This Almost NIMO Clock Fakes it and Makes It


Pity the aficionado of uncommon classic shows. Whereas Nixies and VFD tubes get all the eye and profit from a thriving market to fulfill demand, the rarer shows from the mid-20th century interval are getting more durable and more durable to seek out. One copy of an particularly uncommon show is difficult sufficient to seek out. Six copies for a clock? That’s a tall order.

That doesn’t imply you may’t fudge it, although, which is how this faux-NIMO clock got here to be. [Paul Bricmont] was impressed by [Fran Blanche]’s NIMO tube primer, whereby the uncommon, single-digit CRT show was put by means of its paces. We’ve obtained to confess, it’s a simple show to fall in love with, due to its eerie blue phosphor glow, excessive voltage provide, and basic quirkiness. [Paul] was unable to put palms on a single tube, although, so he faked it with six tiny TFT shows and a few plastic lenses. The lenses mimic the curved entrance glass of the unique NIMO, whereas the TFT shows present the stencil-style photographs of every numeral. The phosphor glow comes from changing the inventory white TFT backlight with a Neopixel array that may produce simply the correct shade of blue-green. 3D-printed modules maintain two digits every, and the standard Arduino parts run the present. The impact is kind of convincing, though we guess some software program tweaks may add issues like fake burn-in and maybe soften the perimeters of the digits to actually promote it.

What different uncommon shows might be replicated this fashion? Given the variety of displays that have been tried within the pre-LED period, it might be a wealthy vein to mine.

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