Nixie clocks are popular projects right now, but let’s mix things up with Flora, a clock which uses glorious VFD tubes!
Fully assembled Flora not only looks fantastic but it’s also a well-designed and constructed clock. It connects to WiFi and uses the Network Time Protocol (NTP) so no worries about it losing accuracy. Flora has its own web portal for configuration and it’s simple to set up features like daylight saving adjustments when you need them. It has adjustable brightness and the VFD’s are driven via 6 bit PWM at 100Hz which means there is no perceivable flicker.
Under the hood, it’s a NodeMCU/D1 mini running the show and it’s pre-programmed via a Arduino IDE. The source code and the hardware is all open source, so you can tinker with the code or indeed build your own from scratch. It’s powered and programmed via the micro USB port and consumes less than 500mA even on it’s brightest setting.
The base is 3D printed PLA which looks great and (as it’s open source) the files are available to you to periodically print a new look for your supercool clock!