Marten Electric 電気テン @ Home

Vintage audio gear connoisseur, computer enthusiast, time nut, music lover, vintage games gamer, nerd, tinkerer and shady electronic projects maker

Electromechanical Nixie clock - early cold war nixie clock replica


Nice big beefy Atomic age replica of Nixie clock inspired by cold war test gear. Please let me introduce you to: Marten Atomic, Digital Clock DC624RE

DIY Nixie tube clock with switch relays instead of high voltage transistors. Counting circuit is based on 4000series CMOS logic. Fun fact: clock accepts 1pps from my Rubidium frequency standard which quality this as a true atomic clock! Ish... :) Clock has really beefy alarm operated by two 555 timers.

This is my very first project from scratch so I hope all will go well. Hardest part was definitely find out how to start. I didn’t have a slightest clue how to start, just a few months ago.

P.S. I have completed this project in early 2016 and since then clock has been proudly stored. I have made few mistakes and few things which really need to be addressed, but hey this what this hobby is all about right? Learn and fail, learn from your fail.

Design overview

I have decided to make a rack mount enclosure from scratch. Project wouldn't be really “hard core” homebrew without one.

Block diagram (kind of):
4.194304 MHz XO -> CD4521 frequency divider provide (in)accurate 1 Hz pulse :) Clock pulses are counted by CD4017 decade logic and 24 hour reset is provided by two 2N222A NPN transistors. I have used relays between CMOS chips and IN-1 Soviet Nixies to achieve this soothing sound of clicking relays.

Main design features:
Nixie Clock in heavy duty frame in rack mount like casing, 4mm thick front panel with handles.
1pps output / input of square TTL, CMOS level or sine wave
Clock using vintage Soviet IN-1 nixie tubes
Alarm fuction can be set for exact time with silent or loud function.
You can course or fine adjust time with 4Hz pulse
Master reset time all nixies or seconds only
Change brightness of Nixie Tubes and/or Temporary switch them on for 20 seconds
Project is completely modular, so I can upgrade this in the future

Fun Fact: clock accepts 1pps input from atomic clock

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I have created content on this website free to use for personal, educational and commercial purposes. If you like or use my work, please mention me or perhaps consider a donation.


... but if you feel like getting something for nothing isn't your cup of tea (completely understandable) (ಥ﹏ಥ) and a prefer to support me and get something back in return, then you can purchase directly on my eBay or Tindie shop. However if you are still up for an adventure */in very positive way/* (and are happy to have PCB's made yourself in your favourite PCB house - PCBWay is highly recommended), then carry on, download gerber files and have fun! ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

I sell on Tindie

Project preview

click on pictures to enlarge
Homebrew Electromechanical Nixie Clock
Homebrew Electromechanical Nixie Clock
Homebrew Electromechanical Nixie Clock
Homebrew Electromechanical Nixie Clock


Display type: Nixie IN-1, Soviet
Surface Finish: Lead free HASL-RoHS
External size: 350 x 250 x 370mm (W x H x D)
Weight: approx 5.0 kg
Front panel: 4.0mm thick CNC machined aluminum, powder coated
Top panel: 1.50mm thic Aluminium, black hammerite paint
Frame and inner mechanical works Aluminium profiles and sheets
Power consumption: Approx 18W

Bill of materials

Identifier Value Qty Notes
Not available for this project - - - -


File type File name File size Last modified
Schematic not available at this stage - - kB dd/mm/yyyy

Design Files

File type File name File size Last modified
PCB layers Schematic not available at this stage - kB dd/mm/yyyy
Gerbers Not available for this project - kB dd/mm/yyyy
Solder paste stencil Not available for this project - -

Design process and assembly

click on pictures to enlarge

Versions and revisions

This section lists the project version and revision history.


■ Prototype

Last page update: 08 May 2023

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