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Different VFD controller?
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Different VFD controller?

by kraftphysics on Fri Oct 09, 2009 12:54 am

I found this kit online and wanted to experiment with controlling different older VFD tubes, and so far it works great! I am intrigued, though, at how the clock displays alphabetic characters. There are two questions I have for the group:

1) I have a store of IV-18 tubes I would like to use as displays for several projects I am working on (Coordinate readout for telescope control for one) and I really like the circuit design of the Ice Tube kit for how it handles the display, but I can't find the MAX chips in quantities less than 2500 anywhere. Does anybody have a source?

2) I would like to try building this circuit using another type of tube I have, which is an IV-4 alphanumeric tube. I can connect them in series and create a multi-segment display, I just need a chip like the MAX chips on this clock that will handle a 16, 17, or 18 segment display x 8-10 digits. I was going to start by modifying the existing clock kit to accept the new tubes...

Thanks,

Justin.

P.S. Please pardon any typos, I have a large bandage on my left hand which makes it difficult to type. Finger vs. Carbide drill bit. Guess who won.
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Re: Different VFD controller?

by adafruit on Fri Oct 09, 2009 1:57 am

you can sample/buy maxim chips for free/cheap via maxim-ic.com

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Re: Different VFD controller?

by kraftphysics on Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:39 am

I know, but I have 20 tubes, and the person I spoke with at Maxim cut me off at 5...

I need at least eight for the coordinate display unit that I'm building (three for the telescope, two for the dome, one "Easter standard" clock, one siderial clock, one UTC clock, and one exposure countdown). Is there a similar chip that performs the same function, but is available through Digikey or Mouser?

--Justin.
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Re: Different VFD controller?

by hinermad on Fri Oct 09, 2009 11:35 am

Digi-Key lists the STMicroelectronics part STM86312 which is supposed to be a VFD driver. They'll take orders for onesies and they claim to have a few hundred in stock, unlike the Maxim parts that are non-stock and mave minimum orders of 28+ depending on the part. I haven't looked at the datasheet so I don't know if the STM part is even close to what you need, though.

Dave

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Re: Different VFD controller?

by adafruit on Fri Oct 09, 2009 11:47 am

you can purchase 20 chips from maxim, just use their website

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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.