Electronics > Repair

Replacement display for Datron 1271/1281 and possibly for 4950/4920 as well

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Some time ago I bought a working Datron 1271 multimeter, but as has happened other times, the shipment was not painless: the right VFD display arrived damaged.
The packaging had been done well enough but the instrument had two very thin adapters on the sides of the front for rack mounting.
The blows received during the transport concentrated on these adapters and broke the little glass tube that was used to create the vacuum in the VFD.
This display is essential for some operations, so I first looked for a spare but soon I realized that it is practically unobtainable.
So I tried, through the signals generated by the instrument, to convert the bits dedicated to the switching on of the individual pixels of the original display into characters and symbols to be sent to an LCD or better an OLED.
After a few unsuccessful attempts I finally succeeded in using a "Bluepill" as a development board and writing a dedicated program in 'C'.
The photos show some menus of the instrument with a 4002OLED display but an LCD can also be used.
I also made the final pcb but I'm still waiting for it to be delivered to me (I finished it just in time for the start of CNY ....).

If someone else is in the same condition as me I can give the gerbers, the schematics and the code, but first I have to wait for my pcb and check that the front cover of the instrument closes without problems...

doktor pyta:
display substitutes certainly deserves a place here  :-+
P.S. I didn't knew that finding suitable 1x40 VFD occurs to be such problem.

Good job  :-+

     Hmmh, while it's a job well done, it's a pity that you lost the original VFD.  It's emerald and by far the most beautiful display of all my DMMs.

Awesome work! The vacuum port is hanging out in such a dangerous place. I've operated my 4920M during repair with the front plastics removed and that thing has "break me" written all over it. Please do share everything you've created as others will certainly benefit from it.
Maybe we can get a matching left side display made too at some point.

The original VFD's are very nice, and a rather unique color it seems.


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