Scott's Nixie Tube Clock

(c) SB-Software / Scott M. Baker,


Scott's Nixie Tube Clock is a clock for your windows desktop that displays the time using really cool old displays, like nixie tubes and vacuum fluorescent displays (VFD). Photographic-quality semi-transparent backgrounds are used so that the clock blends in with you windows desktop perfectly!


Installation is very straightforward -- the built in install program should install the software to a program group in your start menu, as well as place an icon on your desktop. It's all automatic, and there's a built in uninstall program that should be able to get rid of everything if you decide you don't want the software.

Quick Start:

  1. Launch the program (via start menu, desktop icon, or whatever....)
  2. The clock will display on your screen. You can click and drag it to where you want
  3. You can right click to quit the clock, configure the clock, etc.


Some quick background on Nixie Tubes:

"In a Nixie Tube display each numeral is a complete, lighted cathode in the shape of the numeral. The cathodes are stacked so that different numerals appear at different depths, unlike a planar display in which all numerals are on the same plane relative to the viewer. The anode is a transparent metal mesh wrapped around the front of the display. The tube is filled with the inert gas neon with a small amount of mercury. When an electric potential of 180 to 200 volts DC is applied between the anode and any cathode, the gas near the cathode breaks down and glows. The digits glow with a orange-red color. " (Ref: University of Connecticut)

... And some background on VFDs:

"The vacuum fluorescent display (VFD) gives a bright display when an LCD would be too dim. It has a thermionic cathode and an anode of luminescent material in a suitable pattern. The flow of electrons is controlled by a grid between the cathode and anode, just as in a triode vacuum tube, but in an off-on fashion." (Ref: University of Denver)


>>> To access the settings page, right clock on the face of the clock <<<

The settings page holds all of the wonderful clock setting options. There are two different sizes of clocks available: large and small, and there are two different styles: nixie and vfd.

The "always on top" option will make the clock always appear above all other windows. You can use this to make it stay on top of the windows taskbar, too.

The "load on startup" option will load the clock every time you boot.

"24 hour mode" toggles between a 24-hour and 12-hour clock. A 12-hour clock only goes up to 12:00, and then starts over at 1:00. In 24-hour mode (military time), the clock keeps going after 12:00, to 13:00, all the way up to 23:59.


You are free to use this software for noncommercial use. If you want to contribute to the project, feel free to visit and check out my other software, and register some of my programs!

Complete registration information is available at

Registrations may be paid for online in a variety of methods (credit card, etc), or may be made through the mail. See the website site at


The nixie tube pictures and numerals that were used for the nixie display were used from Jason Harper's website at

As of yet, I'm unsure of where the VFD display image came from (if it came from you, let me know!)

Revision History