Nixie Tube Ornament

Decorative object with IN-19 nixie tube


Nixie Tube Ornament

Nixie Tube Ornament is stylish decoration for your home, office or shop, also suitable as an original gift or night light. You and your friends can enjoy retro look from beautiful IN-19 nixie tube light.

IN-19 (original name ИН-19) is symbol nixie tube originally manufactured as complementary tube to numeric IN-14 tube. This nixie tube was intended for displaying of units or special symbols in combination with numbers and used mostly in old measuring devices. There are 3 different symbol set types:

  • IN-19A (ИН-19А) with symbols %, °C, M, μ, p, n, m, K
  • IN-19B (ИН-19Б) with symbols S, Hz, F, Ω, H, A, V, T
  • IN-19V (ИН-19В) with symbols П, dB, A/B, +, ~, >, <, -

All symbols of this nixie tube are periodically displayed with dimming effect and adjustable speed. Nixie tube is backlighted by RGB LED, what allows creation of beautiful optical effects in tube glass. In addition all setting changes can be done without using of any tool, but simply by three control buttons.

Nixie Tube Ornament variants

Basic parameters and features

Model: SingleNixie_V1.3
Nixie tube: IN-19A/B/V
Input voltage: 5 – 10V DC
Input power: 0.75W
Dimensions (W x D x H): 60mm(2.36") x 60mm(2.36") x 64mm(2.52")
  • Possibility to power from 5V USB power chargers/adapters via

    (For details please see "Powering Up" section)

  • Symbols periodically displayed with dimming effect and seven speed levels
  • RGB LED backlight with three modes - disabled/automatic color change/manual color change
  • Adjustable current for increasing of nixie tube life span
  • Wooden enclosure from natural/colored (dark) beech wood

Nixie Tube Ornament Controlling

Nixie Tube Ornament can be controlled by 3 control buttons. Each button when pressed is accompanied by white light flash.
Backlight mode setting: backlight mode can be changed by “LED Mode” (middle) button. There are 3 possible backlight modes available – backlight disabled, automatic color change, manual color change.
Backlight disabled mode: backlight RGB LED is permanently disabled in this mode. This speed is represented by one symbol being displayed at a time. There are 7 speed levels available: 0.5s, 1s, 2.5s, 4s, 9s, 15s and 27s per symbol.
Automatic color change mode:
backlight RGB LED is enabled and light color is changing automatically according to clockwise. This speed is represented by time needed for all colors change. There are 7 speed levels available: 5s, 10s, 20s, 30s, 45s, 1min. and 2min.
Manual color change mode: backlight RGB LED is enabled, light color is not changing, but can be set manually.

Powering Up

Nixie Tube Ornament should be powered from any USB power charger 5V/850mA DC or more.

The power source adapter/charger and USB mini B cable are not included in the package, since we assume that most of our customers already have some charger at home.

Please note – if you decide to use less powerful power source, we cannot guarantee that this will provide enough initial current to power up the Nixie Tube Ornament. Even though, normal operation requires 150mA at maximum, but initial powering-up of the power supply of Nixie Tube Ornament requires higher initial current (during the current peak). Therefore, It is highly recommended that you use USB power adapter/charger which has 850mA (5V) or more.

Powering Nixie Tube Ornament via your computer’s USB port is not recommended, because initial current peak can harm your computer’s USB port.


Initial Version 1.0 - Prototype

First of all there were defined properties and behavior. Prototype was based on development board with Cortex-M0 and Z560M nixie tube. High voltage for powering of nixie tube was provided by HV-PSU_KIT module.

Video below shows base functionality - setting of nixie tube characters chnaging speed with diming effect and malual setting of RGB LED color.

Nixie Smile :)

First Version 1.1

Once the prototype was successfully created and tested, it was necessary to try complete circuit on own printet circuid board. As outcome of this necessity is Nixie Tube Ornament Version 1.1 with these features:

  • As nixie tube is used character nixie tube IN-19 (ИН-19)
  • Power Supply 180V realized in SMD form.
  • Displaying of all characters of nixie tube with diming effect.
  • Speed of characters changing ajustable by trimmer.
  • Setting of RGB LED backlight mode by button (RGB off, automatic color changing, manual color changing).
  • RGB off mode: RGB LED permanently off.
  • Automatic color changing mode: light color is automatically changing within all color range, speed of color change is ajustable by trimmer.
  • Manual color changing mode: light color is not automatically changing, but is manually adjustable by trimmer.

Version 1.2 - Corrections

Printed circuit board of version 1.1 was not fully functional and contained several mistakes, so redesign was needed. Newly created version 1.2 was correct and fully functional.

After presentation of such result to one of my friend, I decided to postpone the release and improve few features.

Main points were:

  • High voltage power supply should be able to run from 5V (USB power chargers can be used for powering)
  • Setting of speeds and backlight color without using of any tool
  • Decrease overall height of assembled PCB