English Atom feed 2017-12-03T15:00:00Z Akafugu (C) 2022 Akafugu Corporation Feed for Node.js <![CDATA[Store updated with new stock]]> 2017-12-03T15:00:00Z

Store updated with new stock


The Akafugu Store has been updated with several items that have been out of stock for quite some time.

Head over to to order.

Feel free to contact us directly at info AT if you have inquiries about stock status. It is also possible to purchase our clocks without the tubes, but this is only possible via email, not using our store.

<![CDATA[New review of VFD Modular Clock]]> 2017-04-11T15:00:00Z

New review of VFD Modular Clock


Review screenshot

The site Tube Clock DB has recently been ressurected after a long period of inactivity. It collects reviews and articles on Nixie and VFD clocks etc. and has a forum for discussion.

Manuel Azevedo contributes to the site, and recently bought a couple of VFD Modular Clocks from us with a selection of shields.

He's posted a review, please check it out:

Akafugu VFD Modular Clock by Manuel Azevedo

<![CDATA[SMD guide]]> 2016-08-11T15:00:00Z

SMD guide



We found this guide on internet about part sizes and wanted to share it.

<![CDATA[TWILCD 40x2/40x4/RGB sold out again]]> 2016-08-06T15:00:00Z

TWILCD 40x2/40x4/RGB sold out again



Our TWILCD 40x2/40x4/RGB is very popular and our new batch was sold out in less than a day.

We are now finishing the move of our production equipment and we will restock this product in about 3-4 weeks. We are also planing a run of our Nixie Clock. We are very sorry for the delay on updates.

<![CDATA[Black Friday - Cyber Monday sale]]> 2015-11-24T15:00:00Z

Black Friday - Cyber Monday sale


Black Friday and Cyber Monday are just around the corner!

To celebrate we are running a sale starting November 25rd (Black Friday) and running through the weekend until the end of Monday November 30th.

Use the following coupon for 10 % off any purchase: BFCM2015

<![CDATA[Akafugu mentioned in Article from Makery]]> 2015-11-15T15:00:00Z

Akafugu mentioned in Article from Makery



Cherise Fong writes:

Since we already told you how much liked Akafugu‘s tube clock kits, we’d also like to point out their most accessible timepiece, the VFD Modular Clock IV-18 SMT Edition. For $130, the circuit board comes pre-soldered, with optional GPS to synchronize the time. Simply assemble the enclosure to hide the electronics and admire the skillful resurrection of a 20th century vacuum fluorescent display tube. Not only does it show the time and date, it can also flash random four-letter words (database included in the kit), and all kinds of potential puns or pranks, as the firmware is entirely open source.

Read the full blog post here:

Article by Cherise Fong

<![CDATA[MIFARE Classic 1K Access Bits Calculator]]> 2015-08-31T15:00:00Z

MIFARE Classic 1K Access Bits Calculator


In our consulting business we have gotten more and more requests for NFC integration. Durig these integrations we often need to deal with access blocks for Mifare Classic cards.

The access bits are well described in the documentation but as it is a bit-format it takes time to decode it using pen and pencil. We have not been able to find any online tools to calculate it as well. To help us we made a small widget to calculate the bits, source code is free and available on GitHub.

Please notice that Akafugu does not take any responsibility that the access bits are correct. You should always double check the access bits as there is a real possibility that your card will be unaccessible if you set it wrong.

MIFARE Classic 1K Access Bits Calculator

<![CDATA[レイトお盆セール]]> 2015-08-25T15:00:00Z



いつも赤フグをご利用ありがとうございます。 只今赤フグは夏休みのためcloseしております。 その間のご注文は、9月10日以降順次発送させて頂きます。お待たせして大変申し訳ございませんがご理解宜しくお願い致します。

お休みの間、お買い上げ金額から10%割引できるクーポンを発行致します。 本日8月26日水曜日から9月9日水曜日までのお買い物に有効なクーポンです。 ぜひご利用下さい!


<![CDATA[Late Obon vacation]]> 2015-08-20T15:00:00Z

Late Obon vacation


Every year in the late summer is the Obon Festival.

Akafugu will take two weeks off from Saturday August 22nd until Wednesday September 9th. During this time no orders will be shipped, but as a compensation, we are running a sale during that time.

Use coupon 2015OBON for 10% off, on all our products. Delivery will start on the September 10th.

For our Japanese customers some of our products are also available via Fulfilment by Amazon for next-day delivery at our shop. During our break we will run the same discount there.

<![CDATA[New Product - IN-14 Nixie Modular Clock]]> 2015-08-10T15:00:00Z

New Product - IN-14 Nixie Modular Clock


Now available in the store: Nixie Modular Clock.

We started to sell this clock at Maker Faire Tokyo 2015 and it is now available in our online shop!

The Nixie Modular Clock! Akafugu's Nixie Clock Redefined!

The Nixie Modular Clock is a fun to build stylish clock kit that uses old-fashioned neon Nixie tubes.


