It's kind of end of summer, already
I honestly did not expected the nixie clock to take so long to build, and my goal has failed, I did not finished it for end of August.
To be honest, it's fine, better to not rush something as expensive as a nixie clock to avoid doing careless errors which could lead to disastrous consequences.
Today I got the top layer PCB, the missing piece now is the motherboard.
I'll finish it, hopefully before 2021 as classes will start soon and will take me a lot of time.
I guess it's time for me to draw conclusions about what I learnt while doing this project:
• PCB designing is honestly fun on an occasional basis, I wouldn't like to do that all day though, it can become quite tedious quickly.
• Nixie tubes are fascinating and not that hard to control when you have the right components
• 170V power supply are tricky to find
• Programming on a STM32 is really fun and interesting, will do that again instead of using a Raspberry Pi or an Arduino, there's much more control, at the expense of having fewer ready-to-go libraries
• I did too much OOP for a clock again
• I DO NOT recommend to wire up a nixie clock without a PCB, it's just hell
• The common DS3231 RTC module has big problems, like having a """charging""" circuit which is just more dangerous than anything else because it does not have any protection and this module is often used with non rechargeable Lithium coin batteries, in my case it's mostly fine for now as I run everything under 3.3V so it doesn't charge the battery, I added on the motherboard a pin based switch to use 5V the day I recreate a similar module with an actual charge circuit (hopefully the motherboard will be enoughly future-proof).
• Discovered this community, which is very cool, you are all super cool and supportive :D
I really hope I'll be able to finish the nixie clock soon, and once finished I really hope I am able to show you all the final result.
Thanks a lot for supporting this project ;)
Began to work on the algorithm for the nixie tube array through shift registers!
I had a little trouble with a part of the code which resulted into an infinite loop because I forgot about unsigned integers and decrementation while writing the code.
In the screenshot look for the nixies variable which is the result of the work on that algorithm. (and nixie.hpp/nixie.cpp)
And I pushed it to GitHub (github.com/LambdAurora/nixie_clock/commit/04bec99740df109aa000040f4ac211a3f8c4e43f)!