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A Nixie Tube Task Manager

A Nixie Tube Task Manager


As noted in Bertrand Fan’s write-up, LEDs are smaller, safer, and more reliable than Nixie tubes. At the same time Nixie tubes look awesome.

Unfortunately, with their growing popularity for use in clocks, and the fact that they’re no longer mass produced, they’ve become quite expensive.

A Nixie unit could cost well over $1,000. While you could save money by implementing a single-digit clock that sequentially displays the time, that's not exactly a perfect setup either.

Fan's idea was to instead use one tube as an indication of his daily to-do list. Ideally, this list would stay in the single-digit range, cutting the price down significantly, which still showing all info at a glance.

Fan created his task tracker employing a DC-DC booster to provide appropriate power, as well as a Nixie socket adapter. A nice base was created in OpenSCAD, and printed with Prusa Galaxy Black filament, which gives it a nice black/glittery look.

The device is controlled via an ESP8266 Wemos D1 mini board, and early experiments involved a simple macropad to index the digits up and down.

After verifying things worked correctly, Fan integrated the tube setup with Todoist in order to change the number of tasks on display to correspond with his actual list. The project looks like a lot of fun, and something that should be satisfying to see tick down through the day as things get finished.

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