Tag Archive for build

Progress amid much laziness

Nixie supply soldering coming along!


Winter is hard, it’s cold, there’s not enough food, the hounds attack… wait. That’s my video game. Relevant though, because that’s exactly what has been distracting me from making serious progress on my electronics projects. I am referring of course to Don’t Starve. Sometimes though, I have to force myself to haul my ass down to the basement and get something done – or I never will. I have a long history of procrastination and it’s time I finish a few things with electronics before the ice thaws.

Today, I managed to get down there and solder some more. Like many things, it’s easier once you get into the rhythm of it. I’ve never been great at soldering (see my previous post on the voltmeter sub-project) but it’s exactly true that practice makes perfect. I’m finding with each successive try, I am making better, cleaner, shinier joints that are less likely to short or crack or be non-functional.


Today is a landmark. The first time I soldered something up and it worked. I didn’t have to reflow any joints or troubleshoot mistakes, it worked. I couldn’t be more pleased. From the pictures here you can see me assembling my nixie clock and what I have done so far is solder on a triple power supply. The first two are quite simple using LM78xx regulators to gave me +12V and +5V. No explanation needed there. The second feeds off the 12V and uses a switchmode circuit to bump it up to 170V – the butter zone above strike voltage for my nixie tubes.

After a couple hours of soldering and a quick trimpot calibration, it reads 170.2V. Brilliant.

Next step is to fit the oscillator into the small space beside it to the left which consists of a 4521 frequency divider, a crystal and some passives.