How to Build Your Own Nixie Tube Thermometer

Everyone needs a thermometer—how else are you supposed to know if you should be wearing a parka or a speedo on any given day? Most people…

Cameron Coward
2 years ago

Everyone needs a thermometer—how else are you supposed to know if you should be wearing a parka or a speedo on any given day? Most people are content to just look at their phone to get the temperature, or use an off-the-shelf digital unit. But, around here we’re makers, and there are two things makers love: making and Nixie tubes.

Bucky Badjer has a great tutorial on how to combine those two things to build the coolest thermometer you’ve ever seen. The design features a beautiful wood enclosure, metal mesh for a high-end finish and cooling, and, of course, Nixie tubes. There are three numeric Nixie tubes in the build, which display the temperature down to tenths of a degree.

To create your own, you’ll only need a handful of components. First is an Adruino Uno, which provides all of the logic. Then a temperature sensor, and a handful of common components like switches and transformers are used to bridge the Arduino with the Nixie tubes. Finally, you’ll need three IN-1 numeric Nixie tubes, along with a SN74141 Nixie tube driver chip.

Actually building the thermometer will take a little bit of experience with circuits and soldering, but badjer1’s tutorial does a good job of walking you through it. The total cost for a project like this should be well under $100. And, as you can see, the results should impress your friends who check their phones to get the temperature.

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