Author Topic: VFD tube clock project  (Read 3042 times)

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Offline kodon

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VFD tube clock project
« on: February 12, 2012, 02:54:30 am »
Check out my almost completed VFD tube clock!

One day I noticed a brief tutorial of numitron tubes in hack-a-day. I decided to order a set of those from eBay, but they turned out to be VFD tubes. No worries, they are actually even nicer than the yellow glowing numitron tubes. So I decided to make a small clock project...

The clock has an ATmega328 µC and DS1307 RTC with a coincell battery backup. Tubes are controlled with HEF4543 BCD-to-7SEG decoder/latch/drivers. Then there is two UNL2003 IC's and bunch of 0805 resistors/caps... and that's about it.

I could have done the tube board with 2 sided layout but I wanted the topside to be clean so I ended up with a single sided PCB. Therefore I had to use lots of that flat cable to power things up.

Enough yada yada...
Here is the clock in action:



It needs some finishing touches with the casing... Maybe a smaller box and holes to be drilled for the tubes. I maybe should have added a 12 Volt regulator and there were few minor bugs but they are now fixed.

So, waddya think? :)
« Last Edit: February 12, 2012, 02:57:12 am by kodon »
 

HLA-27b

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Re: VFD tube clock project
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2012, 03:51:24 am »
Nice one.
And the blue ones look better to me as well.
 

Offline wkb

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Offline Mint.

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  • Account is inactive now. Thanks everybody!
    • Personal Blog, Mint Electronics.
Re: VFD tube clock project
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2012, 08:26:36 pm »
Thats crazy! Awesome job! 8)
Personal Blog (Not Active Anymore), Mint Electronics:
http://mintelectronics.wordpress.com/
 

Offline kodon

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Re: VFD tube clock project
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2012, 07:43:47 am »
Thanks, maybe I'll post the schematics someday. This was made only for my own amusement, so nothing fancy has been done there with the layout. Also I modularized the project with the display board and the "driver board" to make things nicer (in a development point of view). I tend to be lazy with these things so I figured this is the only way to actually accomplish this project.
 

Offline steve_w

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Re: VFD tube clock project
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2012, 10:39:47 am »
Good job, now make it so the alarm can be set at a different time for weekdays and weekends and my wife will let me get one :-)

regards

Steve W
So long and thanks for all the fish
 

Offline amyk

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Re: VFD tube clock project
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2012, 09:19:05 pm »
I like the blue color too.
 

Offline Harvs

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Re: VFD tube clock project
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2012, 10:16:24 pm »
Looks real nice.  Great little project.

For future reference, there's really no need to buy a separate RTC device when using a ATmega328p (or was that the non-pico power version you had?)  The only thing is it's a bit more work getting all the sleep modes sorted when going into battery backup.  That and the oscillator pins are the same as the main crystal oscillator pins, so you have to use the internal RC oscillator.  Anyway, just a thought that may save you a few $.
 


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