The “Streamline” Nixie

Streamline Nixie represents yet another attempt at Art Deco/Streamline Moderne design, two similar architectural styles I am obsessed with.  This clock is however, a first for me in that I drew up a dimensioned mechanical drawing in advance as opposed to starting with a few rough sketches and designing ‘on the fly’ as is my modus operandi.
I actually adhered to the design drawing very closely and the finished product is exactly as I drew it up! Sometimes I amaze myself!!  The case is entirely handmade and constructed of solid T6061 aluminum and solid brass. The radius’d corners were hand shaped on a 12” disk sander and the whole piece was finish sanded with 220 grit open coat paper and sealed to inhibit tarnish. Once again, all fasteners are either non-magnetic stainless steel or brass. I have used the gorgeous red-filtered Z568M tube in this clock because I liked the contrast created between the orange/red filter and the brushed brass & aluminum. I have also used one of the beautiful, yet cantankerous, little INS-1 tubes as a center mounted pilot light. (I have had fairly good luck with these tubes lately driving them with 180VDC and a 200K current limiter) This bad boy weighs in at a respectable 18#’s and has a footprint of 6-3/4” inches wide by 17-3/4” long, yet is only 2-3/8” high. It rides low and slow, as they say out here in East LA!

Michael Barile LLC

I decided to add a PIR ( Passive InfraRed sensor, or motion detector) to this clock (and others) in an effort to prolong the life of these big beautiful tubes.  So, with the help of Carl Ott, I had a small adapter card made that works great with the PIR assembly offered by PV Electronics. The PV unit is a complete package that works well and is pleasing to the eye.  Our PIR adapter card will work with any Jeff Thomas NixiSat or NixiChron and simply breaks/switches the connection between the MAX771 PIN 4 and the PIC16F877 MCU PIN 4 via the HV Enable line when motion is detected. It is likely it will work with other clocks, but I have not yet tested it.  It also works nicely within the NixiSat/Chron clocks standard user selectable preset wake/sleep settings and does not negate this function.  The card is small enough that it can be easily mounted and tucked away nicely underneath the conventional NixiSat wooden base or even placed  in the GPS compartment of that clock. You will see in the images below that I have mounted the GPS connector, the Temp connector, and the PIR connector on a common section of Euro card mounted to the underside of my Streamline NixSats-based clocks. I have also included a pic of the prototype mounted to the underside of my ‘Tribute to Jeff’ clock.