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Scottish electronics engineer develops levitating nixie clock

The gas-discharge lamps would seem to have gone to the past forever. However, a Scottish electronics engineer Tony Adams does not think so.

By adding a bit of modern technology to relics of past years, he has created a steampunk levitating nixie clock, which has already joined a very large line of ‘levitating’ household items.


To create a magnetic cushion, the engineer has attached rare earth magnets in the base, and, with the help of electromagnets, stabilized the object in the space. The magnets are mains-powered, but in case of shutdown, there is a backup power source – a battery backup in the base will keep the display in place for up to 30 hours in the event of a power outage.

Power for the nixie tubes is wirelessly transferred from the base to the display via copper induction coils in both units. The actual time-keeping electronics are also located in the base, which communicates with the display via an infrared signal. The time can be set either using buttons on the base, or via a smartphone app.

Tony Adams is gradually increasing the production of his unusual products. With the help of Kickstarter, he offers them to potential buyers in two versions - the five-tube Relay model which constantly displays the hour and minute, and the one-big-tube Beacon, which sequentially displays the numerals of the hour, minute and second. They will cost 463 and 562 dollars respectively. If the fundraiser is successful, the retail sale can start in December.



  • March 3, 2017 12:00 PM MSK