Geek Chess: Nixie Tubes as Board Pieces [Video]

By Jason Fitzpatrick on June 27th, 2012

We’ve seen some geeky chessboards in our day, but this board is a masterpiece of geekiness. Check out the video to see the Nixie tubes in action.

Courtesy of a tinker named Tony, we find this delightfully analog and geeky chess set. He writes:

This developed as a spinoff from the hardware and controllers I’m designing for a range of nixie clocks and watches as a ‘simple’ project that wouldn’t need much software to complete it.

All visible parts are made from materials contemporary with Nixie technology and no modern plastics or resins are used anywhere in its’ consruction (other than the electronic components and PCBs). The board and pieces are machined from phenolic resin laminate and assembled using brass fittings. The brown base pieces have been filled and wiped with gold and silver engravers wax, giving a ‘worn gilding’ appearance.

The displays are ex-Soviet Nixie gas display tubes, manufactured in the early 1980s. No Chinese LEDs here…

Hit up the link below for more videos and high-resolution photos of the set.

Nixie Tube Chess [via Hack A Day]

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 06/27/12
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