HV Nixie DC-DC Switching Power Supply

  • Michail Papadimitriou
  • 42828
  • moderate
  • Tested


Nixie tubes need about ~180Vdc to light up and thus on most devices a DC-DC converter is needed. We designed here a simple DC-DC switching regulator capable of powering most of Nixie tubes.


The module is based on the MAX1771 Step-Up DC-DC Controller. This controller works up to 300kHz switching frequency and that allows the usage of miniature surface mount components. It accepts an input voltage from 12 to 16.5V and the output is factory configured to 12V. In this module the output voltage is configured higher at ~180Vdc using external resistors and a potentiometer.

The MAX1771 is driving an external N-channel MOSFET and with the help of the inductor and a fast diode, high voltage is produced.

MOSFET has to be low RDSon, Diode has to be fast Mttr, typically < 50nS and capacitors has to be low ESR to have good efficiency.

Additional precautions must be taken as this power supply uses high voltages. Build it only if you know what you are dealing with.



Parts List

Part Value Mouser #
R1 1.5 M – 0805 SMD 667-ERJ-6GEYJ155V
R2 10 k trimmer 652-3296W-1-103LF
R3 10 k – 0805 SMD 667-ERJ-P6WF1002V
Rs 0.05 Ohm
C1 100uF 647-UPW1J101MPD
C2 100nF – 0805 SMD 80-C0805C104K5R
C3 100nF – 0805 SMD 80-C0805C104K5R
C4 4.7uF / 250V 647-UPW2E4R7MPD
C5 100nF / 250V 667-ECW-U2104KC9
IC MAX1771 700-MAX1771ESA
L1 100uH / 1.8A 871-B82479A1104M
Q1 IRF644 844-IRF644
D2 MUR160 863-MUR160RLG
X1 screw terminal
X2 screw terminal





If you would like to receive a PCB, we can ship you one for 6$ (worldwide shipping) click here to contact us





  • Francois

    Hi, what is the nominal and or maximal output current @ 180V ?
    And you say that i can be powered from 2, to 16.5V. Is it really 2v or 12V ?
    Thank you !

    4 years ago
    • It can be powered from 12V to 16.5V. This is fixed in paragraph.

      1 year ago
  • ZF

    Poor Layout

    3 years ago
    • Dustin Williams

      where is your design ZF

      3 years ago
      • admin

        What do you mean with “ZF”?

        3 years ago

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