Nixie chess set gives your game the warm glow of tubes

Plenty of people make artsy-fartsy chess sets, but few have managed to combine the nerdiness of chess with the retro-geekiness of vintage Nixie tubes quite as artfully as this induction powered beauty.

Nixie tubes were an early form of electronic data display used from the 1950s into the 1970s before LED and LCD displays were developed. Each tube has a stack of wire grids, that can be illuminated to form letters and numbers. Luckily for us, the Soviet Union continued to use the outdated technology well into the 1980's, so there's a healthy supply of the old tubes even today.

"Tony" over at Lasermad decided to make a chess set using Nixies, but had to find a way to power the tube heaters that light up the numbers. His stroke of genius was in developing an induction power system, similar to the way those phone charger pads can power up your cellphone with no plug-in wire needed.

As you can see in the video, the pieces go dark when you lift them off the board, but reveal their identities again when you put them on their square.

Tony plans to offer the set as a kit, but warns that it will take a pretty long time for even an experienced kit builder to assemble. No cost has been announced.

Lasermad, via OhGizmo!

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