Category Archives: Nixie Tube Chess

Lasermad Nixie Chess Kit – 3/8/13 progress

Just wanted to showoff my progress on the Lasermad Nixie Chess Kit:


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Lasermad Nixie Chess Kit – Phase One

Phase One:  Doing just enough to test things…

All right, so everything is out of the box and organized.  But where to start?  There are three main parts to this project:

1. The board – soldering all the through-hole components to the large main PCB

2. The inductor coils – wrapping coils for all 64 spaces on the board and 32 playing pieces

3. The playing pieces – soldering all the surface mount components to the little PCBs

But what I really want is to get to a point where I can test my work.  The bare minimum needed to see if things are working is one row of the board completed, one board coil, one display coil, and finally a completed display PCB (attached to the display coil – obviously).  First thing needed is the board.  Without it I have nothing to mount the board coil to, and I want to be ready to test the playing piece the second I finish it.  So, on to the board!

I followed AndrewB’s image found at the Lasermad forum:

Main Board Single Row

The board is made up of 4 of these rows.  Each row runs from the white side of the board to the black side.  I completed the first row, closest to the power terminals.  There are some great instructions on the Lasermad site, but the pictures are from the original, homemade version of the board.  Those instructions with Andrew’s picture will tell you exactly which components go where.  So it’s just the simple task of placing the through-hole components through the right holes and soldering.

Next is the simplest, even if the most monotonous, task of wrapping the coils.  So let’s start with the board coil:

And yes, I’m in my pajamas.  Does it make me crazy that this is what I do in the middle of the night when my wife and kids are asleep?

Next time: Making the playing piece coil and PCB…

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Lasermad Nixie Chess Kit – The Package

I was one of the few masochistic enough to purchase the Nixie tube chess kit, designed and sold by Tony Adams from  I believe 50 kits were sold from the initial run and I’m “Board Number Forty-Eight”.  I wanted to do a write-up of my assembly of the kit, so others can see how crazy I am, and maybe a few people can learn from my mistakes and successes.

PART 1:  Opening “The Package”

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As you can see there is a plethora of parts.  Electronic components, PCB’s, casing (to give the finished kit a finished look), screws, etc.  But my favorite part is this one:

06 Made by Sean

“Designed by Tony Adams – Built by Sean Forrester”

Coming soon: How-to videos!

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