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Take ten same-sized thin sheets of acrylic plexiglas.

In each one, carve a single digit, from 0 to 9.

Attach a bright LED to each sheet, so that it only lights up the one sheet.

Layer all the sheets so that you have a ten-deep sandwich of sheets.

Wire up the LEDs to some controller, so that you can have it light any one of the ten sheets, as it wants.

You should get something like this:

Nixie display

This is called a Nixie Display, or a Nixie Tube, after the old vacuum tubes that displayed numbers by lighting up one number's wire at a time.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 2nd, 2004 02:57 am (UTC)
Makes better sense to me than usual...Now what are you going to use it for? I know this is leading up to something.
May. 2nd, 2004 03:07 am (UTC)
Put six Nixie displays together with a controller circuit and you have a clock. Or a count down timer. :)
May. 2nd, 2004 05:40 am (UTC)
This is pretty amazing.
Since you an hold it in your hand I'm assuming this could run a lot colder and with less voltage than a similarly sized tube.

Can the acrylic be etched like glass?
May. 2nd, 2004 11:27 am (UTC)
I used a dremel tool to etch it.
It's run by LEDs, so yes, it's cold.
May. 2nd, 2004 01:08 pm (UTC)
Now you need a short flipbook to animate!
May. 2nd, 2004 02:15 pm (UTC)
Those old tubes were wicked... it's rare that you see an electronic component's functionality represented in such a visible way.
May. 2nd, 2004 03:43 pm (UTC)
Ooh! Clever! ^_^ Longer life than original Nixies too.
May. 4th, 2004 08:06 pm (UTC)
Very cool Revar!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )