Lasermad has executed a brilliant move with his glowing chess set made from recycled vintage Russian Nixie tubes. Each piece is illuminated without any visible wires, and emits a warm light when at rest on the board. Beautiful and inspired, the design may just be as ingenious as the game itself.
Chessboards have long been decorative objects, and Lasermad creation could certainly be considered amongst the best and brightest. The simple appearance of the chess board conceals the intricate circuitry underneath. The device is made from salvaged Russian Nixie tubes, bolts, coils, wires, and a host of other elements than can be found at a hardware or electronics store.
Each piece sports touches of brass and gilding – materials contemporary to the time period when Nixie tubes were widely used. Instead of using numeric Nixies to mark the pieces, IN-7 and IN-A tubes were made to display scientific symbols. The whole arrangement is powered by 64 air-core transformers beneath the surface of the board, making the tubes function like an induction charger.
Lasermad is planning to offer a kit version of the entire configuration and will be available for purchase. A future glass-topped board showcasing the inner components is also currently in the works. Keep current with Tony and his projects by following his blog.