July 8th, 2021—
Nixie tubes are fun little devices that act like seven-segment display modules in that they can be lined up together in order to form a larger number by showing digits 0 through 9. One maker, Marcin Saj, has created a unique project that uses a series of six Nixie tubes that can show the current time, temperature, and humidity all within a compact footprint. It is also able to receive commands via the Arduino Cloud service and an Alexa skill, thus enabling users to toggle various functions on or off with a smart speaker or phone.
Saj’s IoT Nixie Clock Shield has an RGB backlight that can be easily adjusted via the Arduino Cloud’s RGB color picking tool, which allows for the device to match almost any environment. The built-in Nixie power supply is great as it lessens the chances of being shocked with 170V, and each tube is user-replaceable if it fails. The shield’s PCB has a header for plugging in an Arduino Uno, Nano, or Micro board, but it is best used with the Nano 33 IoT for cloud connectivity. The onboard DS3231 real-time clock module is able to keep the time accurately even when the power to the rest of the clock is removed.