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14-segment LED Display Project

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smeezekitty:

--- Quote from: ElectroNick on December 07, 2012, 12:15:09 AM ---
--- Quote from: smeezekitty on December 06, 2012, 11:58:16 PM ---Another cool retro item is vacuum florescent displays.

--- End quote ---
True. Except for providing them with all the different voltages they need to operate (if they don't have a board attached that takes care of that).
I once got a grab bag of displays from All Electronics or a similar outfit - can't recall now - and most of the displays there were those "bare" VFDs. And "bare" LCDs, too, to make it more interesting :) I'm still waiting for having enough time to figure out how to feed those with proper power. Most of those VFDs are 7-segments and would make awesome clocks if I can bring myself to dealing with all that's needed to light them up...

--- End quote ---
VFDs usually only need two supplies.
The filament is generally between 2 and 4.5 voltages.
The supply for the anode and grid supply is between 7 and 50 volts depending on the type of display (this is easily produced with a 1 transistor boost converter - I have even powered a while display with two AA batteries this way).
You can search for more information on driving VFDs online.
The hardest part is actually how many lines they require to control.

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