July 21, 2016 Dalibor

Zen nixie clock – development update

The Zen nixie clock is successfully evolving, right time to share the current phase in a post!

Display case

The case is designed in a minimalistic way to emphasize the nixie tubes themselves. The overal shape of the case and surface finish of the parts will fit every interior. The stand is made of aluminum, it sits on 8mm tall rubber feet. The cover is made of glass and protects the tubes against possible damage and also keep away dust.Zen nixie clock with case

Surface finish

Aluminum parts (the stand and nixie tube’s bases) will have satin finish (similar to Apple products), this will give them exclusive look. There will be several options for the colour of the case, right now there are 4 in the game – natural silver, champagne gold, grey, black. All except the black will be mild colours. Which one would you go for? Please leave a feedback in a comment.

The clock stand on the pictures is without any surface treatment!


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Comments (31)

  1. Erich


    I would prefer silver or black for the case. Can’t wait to get one!


  2. Wolfgang

    Looks great. I think , it depends as well on the sockets of your tubes. Or do you only have now the aluminium sockets ?
    For my it would be silver !

    • Dalibor

      The sockets on the tubes will match the case, it will be all aluminum.

  3. Erich

    Great idea!

    Black case with black sockets. Would look amazing with the golden/black circuit board.

    • I am with Erich – Black case with black sockets. Would look amazing with the golden/black circuit board.

      • Dalibor

        Great, happy to hear black/black is my favourite combination!

  4. Greg

    Looks great!

    I’d like to see the glass cover made with a low iron glass that has less green color on the edges.

    • Dalibor

      Yes, the final customer cases will be made of clear low iron glass without the green shade.

  5. Jeff

    I like just the way it is. I would not change a thing. Very nice indeed.

    Any idea on the price and if you will make a run of them?

    • Dalibor

      Jeff, I am still waiting for pricing of some parts, then I will be sure. I will make price summary in next post (and to website page).

  6. Nick

    Pure awesome. I like Greg’s idea of reducing the green edges of the glass. I’d prefer allens to screw heads, and I think a matte or low gloss black case and sprockets would be cool and make the board look more like an exhibit. That is a fantastic PCB.

    • Dalibor

      We will use clear glass for final glass covers. Allens – it is difficult to get it in brass. I plan to gold plate the brass elements to protect from tarnishing and make the colors the same. Brass is easier to gold plate then material used for regular allen head bolts.

  7. Nima

    Excellent work Dalibor!

    I think that black on black would boast the gold tones of the PCB and “legs” the most. This way there is least color variation.
    I would also be interested to see how the natural silver would look like. I think it might complement an iMac really well when adjacent to one.

    I like Greg’s idea of reducing the green edges on the glass. Any possibility to mold the glass from one piece???

    As Nick has suggested, I think allen screws are an awesome option.

    I notice on the last photo that the power supply fits in the base of the stand. Will the power be fed through the legs and into the PCB perhaps? Nice one!


    • Dalibor


      – the glass used for the case will be clear. Molding the glass from one piece was my intention. I discussed several glass blowing shops and it is not possible to make the glass wall evenly thick – it would distort view of the tubes. Moreover, it would be very expensive.

      – the power wires will go through the legs into PCB!

  8. Michael S.

    Wow, the case proportions look nice.

    A black base would be my first choice, followed by silver or maybe champagne to match the current black & gold PCB. I’m not sure about the grey version. Would need to see pictures.

    I didn’t notice the green cast to the glass, and it should be more scratch resistant than acrylic. The case might need some cooling vents, depending on the ambient temperature & light.

    If most people have aluminum based tubes, a black PCB with silver markings could look good with either aluminum or black cases and tubes. The neon color would be more noticeable.

    Black based tubes with black & gold for everything else would look really good though. Red coated tubes would be amazing! (Apologies to Dalibor. I’ve asked for red coated tubes before!)

    • Dalibor

      Hi Michael!

      – regarding the venting holes – the clock’s power consumption is 7W (without LEDs). Not more than 3-4W will be dissipated as a heat, I think the large glass and aluminum surface will have no problem to transfer the heat out of the case.

      – red coating – one day, I will give it a try!

  9. Ian Griffin

    Black/Black would be my first choice Dalibor but Silver or Champagne Gold would also look nice maybe I need one of each 🙂

    • Dalibor

      Sounds good, maybe I will add few more colour combination for you 😉

  10. Greg


    Will you also be making a cover that is shorter in height to accommodate the new version of the tube with the metal to glass pins?

  11. Rob

    These Tube Clocks are the coolest, weirdest, most fascinating and out-dated ‘new’ thing.

    I tried to hunt down a Video of your Clocks in operation. With some effort I finally found your YouTube Channel.

    You should keep it updated and place a Link to it here and on FB.

    I found this Link: https://www.youtube.com/user/daliborfarny/videos

    Thanks for making these fascinating Clocks. Promoting your Videos will show how much work it is to make just one Tube.


  12. Wow, I just discovered your job, this is absolutely awsome!
    Really awsome…
    Keep going!

    All the best,


  13. Clayton

    A mirror polished aluminum base would look stunning and would reflect the soft glow of the nixie tubes.

    The gold color would go best with copper tubes and base. I am excited to purchase both variations (copper and silver) when they become available!

    • Dalibor


      thank you for response, I will keep it in mind and let you know once I am ready for custom stuff!



  14. Marc

    Hey Dalibor,
    I’ve only ordered one ‘Zen’ even though I said two, because, well, I’ll have to save for the second. My Brother can wait for his Anniversary present 🙂

    The finish on those rings looks superb.

    May I ‘second’ all of the positive comments above? Beautiful job Dalibor, just beautiful.


    • Dalibor

      Hi Marc,

      absolutely no problem, thank you for the order! I am happy that you like the clock!



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