Welcome back to another Kickstarter Conversation! Today I am pleased to be joined by James Budai who has made an interesting project for Kickstarter called Nixie Tube Clock. Thank you for joining us today James.
Hi James. I’m happy to be here, and very excited to have started my first kickstarter project.
I guess we’ll start with a simple question, what’s a Nixie Tube and why did you make a clock using them?
A nixie tube is a device that was used in very expensive scientific instruments in the 1950’s, 1960’s and early 1970’s. It is a glass tube filled with neon gas and flat metal number stacked on top of each other. Unlike other tubes of the time these tubes would not get hot. They produced light by exciting the neon gas around the metallic digits. Unlike light bulbs that create light and heat from current flowing into a filament.
I thought it would be neat to produce a clock with them because I figured everyone could use a clock, and it highlights the features of the nixie tube well.
What’s your background working with Nixie Tubes and such?
I first saw an old piece of scientific test equipment with nixie tubes while I was in the US Air Force in the mid 80s. About ten years later saw some old equipment at HP while I was working there as an engineer. I was alway curious about the technology but didn’t get that involved with it until I purchased a HeathKit frequency counter and tore it apart a couple of years ago.