A Nixie tube clock morphs into something new: checkmate.

Written and photographed by Tony Adams

I’VE ALWAYS BEEN FASCINATED BY the glow of ionized gases, but never got around to putting together a Nixie tube clock — the whole craze of the last decade seemed to pass me by. When I finally decided to make one, I knew it would have to be something a little different to stand out. I wanted to do it without wires, not just hidden but wireless, powered inductively by coils acting as an air-cored transformer.

Building the first single-digit modules, I thought they looked a little like chess pieces. A crazy idea started to form, one that ...

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