Some things just shouldn't be done, like converting a World War II era Douglas DC-3 airplane's engine from its original twin multi-cylinder radials to jet-engine-powered turboprops; it violates nature's rules. Another example might be installing a digital speedometer in a vintage pickup truck. I say 'might' because thanks to Luke Miller's ingenuity, his 1953 International pickup truck - indeed the world - now has a proven plan for a GPS-driven, two-digit speedometer featuring a Nixie tube numerical display. A two-part article on the EE Times website provides the theory of operation and the details for constructing the Nixie tube speedometer. Why GPS-driven, you might ask? It was evidently simpler - and more impressive - to do so than to tap into the truck's speedometer cable and implement a sensor. An added benefit is portability. This looks like a Kickstarter opportunity for commercial productization if there ever was one.
2-Digit, GPS-Driven, Nixie Tube Speedometer, by Luke Miller
In other Nixie tube news, the Nixie Chessboard DIY kit is now available for sale just in time for Christmas! The price is $399, a mere pittance of a sum when you consider it includes 32 Nixie tubes and all the required parts, even the 12V power supply. Unfortunately, if you want give it as a gift, you'll have to wrap a promise for delivery in 2014 because its popularity has caused a stock depletion.
Posted December 18, 2013