After staring at the Union Square clock about 100 times, I decided to replicate it at home, so that I can watch the digits scroll by on my desktop. I named the clock after one of my favorite quotes from the video game Call of Duty: Black Ops, where the protagonist is politely asked for the meaning of a certain set of numbers which are being displayed on Nixie tubes. I feel it fits the piece, as even some native New Yorkers mistakenly believe that the display is the debt clock or something (that’s over in Midtown).

As a review, the clock is read like so: hh:mm:ss:msm:ss:mm:hh, which means that the time is read normally at first (military time), then it goes into milliseconds, then backwards milliseconds, then seconds, minutes and hours until midnight, in that order. Int he example picture, it is 19:30 with 9 seconds and 9 tenths of a second, the middle is usually a blur (set to hundredth of a second), then its 4 hours, 29 minutes, 50 seconds and 9 tenths of a second until midnight.

John Baichtal

John Baichtal

My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal

  • Shane Fell

    Very cool, but wouldn’t the millisecond nixies burn out pretty quickly?