The VFD Modular Clock is a clock based on old-fashioned VFD Display
VFD is short for Vacuum Flourescent Display. A VFD display is
typically green or blue, and emits a bright light with high
contrast. VFD Displays are often found in car radios.
A VFD Display tube looks like an old Vacuum Tube, the predecessor to
the transistor. The inside of the tube contains segments that can be
lit up to form numbers and letters. Most tubes contain segments for
one digit, and several must be stacked together to make a complete
The clock itself is modular, it comes with a base board, which is
powered by an Atmega32U4 microcontroller and contains a high-voltage
VFD driver that is used to light up the display shield that sits
on the top board.
There are several different display shields available.
This option is for the base board with the IV-22 display shield. It
contains 6 top-view numeric 7-segment Russian VFD tubes.
The display is blue/green.
To buy the clock with a different display shield, click on the picture below:
Each shield is coded with a 3-bit numerical indentifier. This allows
the firmware to automatically recognize the shield that is plugged
in and it will adjust the display automatically. Support for shields
added in the future will be released as firmware upgrades.
- Modular design: The display tube shields are swappable
- HV5812 VFD driver with 20 outputs: Can drive up to four 16-segment
alphanumeric displays or twelve 7-segment numerical displays.
- Open source firmware (available at GitHub)
- DS3231M Real Time Clock with battery backup
- ATMega32U4 microcontroller with Arduino Leonardo Bootloader
The firmware has shield detection built in, so it knows which Tube
shield is plugged in, and adjusts the output accordingly.
With the IV-22 numberic display shield, you get six characters.
It will also display letters, but since there are only 7 segments,
some letters are shown in a stylized form.
Enclosure not included.