Monthly Archives: October 2013

Steampunk Nixie Thermometer



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.

Controller PCB Layout

PCB fresh from it’s acid bath

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

Final Product


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