Ice Tube Vfd Clock Kit: Time to Get Retro
October 13th, 2009
There are certainly a ton of different ways to tell time, but this retro-modern digital clock is definitely one of the cooler designs I’ve seen in a while.
The Ice Tube clock ($70 USD) gets its brilliant blue display thanks to an old-school Russian-issued VFD (vacuum fluorescent display) tube. It’s set inside of a spiffy clear acrylic shell, which lets you see its internal circuitry whenever you want. Each tube has 8 glowy blue digits, as well as a dot indicator for PM and an alarm on/off indicator.
While the Ice Cube kit includes everything you need to build a standard alarm clock with day/date functionality, both hardware and software are open source, so you can mod this to do something else if you want – say display text messages or run the time backwards.
Keep in mind that the circuit generates very high voltages (up to 70 VDC), so you’ll need significant electronics, soldering and kit-building experience if you want one of these sitting on your bookshelf (and not catching your house on fire). If you’re up to the build challenge, head on over to Adafruit and place your order.