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My Ikea rack project is coming along decently. The rack itself is finished, and I am now working on panels for my spectrum analyzer and bench power supply. These will look very cool when they are done, but it is taking time to work through the right materials and fabrication technique.


The real news today was the arrival of a batch of parts for my nixie tube counter project.

Nixie tubes use a relatively high voltage anode at ~200V. However they consume little current, so it is a simple matter to boost a more convenient voltage source up to the desired level. In this case the source will be the +5V from a USB serial adapter that will also power a microcontroller. A few days ago I got a DC converter module to do the job, which I promptly destroyed by wiring up backwards. The replacement arrived yesterday.

This was good timing, because the IN-16 nixie tube and the transistors I'll use to switch the digits on and off arrived today. There are a lot of steps to make an email counter out of all of this, but each step is pretty small. I'll be travelling next week, so it might be a couple of weeks before I can put it all together.

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