Diet Nixie Sneak Preview
Here's a sneak preview of our upcoming new Nixie clock: Diet Nixie!
It was pretty difficult to photograph, so rest assured that the display brightness is better than it appears in this picture.
We showed an earlier prototype at the Tokyo Maker Faire in December, and now we've finalized the PCB design and are working the case design.
The name Diet Nixie comes from the fact that the development of the clock started out as a desire to create a more economical version of our original Nixie clock.
To do this, we slimmed it down from 3 PCB boards to just one board, and went with even smaller IN-2 nixie tubes. The new board has only four SMT parts (the backlight LEDs), which cuts down on our assembly time, meaning a lower end price.
Of course, just making a cut-down version of our original Nixie clock would be boring, so we decided to rewamp the circuit design. We've replaced the original КМ155ИД1 (K155ID1) Nixie driver with a more modern HV5812 driver. This driver has 20 outputs and lets us drive the Nixie tubes at 1/2 duty cycle instead of 1/4 duty cycle. The end result of this is a cleaner and brighter display.
Here's a picture with the blue backlight on: (only single-color backlight this time)
We're very happy with the way the backlight enhances the look of the semi-transparent dark blue acrylic case. The electronics inside are visible, without the effect being too "noisy."
For the next revision of the case, we will remove the "akafugu.jp" lettering as it ended up being a bit overpowering... we'll keep the fish though!
We expect the clock to be available for sale on our site by the end of March.