Thursday, September 28, 2017


2017 SEP 24

I bought several VFD tubes (NOS) from an ebay seller (look for old_guy_radiola).

With a datasheet from a similar tube RadioShack once sold, many aeons ago, and a pin diagram for this device that I found on another webpage, I began experimenting almost immediately.

This is the 'final' demo circuit.
The segment anodes are pulled up, externally, with 10K resistors. Each '2003 output shunts the segment anode to which it's connected. CG is the control grid, it's a display enable for mux'ing.
[ i.e. logic input HI → output LO (to Gnd.) → segment Off ]
The filament runs on 1.5V

Basically a static demo at this point.
I will work out an Arduino sketch, for the Update, that will run the numbers (DEC and HEX), do BIN with the horizontal segments and a chase routine. (segment_a, _b, _c, _d, _e, _f, _a, _b,...)

The "A" looks odd because of the segment geometries were likely optimized for presenting numerals (there is a Segment h, a little nub for a more pleasing "4"). Segment c is kind of long. I will see how an "a" looks in comparison.
2017SEP30 - Update
I made the demo (as promised, but less the HEX part, too lazy)

All Electronics has an excellent Noritake dot-matrix VFD. Accepts data Asynch, SPI, I2C.
This pic shows double-size characters.

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