The garage Nixie clock factory churns out another one....

The Claus-Dieter Urbach kit ( also a multiplexed kit) involves a little bit of work if you want to add colon separators and an AM/PM indicator. I had to add a daughterboard to accommodate the additional components (not included). Also, to add the ability to automatically turn off the tubes during sleep hours, you must add a dip switch or shorting strips across P.I.C. pins. This is a very basic kit with not a lot of bells and whistles and is aimed at the hobbyist who likes to tinker ( kinda like me). It does have a nice dim feature that allows you to select 4 different brightness levels, but that’s pretty much it! I must say that Claus does support his product very well and was very responsive to any and all questions. As far as I can tell, this kit is pretty much the only thing out there that accommodates the Z566M tube. There is one available here  but this clock is WAY too expensive for what you get. I finally took matters into my own hands for the next clock and borrowed from 2 different kits. I modified the Urbach Z566M tube board and grafted in onto the TubeHobby electronics to create a superior product with a great feature set. (See my ArtDeco clock) The Black Walnut clock did come out pretty nice though, even if it is lacking from a feature perspective. The Z566M tube is truly a thing of beauty! Unfortunately, they are as expensive now as the IN-18’s.

Tubes purchased from Jan Wuesten in Germany.

The “Black Walnut and Polished Aluminum” Nixie


I finally installed a battery back-up system on this clock.  As mentioned above, this kit is VERY basic and has no battery back up so every time the power is interrupted you must reset the time. This is a real pain in the you-know-what! There is a GPS to DCF77 (a European-only radio transmission that broadcasts date /time) converter available, but the kit is really not designed to drive it and so several other mods must be done to make it work properly. Some other functionality is also sacrificed with the GPS converter so battery back-up was the lesser of two evils.

Michael Barile LLC

I decided to breathe some new life into an old clock and so installed the DCF77 /GPS converter module made for this clock. I stuffed the it into a modified project box and added a heat sink to the 5v regulator and presto chango, it works like a champ. AND the clock now displays the date too unlike before the mod! There is the option to connect temp sensors, but I opted not to bother. BTW, wanted to purchase a spare converter but, alas, Claus no longer stocks them.