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Flickering & Dim Segments
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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.

Flickering & Dim Segments

by rsc on Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:47 am

My clock assembly seemed to go smoothly and when initially turned on all systems looked good ... other than the 2nd digit of the 'seconds' display and the AM/PM marker - the two far left & right digits - are dim compared to all the others. As time passed ( ~10 minutes), some of the digits started to flicker - randomly - first it was the 1st digit of the 'minutes' display and then, after turning the clock off and on, the flickering move to the 'hour' digit. Then, after turning it off/on again the problem moved to the 'seconds' digits. Pretty weird, eh? If I turn it off for awhile and come back and turn it on all the digits are stable for awhile before flickering begins. If I let it continue to flicker the flickering gets progressively worse and the digit will eventually completely shut off/disappear. Turn it off for awhile and come back and turn it on and all is OK, for awhile.

Even with the flickering continuing, the clock maintains time and all menu functions are selectable. No segments within the display are missing, before the flickering begins.

I have redone all the solder joints on the tube and headers with no change in performance/results.

Any thoughts?

rsc
 
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Re: Flickering & Dim Segments

by adafruit_support_bill on Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:11 am

If you post some photos showing all your soldering and connections we'll see if we can spot any potential issues.

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Re: Flickering & Dim Segments

by rsc on Sat Feb 09, 2019 1:07 pm

Thank you for your quick response. I've attached some photos. You've probably never see such poor soldering - I am new at this and old! ;-).
Attachments
rsc clock soldering photos.pdf
(219.95 KiB) Downloaded 6 times

rsc
 
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Re: Flickering & Dim Segments

by adafruit_support_bill on Sat Feb 09, 2019 1:40 pm

Ah! An Ice Tube. We don't see many of those these days. We unfortunately had to discontinue the Ice Tube a while ago due to the scarcity of the VFD tubes.

Can you read the markings on Q3? Earlier versions of the kit shipped with a ZVP3306A as part of the voltage boost circuit for the display. We later switched to a ZVP2110A for more stable operation.

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Re: Flickering & Dim Segments

by rsc on Sat Feb 09, 2019 1:59 pm

Again, thanks for the quick response! Yes, it is the older ZVP 3306. Do you think this is the problem? If so, where might I get a replacement?
Attachments
IMG_3848.jpg
IMG_3848.jpg (82.58 KiB) Viewed 181 times

rsc
 
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Re: Flickering & Dim Segments

by adafruit_support_bill on Sat Feb 09, 2019 2:42 pm

We do not stock these anymore since the kits have been discontinued. But you should be able to find one at Mouser or DigiKey.

https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Di ... %2Fw%3D%3D

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Re: Flickering & Dim Segments

by rsc on Sat Feb 09, 2019 2:55 pm

Thank you, hopefully that does the trick!

rsc
 
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Re: Flickering & Dim Segments

by rsc on Sat Feb 16, 2019 7:51 pm

I got one of the ZVP2110A and just replaced the old ZVP3306A. That did the trick - no more flickering! The last digit of the seconds display is still dim compared to all the others, but otherwise the clock works perfectly. Any thoughts on correcting the dim digit/segments? Notice in the photo, how all the other digits have a glowing halos compared to the last digit of the seconds.
Attachments
Dim Digit.jpg
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rsc
 
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Re: Flickering & Dim Segments

by adafruit_support_bill on Sun Feb 17, 2019 7:39 am

It is normal for these clocks to show a brightness gradient with digits to the right getting dimmer. There are several threads on the topic if you search the forums. Forum member jarchie has done a lot of work with these clocks and has some hacks to improve the performance.

viewtopic.php?p=223266#p223266

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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.