I have a fascination with nixie tubes, or vacuum tubes that ThinkGeek calls the LEDs of the past. These tubes aren’t being manufactured any longer, but there are still some available that are being used to make Steampunk things like clocks and thermometers. You’ll need to know how to read schematics and how to solder electronics, but you’ll be able to build a thermometer that displays temperature in Fahrenheit, Celsius, or Kelvin, and shows humidity with this DIY Nixie Tube Thermometer Kit. The microprocessor-controlled thermometer has a rear temperature sensor, blue LED accent lights, and a motion sensor to change the display. The kit contains everything you need, including a case with brass hardware and a power supply. The DIY Nixie Tube Thermometer Kit is $179.99.
4 thoughts on “Build your own Steampunk thermometer”
Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
I love Nixie tubes. So hard to find and expensive. I would LOVE to build a linux terminal wall with 80×24 of them. HEHE
Ok just did the math. I can find full Alphanumeric tubes for about $12 each. So (80×25)x$12=$24,000 in tubes alone, not counting logic and power. Each tube requiring about 7mA X 2000 tubes is 14Amps at 170volts of power. 2000 tubes putting out about 90-100 degrees of heat. But damn it would be sexy.
Nixie tubes are totally cool. Here is a tip we will share with Gadgeteers…only because we have been big fans of Julie’s site for almost 10 years!
Those interested in nixie tube based gear should look for old tool-maker microscope with old position readouts. Many of the readout boxes were made using nixie tubes. We scored this one on Craigslist for $100 (readout box + microscope):