The ultimate 6-tubes clock

Based on the 4-tubes design (described here), I have created an ultimate 6-tubes nixie clock, and 3 different PCBs.
  • One PCB with the tubes in the front
  • One PCB with the tubes in the middle
  • One PCB with 2 connectors, for socketed tubes
The clock firmware has been enhanced too, and it is now even more versatile. Amongst the features, it supports
  • 4 or 6 tubes
  • high-voltage set in software
  • tubes with or without decimal point
  • each tube gets its own brightness / fading / value
  • each tube setting can be set at any 1/64th of a second on a weekly basis...
  • multiple effects, such as cross-fading with different speeds, blinking effects, rotate, shift, etc...
  • IR receiver (optional)
  • DCF77 (optional)
Since the microcontroller had a few pins left, they are brought to a connector for possible extension (digital or analog). The PCB is smaller than 160x50mm, so you can fit 2 PCB on a standard 160x100mm board.

6 clocks have been made, and are running fine for over a year now.

The hardware has evolved from the previous design : double-sided PCB (made by Olimex), as small as possible with through-hole components. The FET is now driven by a dedicated chip, MPC1402 from Microchip. The later takes less space than discrete components, and is even cheaper. The FET remains cold at all time. It's a traditionnal 3x2 multiplex clock, using 2 74141 drivers (actually, their Russian equivalent). The amazing display is obtained by clever software, running in a PIC18. The latest design uses a PIC18F2420, because the 18F2321 was getting too small for the code (all written in assembly for speed and size).

Movies (4 tubes clock) are shown on this page. The complete design (software, CAD files) is found in the download section. I am happy to answer eventual questions. Email me !