The Acrylic Nixie is more than a clock, it is a random four letter word generator modeled after the Ray Weisling creation called the Four Letter Word Clock. Unfortunately, Weisling has angered a lot of folks in the Nixie ‘community’ by reneging on numerous transactions, so his clocks are basically no longer available. The electronics used here are a kit designed by Peter Hand in Las Vegas, NV. IMHO this is a superior product to the original for several reasons. The design is much simpler (both clocks are multiplexed) and yet it is just as full featured as the FLW. It incorporates a SuperCap back up so you don’t have to reset the clock when the power is interrupted, it has an option whereby you can connect a motion sensor to turn the unit on/off when someone enters the room (essentially a tube saver), it actually has a larger word library than the FLW and it has some nice animated transition effects between words like a ‘slide’ from the top/bottom/right or left and a ‘razzle dazzle’ transition too. Click here for a video comparison.

The tube used here is the BIG, but not so beautiful ( yet kinda cool because it’s a segmented Nixie) B7971 made by the Burroughs company. 

The only bummer with this iteration of Pete’s clock is that the tubes must be mounted on the side opposite the components (he has another PCB in the works that will allow CUTU or CDTU). It should be noted that the Weisling FLW does have both mounting options and his final revision split PCB even more mounting options. I got around this on the Hand clock by building an acrylic tube board and wiring and mounting it to the component side. The clock base is fashioned out of a 6.5” X 12” X 1.5” solid chunk of clear acrylic milled out to accept the wiring bundles below the PCB and drilled for the power connector. The acrylic top I had made is notched in the rear for access to the momentary switches.

Click the big pic above to see the Acrylic in action on YouTube.

The “Acrylic” Nixie


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