Author Topic: Driving Pinlite DIP-1050 alphanumerical filament displays/ minitrons  (Read 494 times)

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Offline Amper

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A few years ago i got my hands on a lot of 5 of these amazing gold dust displays. Sadly they are so rare that i could not find any data on them so i decided to try my luck and just slowly power them up. They are just glorified lightbulbs so what could possibly go wrong? Well, they lit up but not evenly. The filaments start to softly glow in one place but over several tens of seconds that place shrinks smaller and smaller into a tiny hotspot until the segment dies. In my inexperienced youthful excitement i thought maybe they were faulty (tough very unlikely since they are NOS from starfighter avionics...) so i killed segments in two further units. Now today im left with three damaged ones and two in mint condition. Id really like to put them to use but im afraid to ruin more.

So long story short: Does someone here have experience with this kind of displays? maybe some datasheet? Is there a trick to them? I tried to just apply the full (guessed) voltage instantly and even though the entire filament will light up evenly it still develops ireversable hot spots after just minutes.

« Last Edit: December 18, 2018, 01:19:06 am by Amper »

Offline synare

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Re: Driving Pinlite DIP-1050 alphanumerical filament displays/ minitrons
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2020, 01:35:41 am »
I know this is an old topic, but I just came across it and thought I'd pass along some info in case anyone is still listening. These are terrific little pieces of electronics history.

Like you found, there really isn't any info out there on these displays. I saved a pile of them from the trash a few years ago and had success in making a foosball table scoreboard from a couple of them driven by an arduino and other parts.

They take ~5v and draw a fair amount of current, quite a bit more than LED displays. Maybe you gave yours too high of voltage or the cases were leaky and the filaments burned out, or maybe your circuit just couldn't supply the current needed? There really isn't much to them otherwise.

Here are links to the only 2 sites I've found with pinout and power info:

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