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Sunday, 21 January 2018 02:41

About six months ago, I decided that we needed a more prominent clock in the living room. After looking around at was available from the high street, nothing really fitted my personality. But after having a 'surf' around, I found people who made Nixie Tube based clock kits. The following picture is an example of a Nixie tube.

I did consider designing my own, but the time for this is too great for a one off, and it seemed silly to reinvent the wheel, so a kit I choose. I really wanted one that was MSF (time synced), thus eliminating the need to press buttons in various orders, which I always get wrong. We get quite a few power cuts here, and I get really feed up constantly resting the majority of the clocks in the house. No joy in finding an MSF one at that point of time, on pun intended! Only press the button option.

So off it went and brought a kit. and then the tubes, this took me months, just got to busy with life to get around to it. When I did build the kit it only took a few hours, very simple, all you need is the ability to read a manual, which most of us hate, and use a soldering iron. The setup procedure of the kit was very simple, just a respect for high voltage and a reasonable multimeter.

So we had a kit build running but no case, not a very safe idea, when there is around 180 volts kicking around. I had been looking for a case idea for several months, and still could not come up with anything different. All the cases I found were very contemporary, not really me. however I bumped into a, best I can call it a genre called steampunk, which really fits in with my way of style, it's different, fun, and a tad quirky. So the idea of popping the Nixie Tube kit into an old clock case came into my head. So in came good old eBay, I wanted something cheap, as it might not work/survive my modifications, I found two cases, one a wall hanging wood case and a Napoleon hat wood case, the wall hanging one, did look very good, a bit Gothic, but way too expensive, the Napoleon one, spot on good price, and I would not feel bad if it all went wrong. I hate damaging items, so they can not be used, such a waste.

I brought the case a then had to promptly work out how to install the clock into it. I wanted to be able to see as much of the workings as possible, so with the use of some hand made standoffs, thanks Brian, in it went, and very pleased with the result, very unique, everyone who comes into my house loves it.

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