Author Archives: Brian Dale

Steampunk Nixie Thermometer

steampunk-nixie-therm

 

Overview
This is my Steampunk Nixie Tube Clock Thermometer. I bought a bunch of original Russian nixie tubes some time ago, with the plan to build a nixie clock or two. I like Steampunk art, especially in usable devices. I found the molded skull online while browsing for Steampunk art. I intended for this project to be a gothic steampunk themed nixie clock, but realized there would be problems mounting 4 tubes in the skull. So I had to improvise and made it into a digital thermometer.

The thermometer is controlled by an Arduino microcontroller. The Arduino reads the temperature from a Maxim DS1620, sends the BCD coded result to the Russian K155ID1 driver, and multiplexes the nixies (requiring only 1 driver).  The temp reading can also be read from the Arduino via a serial interface for MRTG style graphing, etc.

Controller PCB

I designed the controller PCB on CadSoft Eagle PCB and used a single sided copper board.

motherboard
Controller PCB Layout

controller_pcb
PCB fresh from it’s acid bath

nixie_therm_pcb_assembly
Controller PCB Assembly

Nixie High Voltage Power Supply

I reused a Nixie PSU that i had built earlier. I do not have the PCB design, but it was based on common PSU built around a 555 timer and IRF740. I will add pics later.

Nixie Socket Mounting and Mod

nixie_therm_socket
Nixie Socket Installation – with blue LED mod (sockets are mounted flush)

Final Product

nixie_therm

I’m still finishing up the Arduino code, but I am pleased with the results so far.

 

 

 

ford f-150 truckputer

i have completed my truckputer for my f-150 fx4. here are some of the features.

  • intel atom based mini-itx motherboard with 512mb ram
  • 2.5 in 150gb hdd
  • custom ui with crystalfontz display
  • custom software to play mp3z, scan for wifi (war-driving) and voip via asterisk. 100% code written by me in OO python
  • custom fiberglass enclosure and carbon fiber laminate panel

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the motherboard with intel atom processor Continue reading

epoxy storage thermostat

here is an old project i did in early 2005. it’s a basic stamp based thermostat to heat an epoxy storage cabinet. i use a lot of expensive epoxy for this project, and it needs to stay above a certain temperature to be usable. it uses an incandescent light bulb and small fan to keep it above 80 degrees F.

i could have used an off the shelf thermostat from home depot, but i was surprised how much they were. i also wanted to add some features, like a photocell to detect when the bulb burns out and sound an alarm.

it’s built on a basic stamp 1 project board. it uses a ds1620 temp sensor, triac solid state relay, and 12v pc fan with photocell. if the reading of the ds1620 drops below 80 deg, the bs1 lights up the opto-isoloator on the triac, this powers the 120v light bulb. a 12v dc fan helps circulate the air, and is turned on at the same time with a simple switching transistor. when the temp hits 95 deg, the bs1 turns off the light bulb and fan. a photocell on the fan detects if the bulb is burnt out and the bs1 sends an audible alarm to a piezo speaker.

 

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