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Single Nixie Ornament


Idea Behind

Some time ago, I started to think about two things, two questions comes to my mind.

After successfull releasing of Power Supply 180V, development work finished and I started thinking about new project, I startet to ask. What cen be next?

Numerical nixie tubes are great for building of nixie clocks, thermometers and other similar devices, but there are also character nixie tubes. Is there some usage? What cen be done with these nixie tubes?

Common answer for both questions is, decoration object - Single Nixie Ornament.

Single Nixie Ornament

Single Nixie 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.


All Single Nixie Ornament Variants

  • Single Nixie Ornament with IN-19A and enclosure from natural beech
  • Single Nixie Ornament with IN-19A and enclosure from dark (colored) beech
  • Single Nixie Ornament with IN-19B and enclosure from natural beech
  • Single Nixie Ornament with IN-19B and enclosure from dark (colored) beech
  • Single Nixie Ornament with IN-19V and enclosure from dark (colored) beech
  • Single Nixie Ornament with IN-19V and enclosure from natuarl beech
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Parameters/Features

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

Single Nixie Ornament Controlling

Single Nixie 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 color wheel 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.

Single Nixie Ornament description and instruction manual can be downloaded here.

Powering Up

Single Nixie 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 one 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 Single Nixie Ornament. Even though, normal operation requires 150mA at maximum, but initial powering-up of the power supply of Single Nixie 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.

Historical Wiew


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 Power Supply 180V.

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


Single Nixie Ornament Prototype: Schematic Diagram Sketch
Single Nixie Ornament Prototype
Single Nixie Ornament Prototype: number "3"
Single Nixie Ornament Prototype: number "4"
Single Nixie Ornament Prototype: number "8"

NIxie Smile :)

Single Nixie Ornament Prototype: number "8"
Nixie Smile Detail
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 Single Nixie 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.


Single Nixie Ornament Version 1.1
Single Nixie Ornament Version 1.1: PCBs
Single Nixie Ornament Version 1.1: character "%"
Single Nixie Ornament Version 1.1: character "°C"
Single Nixie Ornament Version 1.1: character "μ"
Single Nixie Ornament Version 1.1: character "M"


Corrections - Version 1.2

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.

Single Nixie Ornament Version 1.2
Single Nixie Ornament Version 1.2: PCBs
Single Nixie Ornament Version 1.2: top view
Single Nixie Ornament Version 1.2: top view
Single Nixie Ornament Version 1.2: bottom view
Single Nixie Ornament Version 1.2: character "%"
Single Nixie Ornament Version 1.2: character "°C"
Single Nixie Ornament Version 1.2: character "μ"
Single Nixie Ornament Version 1.2: character "M"

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

Main points are:

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