Nixie Tube powered from a disposable camera

Nixie Tube powered from a disposable camera

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Clever – Matt is using a simple power supply from a $5 one use camera to power a Nixie Tube, he writes –

“A Nixie Tube is a glass enclosure with what I believe to be neon in the inside. There is an anode with 10 elements, each representing 0-9. These were used before the 1970’s when the LCD and LED did not exist.

I found some at the local surplus electronics shop, tore a power supply from a disposable camera and had success getting it to fire; they’re pretty great and I intend to make a killer clock.”Link.


  • Single tube Nixie clock – Link.
  • Maker of the day – David Forbes, Nixie-display clocks … – Link.
  • HOW TO – Powering Nixie Tubes… – Link.
  • Tiny Nixie clock – Link.
  • The most accurate nixie clock – ATOMIC!.. – Link.
  • Nixie clocks & kits for collectors and designers – Link.
  • Nixie clock gallery – Link.
  • More! – Link.

8 thoughts on “Nixie Tube powered from a disposable camera

  1. Hardtaill says:

    It’s called a vacuum tube.

  2. RobCruickshank says:

    Neat! I used that to power a “flaming hoop” made out of neon bulbs:

    It worked great, but the cap would eventually discharge. I wound up using an EL wire inverter with a rectifier for the final piece. For a clock, it would be great- you could push the button to see the time, and it would stay lit for a while, then go out, saving tube life.

  3. RobCruickshank says:

    oops, my image link was stripped out.
    @ hardtail, no, Nixie is correct.

  4. MDWeezer says:

    Hello, I’m Matt, from the photo.

    When I get the time I will post instructions on Instructables; step by step.

    When I got the tube and found out I needed 170V I was a little intimidated but after toying with the camera it’s a breeze.

    @RobCruickshank – The capacitor is taken out and replaced with a set of terminals. The power to charge the cap that was there puts out about 280V which can then be dropped with some resistors. Boy did that cap make a bang when I discharged it! So when the button is pressed (I will eventually solder the pads) it gives you endless power so you can power your tubes constantly with this supply.

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