A Series of Tubes

20150105-nixie-1060110My previous post covers how I scavenged a radio receiver module from a $7.50 clock to give me an automatic time-setting feature. But since the beauty of that is not obvious in plain sight, I need to build something to take advantage of it that does have some physical appeal.

The photo above shows the current work in progress. It’s a nixie tube based clock using the Smart Nixie that I supported on Kickstarter a while back. I had 6 of these lying around begging to be used in something, so I did a quick laser cut top to see how they fit and I’m quite happy with it. The tubes are hella simply to use, so most of the work is building the enclosure and assembling everything. Maybe this weekend…

Pulling Time out of Thin Air

20141229-waveclock-1060005There is a store called Don Quixote near where I live in Tokyo. However, Donki (as it’s called by locals) is a singularly unique store. The experience of going to Donki is similar to visiting Fry’s Electronics in Silicon Valley — the first time you walk in there and see oscilloscopes next to Ritz crackers it boggles the mind. But after living there for a few years you come to take if for granted that you can pick up baby diapers, a bare PC motherboard and some soldering flux in a single trip.

When I first moved here and asked people where to buy certain things, a common answer was “Amazon or Donkey” (I didn’t understand the “donki” shorthand yet). Because it’s one of those places where you can literally find just about anything. It’ll be the cheap crappy version of whatever you want, but they’ve got the category covered. Also, they are open 24/7 so if you really really need some clean underwear, contact lenses or a rice cooker at 3AM and don’t mind navigating around the drunk foreigners taking pictures, you can hit up donki.

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