  • Comes as a kit complete with acrylic case
  • 4 beautiful 5 cm tall IN-14 Nixie tubes
  • High-precision DS3231M Real Time Clock for accurate timekeeping
  • Controlled by two buttons
  • Dedicated on-off button for alarm
  • Blue underlight for the tubes
  • ATMega328P microcontroller with Arduino bootloader
  • Open-source Arduino-based firmware, easy for anyone to understand and modify
  • Powered from a single 9V (or 12V) AC adapter
  • Controller booard can drive up to 6 digits
  • Modular design, more shields will come

Additional information here.

ニキシーもモジュラー時計(Nixie Modular Clock)は、オールドファッション風のネオンニキシー管を使った、 スタイリッシュな組立時計キットです。

ニキシー管は、かつてマルチメーターや電卓、軍装備品など、初期の電子機器用ディスプレイとして 主に用いられていました。ニキシー管は、金属製の網の形状をした1つの陽極と、一般には0~9の形を した10個の陰極を持ちます。数字以外のシンボルの形をしたニキシー管も一般的です。陰極と陽極の 間に約170~180ボルトの電圧をかけると、陰極がその特徴的な黄色がかったネオン色を発光します。


  • アクリルケース付きのキット
  • IN-14ニキシー管×4個
  • ニキシー管の青いバックライト
  • 正確な時を刻む高精度DS3231Mリアルタイムクロック(RTC)
  • 二つのバタンによる操作
  • アラーム専用オン/オフスバタン
  • 誰でも簡単に理解し改良できるArduinoベースのオープンソースファームウェア
  • コントローラーボードは最大6桁までの処理が可能
<![CDATA[Install Akafugu boards and libraries in Arduino 1.5.6 and up]]> 2015-08-06T15:00:00Z

Install Akafugu boards and libraries in Arduino 1.5.6 and up


New in Arduino 1.5.6 is a Board Manager that makes it much easier to install libraries. All Akafugu libraries are available for download within Arduino IDE by using the Board Manager.

Here are the instructions:

Install Arduino

If you do not already have the Arduino IDE installed, you can download the full Arduino IDE from homepage.

Akafugu Boards

Step 1


Go to Preferences and add the following to Additional Boards Manager URLs: by comma if you already have other URLs)

Step 2


Go to "Tools/Board/Boards Manager..." Akafugu will show up in the list, click install.

Step 3


The new boards will now appear in Boards menu.

Akafugu Library Packages


From Arduino version 1.5.6 all Akafugu libraries are available in the new Library Manager. Go to "Sketch/Include Library/Manage Libraries..." and search for Akafugu.

<![CDATA[Akafugu at Maker Faire Tokyo 2015]]> 2015-07-20T15:00:00Z

Akafugu at Maker Faire Tokyo 2015


Maker FaireMaker Faire

Akafugu is joining the upcoming Maker Faire Tokyo 2015. We are very excited to meet our customers and supporters at our table (A-06-11).
赤フグはMaker Faire Tokyo 2015に出展します。A-06-11ブースです。

Maker Faire is an event created by Make magazine to "celebrate arts, crafts, engineering, science projects and the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mindset".

  • Time/Date: 2015-08-01 (Sat) 12:00 - 19:00, 2015-08-02 (Sun) 10:00 - 18:00
  • Venue: Tokyo Big Sight
  • Admission:
    • Pre-order: Adult: 1,000 JPY, Under 18: 500 JPY
    • At the door: Adult: 1,500 JPY, Under 18: 700 JPY

Pre-order online here: (only in Japanese)

Maker Faire

<![CDATA[New Product - VFD Modular Clock IV-18 SMT]]> 2015-02-28T15:00:00Z

New Product - VFD Modular Clock IV-18 SMT



Now available in the store: With GPS, Without GPS.

We showed a demo of this clock at Maker Faire Tokyo 2014 and it is now available in our online shop!

VFD Modular Clock IV-18 SMT edition is a special solder-free kit version of the original null. The kit comes with all electronics pre-soldered, but you still assemble the enclosure yourself.


  • IV-18 8-digit Russian VFD Display Tube
  • Open source mbed based firmware
  • LPC1347 ARM Cortex-M3 64kb microcontroller
  • GPS (option)
  • Four Letter Word
  • Easy to update firmware with no special drivers required (LPC1347 usb bootloader)

Basic version:

GPS version:

Additional information here.

<![CDATA[Visit to NXP Semiconductor Japan office]]> 2015-02-09T15:00:00Z

Visit to NXP Semiconductor Japan office



We visited NXP's Tokyo office yesterday and met up with Okano-san and Azechi-san. We had met them previously at Maker Faire Tokyo, and mentioned that we were looking into developing a kit using NXP's ARM Cortex microcontrollers.

We went to their office to show them our new VFD clock board: VFD Modular Clock IV-18 SMT mbed Edition. This clock is a new experiment for us, a new non-solder kit where all the parts are pre-assembled SMT parts, but the enclosure comes as a kit, so that some assembly is still required.

