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Sweet vacuum tube clock build

Computers & Mobile Craft & Design Technology
Sweet vacuum tube clock build


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Jason von Nieda put together this awesomely dramatic vacuum tube clock built around a Russian IV-18 nixie tube. He cites Adafruit’s Ice Tube Clock for inspiration and credits John Pfeiffer for the enclosure design.

16 thoughts on “Sweet vacuum tube clock build

  1. Grouchy says:

    “He sites Adafruit’s Ice Tube Clock for inspiration”

    Sites? sites? SITES?

    Fire yourself, because the word you thought you were writing is not a noun indicating a location, but a verb which means to quote or mention.


  2. says:

    Beautiful build.

    while we are nitpicking, it’s a vacuum fluorescent display (VFD), not a Nixie tube…

  3. Jim McCorison says:

    Jason spends months pursuing a visual dream. Starting from scratch he uses some existing skills, while learning many more, and creates a tangible example of his vision. While the original vision was created by another, but it was Jason that was moved enough to create the physical manifestation of the vision.

    And what are the first two comments? Belittling and nitpicking. Instead of belittling the editor that posted the story, why not use your allotted electrons to compliment the project creator for a great build and a great write up about it. Admiring somebody’s work is a lot better for your inner self than belittling to the work of another.

    Please, let’s leave junior high school behind and grow up a little bit.

  4. Jake says:

    Well said, Jim….thank you.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Wow, damned impressive piece of work. It’s clear he put a great deal of thought into this, I love the flexibility of it, with the different display modes beyond just current time. Marvelous execution on the housing for it.

    Also, I’ll give him $10 to take it through airport security, in countdown mode.

  6. Anon says:

    My jaw is on the floor, this thing is just beautiful.

    I’m looking to learn about microcontrollers and this is incredibly inspirational.

  7. Ross Hershberger says:

    I’m building an audio amplifier for Make #22. It’s made of aluminum angle and Plexi. After seeing this I think I need to go work on the cosmetics of that a bit. The bar just got raised.
    I love VFDs. I still use the blue VFD calculator that I bought in the ’70s in electronics school. On my Chumby my favorite clock app is the Nixie one.

  8. Jason von Nieda says:

    Hi folks, just wanted to let you know that I am now selling just one of these clocks. It will be the only one sold. You can see the auction and bid at


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I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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