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Digitally Adjustable High-Voltage Power Supply for Nixie Tubes

Set the output voltage via I²C, no conventional potentiometer needed!

This revolutionary capability and other useful features greatly simplify building a Nixie Tube Project!

You can buy this module in my Tindie Store!

I sell on Tindie

Overview

This module supplies all the important voltages needed for a Nixie Tube Clock or any other project that needs voltages up to 175V at a few milliamps.

In addition to the high voltage, it also has two other, low voltage rails: 3.3V and 5V! These can power the microcontroller, sensors, LEDs etc.

The module is powered by a single 12V DC supply.

What's really unique about my design is the ability to precisely set the output voltage for the Nixie Tubes I²C. This enables a whole range of possibilities, since the voltage is not always constant and doesn't need to be set with a potentiometer manually.

Here's an overview of all features:

  • 12V DC input
  • Outputs:
    • 85V to 175V @ 20mA max
    • 5V @ 1.5Amax
    • 3.3V @ 500mA max
  • Advanced control capabilities:
    • Shutdown of high-voltage generation
    • Precise setting of high-voltage output via I²C
  • MAX1771 control IC

This module is easy to use and can be controlled by any microcontroller with I²C. Examples on how to use it are provided for the Arduino environment.

IMG_20210615_213849

Features

I made this module since I needed a HV PSU for a smaller 4-tube Nixie Clock. Since the space on the main PCB was limited, I decided to make a standalone power supply that could later be fitted into the base of the clock.

Here's a comprehensive list of all the features.

High voltage and common low voltage outputs

Board only

The module outputs an adjustable high voltage and in addition to that 5V and 3.3V. Both of which can be used to power a microcontroller and peripherals.

  • 85V to 175V @ 20mA max
  • 5V @ 1.5Amax
  • 3.3V @ 500mA max

All outputs are derived from one 12V input.

Easily adjustable output voltage

Adjusting the output voltage is easy and can be done quickly! Much faster than the video shows actually. In total, 128 individual steps are possible.

Simple integration

IMG_20210614_100540

With its connectors and small size, the module can be integrated into basically any project!

Pinout diagram

Nixie_PSU_Pinout

 

 

This handy file will help you to quickly grasp all important details!

 

Hardware

Mechanical specs

The size of the PCB is 53mm by 40mm.

There is an M3 mounting hole on each corner, 4mm from the side.

2mm-pitch connectors are used for the On-Off switch, the high-voltage output and the control / low-voltage supply rails.

See the provided PDF file for exact dimensions for all relevant parts.

3D Model

Here's a 3D model of the PSU.

Sometimes the model does not load properly, to fix it try to rotate it by dragging.

     

Software

Overview

gps_code_example

The provided code snippets are written for the Arduino IDE.

Due to the simplicity it shouldn't be an issue to port it to other platforms.

The code is available on the projects GitHub page.

Photos

Here are some additional images of the project.


The module is mounted in the first prototype 3D-printed case.

IMG_20210614_100103

Here the main Nixie Clock PCB was added and the wires have all been connected.

IMG_20210614_100540

A detailed image of the top-side...

IMG_20210709_213702

 


... and the bottom as well!

IMG_20210709_213746
3D-Render-Transparent

 


A finished module, right after reflow soldering.

(note that this image shows an earlier revision with slight differences to part placements, features etc.)

IMG_20210109_112339
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