This project will try to simplify making Nixie clock. We will use Arduino, opto-isolation chip, and other basic parts.


After long day working, finally I got successful making Nixie clock with Arduino and opto-isolation chip, no need Nixie driver which is difficult to purchase.

Step 1: Part List

Arduino UNO

Part list to make project:

1. Arduino UNO https://amzn.to/2P58O7s

2. Nixie tube 6 pcs https://amzn.to/3aHyJvX

3. Opto coupler chip TLP627

4. DC step-up module from 12VDC to 390VDC https://amzn.to/3aHyJvX

6. Real time clock module DS3231 https://amzn.to/3aHyJvX

Step 2: Circuit Design

circuit design

The circuit uses opto-isolation chip to control Nixie tube (using 150VDC) by Arduino (using 5VDC). By matrix connection, so we need only 16 outputs from Arduino to control 60 lights of 6 nixie tube.

The real time clock module DS3231 is used to keep the time (even turn off power), it is communicated with Arduino by I2C network.

Arduino will read real time, then turn on/off nixie lights by sequence in high frequency to make human eyes view 6 numbers as permanent

Step 3: Arduino Code

Overview of Arduino code

Basically, the code will get real time from module DS3231 and show to 6 nixie tube via opto-isolation chip.

Code and circuit can be downloaded here http://bit.ly/2tUWtMy

Step 4: Build the Circuit

Circuit in experiment

This is just experiment, so I made everything in bread board. Fortunately, it works at first time, no any problem

In next project, I will try to make nixie clock in MDF case with good decoration, so I can put it in my room.

engineer 2you
I'm an electrical engineer who loves making DIY project with Arduino, Raspberry. Meet me at Youtube/c/engineer2you :)