So after looking at a few options for making nixie tubes modular and not finding what I wanted or not liking the price I decided to make my own. The goal was to be able to use many different nixie tubes and have them work on one common board.
So far I have designs for the following tubes:
The plan is to be able to put any 4 tubes (as long as they work with the same voltage) on one board (next I’ll develop a 6 tube board). I am also building a library to allow you to set in your code which tube is where so that basically all you have to do is tell it which tube you want to change and to what value. The entire working of the main board will be hidden in the library. All you have to focus on will be your program.
Something like this:
Nixie myTemperatureNixie = new Nixie("IN-14", "IN-14", "IN-14", "IN-19A"); .... // where first value is the tube number and second is the value to display myTemperatureNixie.setTubeValue(1, 0); myTemperatureNixie.setTubeValue(2, 1); myTemperatureNixie.setTubeValue(3, 9); myTemperatureNixie.setTubeValueByPin(4, 14); //deg C symbol is pin 14 // This would display 019°С
Here is what my boards look like for now (still in prototyping). Notice that I have also added a space under each nixie for an RGB LED for those that want to light them up. Of course it’s totally optional.
The main board is drilled in a way that will allow you to mount an Arduino under it. All you’d need it also a high voltage DC power supply for the tubes.