• EEVblog #717 – How To Hack Vacuum Fluorescent Displays


    Dave explains what Vacuum Fluorescent Displays (VFD’s) are, how they work, and then hacks an interface and reverse engineers a surplus display from an industrial machine to make it work with an Arduino.

    UPDATE: Found the datasheet

    Another page with info on a different model:

    Forum HERE

    TI TL4810 VFD Driver chip

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      • Patrick

        Good work! =) Would have been nice to see you using the Analog Discovery for that.. because as you might remember you have a pattern generator in this and even in the static-I/O menu you can have a slider from 0 to 255 for a whole 8bit 🙂

      • Ron G

        I really liked this one, Dave. You made a complicated display understandable. If I had one like yours, I would be hacking my own. I’ll keep my eyes out for one in our company recycling area.

      • Ivan Berton

        Nice video, I like this stuff. VFD`s are cool…actually hot, Nixie tubes are cool.

        What`about the Indiana Jones HO scale model train set, does Sagan not threaten you?

      • Dean K.

        Thanks Dave! Really like the reverse engineering videos… the step-by-step problem solving makes them even more interesting than your straight tutorial videos.

      • blipton

        So just with a 5v supply it’s able to generate the high voltage AC?

        Do VFDs suffer from burn-in like plasma TVs?

        Also, how does the multiplexing work?

      • Chris Peters

        Great video. How about a short follow up video dealing with VFD’s that loose their brightness over time. I work on lots of equipment for the mid 1980’s that use VFD’s with dedicated readout information (not dot-matrix) and these tend top loose their brightness over time. If there is a way to resolve the brightness issue, it will make the repairs of these models more complete

      • Pingback: VFD hacking – VFD240W.401 | Jan's bits and bytes()

      • Riccardo Macri

        Good stuff. You might be able to move the cursor by sending control codes, eg: Ctrl-H. It probably has full cursor control.

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