Spark Core + RTC NTP Library + Smart Nixies

I’ve put one of the kickstarter spark cores to work setting the time on 6 Smart Nixie displays.

Here’s a g+ post with some pics:

The spark core fetches the time via NTP using SparkTime from then sends the current time to the Smart Nixies via the Serial1 object (not usb known as Serial, btw).

Since the spark core is 3.3v and the smart nixie is 5v (basically its an arduino uno), i had to level shift the serial data line. For the level shifting i’m currently using : (turns out i just need to level shift the TX line since the spark core only needs to send the time.)

Still to-do is to get the Spark Core and level shifter running off the 12v (which is needed for the Smart Nixies), and get a tidy package somehow piggybacked into/on the Smart Nixie case.


p.s. more info about Smart Nixie can be found here: I have no connection other than backing the kickstarter for it, which is here:


Those are very cool looking Nixie tube displays! I really like it.

Everybody should click-through to see the pictures in the g+ post!

1 Like

I didn’t realize the Smart Nixie project had shipped already, nice! Very cool!

Thanks for posting! :smile:


Nixie Tubes are way cool… I have a cool Nixie Tube project I did, but it’s not Spark Core related… They are so very mesmerizing to look at up close.

I love Nixies. Oh, and Dekatrons (which require almost 500V to fire!). Oops, I almost forgot Magic Eyes… Apparently anything that involves high voltage, vacuum, and extremely obsolete technology fires my guns…

Anyway, I put this together last week. It doesn’t use a SCore yet – but that could be an interesting project.


Dave B.