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Michael Niggel
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Michael Niggel

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Finally finished my 15-month-long Nixie clock build.

The build begins with the ArduiNix, a nixie power supply and driver kit for the Arduino. That literally sits on top of an Arduino Uno R3. The tubes are salvaged Soviet IN-14 displays and five IN-3 neon bulbs. The display is switchable between time, date, and countdown timer. There’s a DS1307 RTC keeping time/date when the unit is otherwise powered off.

I used example code from ArduiNix to start with, but modified it heavily. They didn't have the exact setup I wanted for the display, and the code assumed you weren't doing anything else with your Arduino except running the display off its internal timer (which isn't super accurate). I made lots of nice additions like blinking the current digits while setting, and a cathode poisoning prevention mode that can be activated on startup. Perhaps most importantly, I've added a very easy method to change modes and set time. I used a rotary encoder and a standard button; just push in and dial up/down each of seconds/minutes/hours.

I’m pretty inexperienced with this kind of build, so it took me about 15 months to complete. One of my big stumbling blocks was in getting the IN-3 bulbs to light. The tube driver chips leak too much current to reliably switch them on and off. After exploring a number of avenues, I finally settled on using an output expander over I2C: an MCP23008. I set one Arduinix anode to always on, then set up transistors on the outputs of the MCP23008 to switch the voltage. That problem alone cost me a couple months.

The case is custom designed/built from oak, constructed in roughly one hour chunks once a week in my parents' basement workshop. A piece of perforated sheet metal is bent to an arc forming the window. I found a piece with a hex-pattern that matches the shielding internal to these tubes.

I’m really happy with how it all came out.
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Kevin Cupp's profile photoStefano Zanella's profile photoMichael Niggel's profile photoMike Zamborsky's profile photo
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+Stefano Zanella The 4th anode is always on; it provides power to all of the indicator bulbs through a set of transistors. Those transistors are turned on and off by the MCP23008 output expander chip, which is controlled via I2C. The indicators are grounded separately and don't connect to any of the ArduiNix cathodes.
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Michael Niggel

Discussion  - 
 
Hey, over-analyzers: The Commander's Handbook does this now.

http://hazardcreative.com/mfz-ch/
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Michael Niggel

Actual Play  - 
 
Photos from a recent 5-player game. Full report is on the hangar at
http://www.mobileframehangar.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=5056 .

Next time I need to use the SLR; these phone pics don't do anything justice.
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Daniele Grillenzoni's profile photoJoshua A.C. Newman's profile photo
 
Reminds me of those old school batreps on White Dwarf, which is a compliment, because old GW. Just needs a smidgen more in the production values dpt. But very very promising.
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Michael Niggel

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That's us!
Picture yourself walking down the aisles of City Market, Healthy Living, Hunger Mountain Co-op or wherever you go to buy your favorite Vermont food products....
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Amy Baska Sussman's profile photo
 
Neat!  PS, I love that Grace Under Fire bar.
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Michael Niggel

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We need another awesome web developer over here. Anyone interested?

Sometimes there's free bacon.
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Michael Niggel

Frame Builds  - 
 
Because farmers need frames, too.
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Christopher “HyveMynd” Stone-Bush's profile photoRaymond Bull's profile photoMarwan Marwan (‫مروان مروان‬‎)'s profile photo
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Looks good.  I've been doing a lot of building with Green and Lime lately, so it's nice to see someone else do it too.
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Michael Niggel

Frame Builds  - 
 
Thought I'd share these over here as well. I wanted to bring a coherent company to Boston for our meet in a couple weeks—something I haven't done previously because I don't have a huge brick collection. This is the result. More info and photos on Flickr and the hangar.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/24854099@N07/16922382427/

http://www.mobileframehangar.com/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=6190
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Raymond Bull's profile photoMichael Niggel's profile photoJoel Raynor's profile photoMarwan Marwan (‫مروان مروان‬‎)'s profile photo
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Great use of the Hero Factory armor pieces for the head!
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Michael Niggel

Actual Play  - 
 
Gameplay from 17 Aug 2014. Close, Intense, and hard fought.
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Michael Niggel

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Rest well, Mr. Vignelli. You will be missed.
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Michael Niggel

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I got a hold of an iPhone recently and had to wonder why the buttons were all caps but I was typing in lower case. When the keyboard can update its own appearance in real time, there's no reason not to show exactly you what you will get if you press a particular button right now.

Form vs function isn't a new debate, but I definitely side with those in favor of usability first.
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Michael Niggel

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Love it.
Vitamins is a multidisciplinary design and invention studio based in London. We are Magicians, Designers and Engineers.
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Amy Niggel's profile photo
 
You should totally tell Place to institute this :)
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Michael Niggel

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Great project.
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