Just when you think you’ve seen every creative way to tell time, it seems that some ambitious hardware hacker creates a new concept that makes you say “wow.” While still something of a prototype, this Nixie pendulum POV clock by Jayzon Oeve is like nothing you’ve ever seen. Instead of employing a pendulum to regulate a timekeeping display mounted to the clock’s structure, the pendulum itself actually displays time, using a Nixie tube mounted near its end.
Control for the device is via an Arduino Nano, with accurate timing provided by an RTC. An accelerometer near the pendulum’s pivot tells the device when it’s straight up and down, at which point it’s given a “push” by an electromagnetic coil with the help of a MOSFET. Another component used here is a DC-to-DC converter, which boosts 5V up to the 170V needed to activate its single Nixie tube.
As seen in the video below, the main assembly is built out of lumber, with a ball bearing used to allow the pendulum to swing freely. The Nixie setup looks neat at full speed, pulsing the time digits. It’s even more fascinating in long exposure mode where many digits can be seen at once, and in slow motion where you can pick out the pulses. It’s quite the interesting concept, and perhaps it will inspire further timepieces in the future!