie Cube Clock," which displays the time one digit at a time, I have only one question: is this a great-looking Nixie tube clock, or the greatest-looking Nixie tube clock:

It's a clock made of a single IN-1 Nixie tube controlled by a ATMega8. The Mega8 directly controls 10 pcs of MPSA42 high voltage transistors for lighting up the filaments in in Nixie. It also generates the high voltage required for the tubes by a pwm output connected to a IRF520 N-FET and the usual inductor and fast recovery diode.

Freeformed Nixie Tube clock (via Make)


  1. It doesn’t look all that dangerous, as you’d have to have one hand contact the high voltage supply rail but not the outer frame, while touching the outer frame with the other hand, to get a shock. And those little high-frequency PWM supplies don’t make a horrendous amount of power.

    The bigger problem is fragility –  it would be a shame to drop it and have it get all bent up.

  2. This is lovely! Agree with nixiebunny regarding the high frequency supplies. Probably not that lethal. Worst shock I ever had was when I was a kid, and wiring up the nixie tube that I’d bought at Radio Shack (which gives you some idea how long ago this was) I thought the weird mess of transformers that I’d cobbled together was unplugged, when I grabbed the leads with both hands.  Wound up on the kitchen floor.  Decided to watch TV for the rest of the evening rather than play with nixie tubes.

    1. I had the exact same experience, except it wasn’t nixie tubes, it was a dame and I didn’t wind up on the floor, I wound up in Pittsburgh.

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