VU Meter Made with Soviet-Era Nixie Tubes

Spectrum analyzers can make music more interesting, but you’ve never seen a VU meter like this IN-9 ‘Nixielyzer’ by Jurgen Grau. The…

Jeremy Cook
3 years agoMusic

Spectrum analyzers can make music more interesting, but you’ve never seen a VU meter like the IN-9 ‘Nixielyzer’ by Jurgen Grau. The retro-looking unit receives input through a microphone on the front, or via RCA inputs or a 3.5mm jack on the back. Secondary RCA/3.5mm sockets are also provide, which pass the audio signal along, allowing an easy way to daisy chain audio output to another device.

Audio signals are broken up into six bands: 63 Hz, 150 Hz, 330 Hz, 1 kHz, 3.3 kHz and 10 kHz, with the IN-9 Nixielyzerpulsing each corresponding IN-9 Nixie tube to the proper beat. Notably, no digital electronics are used to produce pulses, meaning that the display “is stepless and fully in real-time.” The tubes used for display are vintage new old stock (NOS) made by the USSR in the 1980s, and the metallic base in the design complements these components nicely.

You can see it in action in the video below, which is actually a review of a prototype of the device. If you find it especially interesting, they’re available as of this writing as a kit on Kickstarter for a little over $200 USD, or as an assembled version for a bit more. The campaign ends on Saturday, August 24th, so you’ll have to make a decision quickly if you want one!

Jeremy Cook
Engineer, maker of random contraptions, love learning about tech. Write for various publications, including Hackster!
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