I like the notion of this clock. The nixie-like display is pretty cool. Assembly was easy, but understandably laborious, particularly the removal of the paper protecting the digits. I found what I thought was a easier way to remove the paper more quickly, and updated the instructions as such. That, incidentally, was my very first ever git pull request to make a main line change!
Soldering the board was uneventful, but some time was spent in cutting the leads to the buttons to minimize their height.
Once all the paper was removed from the digits, placing the digits into the top cover was simple. But, here's where issue lies. There's nothing to hold the digits into the top cover. There are three 3D printed straighteners to line the digits up, but some of the slots (where the digit goes) were really tight, causing me some concern about breaking them. And the straighteners, while they hold the digits in place fairly, there's nothing to hold them to the top cover. I would like to see a piece of clear acrylic that goes over the top of the digits to hold them down and in place. It seems that any movement of the clock causes some of the digits to move. I would also like to see another set of the straighteners, in clear plastic, to place atop the digits to help hold them in place.
But, all in all, I like the clock. Everyone who has seen it finds it interesting, and it is bright and easy to read from a distance.
Response from Foxie Products, LLC | March 14, 2020
Stuart, I sincerely appreciate this review and you're absolutely right about the digits. The acrylic thickness has been a real pain in the ... you know what. The mechanical design for those slots in the lid is for the digits to be a tight fit, so they don't fall out unless you really pull them out. The difficulty is that the thickness of the clear acrylic sheets can be +-10% from my supplier, which makes it impossible to cut the holes in the lid to *always* have a snug fit. My initial "solution" for that issue is the 3D printed digit positioners (the 3d printed plastic is a little more pliable than the acrylic), and for most people they have largely solved the problem. They aren't perfect though and I'm always working to improve the design. I'm not a mechanical engineer and have much to learn!