As an effort to widen our horizons, we've been playing around with mbed for the last year or so. The mbed project has been growing a lot lately, and is very popular here in Japan with many domestic contributors. NXP was one of the first participants in the mbed project, and the first few mbed boards were all based on NXP microcontrollers. Since then, the platform has expanded and now includes ARM Cortex chips from several manufacturers. Things like UART access, I2C/SPI, PWM and interrupts work effortlessly across platforms. Other things like DMA and low power modes still require processor-specific code, but we expect this to improve in the future.

The NXP chips were the most viable for us to use for our first ARM Cortex-M kit for several reasons:

  • On-board USB 2.0 with embedded USB bootloader. When you plug the board in and put it in bootloader mode, it simply shows up as a mass storage device where the firmware can be copied into with no other programmer required. This is a huge plus for a kit, since it means that all our customers need in order to change the firmware is a computer with USB.

  • Easy access to a debugger. The mbed development boards all have an onboard mbed interface chip with debugger (CMSIS-DAP). For standalone boards, such as our kit, it is easy to get hold of a standalone debugger in Akihabara. The LPC-Link 2 debugger is available either standalone, or embedded in the new line of LPCXpresso 2 boards (to debug either the internal processor, or an external one). Both are easy to get in our favorite Akihabara shop, Akizuki Denshi.

We started off the project with the LPC11U24 Cortex-M0 32k microcontroller. The emphasis of the firmware was to make something simple to modify, not necessarily something heavily optimized. Just as you'd expect from a framework that aims to abstract away differences between different microcontrollers, you pay for this in a larger binary size than you would get working directly on metal. As we kept adding features to the clock, the code size started creeping up to 32k quickly, so in order to give some flexibility for future customer mods, we decided to bump the microcontroller to a 64k one. The LPC1347 Cortex-M3 64k microcontroller is pin compatible with the LPC11U32, and also supported by mbed.

We also managed to score some swag at the NXP office:


We're aiming to release the new clock within the next week or two. It will be on sale both on our store and on the Amazon Japan store.

Feature highlights include:

  • Open source mbed firmware (you can find it here)
  • GPS module
  • Four Letter Word mode
  • IV-18 display tube
  • Powered from USB (either a computer or a 5V 0.5A or higher USB wall adapter like the type that usually comes with cellphones)
  • Stylish Acrylic enclosure (produced by Emerge+)
<![CDATA[Kit soldering class with Akafugu]]> 2015-01-20T15:00:00Z

Kit soldering class with Akafugu



Sat, 28 Feb 2015 13:00 - 18:00

In a collaboration with DMM.make AKIBA we are bringing our popular kit soldering class to the beautiful new DMM.make AKIBA venue.

Come to the class and get hands-on help building our beautiful VFD Modular Clock kit. Many variants are available, and you can choose which one you want to make when you register.

We will provide the kit with all required parts. Soldering equipment and tools will also be provided.

Acrylic case is not included in the price, but we will provide cases for sale at the event.

Register here.

<![CDATA[Gold plating for edge connectors]]> 2014-12-18T15:00:00Z

Gold plating for edge connectors



While working on our upcoming non-solder VFD kit we wanted to use a PCI-express connector to connect the tube with the PCB. When we were ready to send our design to a PCB fab house, there was a lot of new vocabulary (bevel, gold fingers) that we needed to understand fully.

In our search we found the following blog over at Eurocircuits:

<![CDATA[Akafugu VFD Clock mentioned on Atmel blog]]> 2014-12-17T15:00:00Z

Akafugu VFD Clock mentioned on Atmel blog



From Atmel Blog about DIY clocks:

Hobbyist electronic shop Akafugu produced a slick vacuum fluorescent display (VFD) clock, powered by an ATmega32U4 packing an Arduino Leonardo bootloader.

Read the full blog post here:Atmel Blog

<![CDATA[New example program for 4x4x4 RGB LED Cube]]> 2014-12-17T15:00:00Z

New example program for 4x4x4 RGB LED Cube


Before maker faire this year we wanted to spice up the RGB LED Cube on display in our booth. We took the TestPattern.ino, and changed it to highlight some features of the Cube:

  • Both pastel and true RGB colors
  • Chaser to show that all LEDs are individually addressable.
  • Changing modes quite frequently to attract people.

This example code requires the cube library, please check how to install the library here.

Here is the code:

Code block with id '29' not found.
<![CDATA[Updated Nixie schematics]]> 2014-12-14T15:00:00Z

Updated Nixie schematics


We have now updated the schematics to our newest revision of our nixie clock here.

Available in our store
<![CDATA[Soldering class at Tokyo Hacker Space]]> 2014-12-03T15:00:00Z

Soldering class at Tokyo Hacker Space



Tokyo HackerSpace arranges classes about all kind of subjects.

We've had a few classes there in the past, the pictures above are of all the finished clocks from one of the Nixie clock classes we held two years ago.

We're holding a new class for the VFD Modular Clock. See below for more information.

The classes will be hold in both English and Japanese, and are open to people of all soldering experience levels. Tokyo HackerSpace is located in Nogizaka, for direction check this page.

VFD Modular Clock class, Saturday December 13th, 2014

VFD Modular Clock

In this class we will build VFD Modular Clock. A clock is included in the registration fee that you can take home with you after the class.

Sign up here.