Itron FG95H1 VFD

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<flickr>4035850863|m|right</flickr>

Background

  • Purchase Location: This part was purchased at Mendelson's for $1.
  • 9 Digit 7-Segment display with a period seperator.
  • After some research it has been determined that it is a Vacuum Florescent Display
  • It has 19 pins, and I believe I have traced each pin's purpose.

Pins

  1. High, or ground, not sure yet.
  2. Top Left
  3. Middle
  4. Bottom Left
  5. Period
  6. Digit 1 activation
  7. Digit 2 activation
  8. Digit 3 activation
  9. Digit 4 activation
  10. Digit 5 activation
  11. Digit 6 activation
  12. Digit 7 activation
  13. Digit 8 activation
  14. Digit 9 activation
  15. Bottom
  16. Bottom Right
  17. Top Right
  18. Top
  19. High, or ground, not sure yet.

How it works

Any knowledge from this section is coming from Ladyada's writeup of her Ice Tube VFD Clock. I am not sure yet, but this is how I think it works. Only 1 digit is lit up at a time, but you cycle through the digits so fast that it appears they are all lit up at the same time. So in this case, if you wanted to display 1 on digit 5, you would set pin 10 high to "select" digit 5, then set pins 16 and 17 high to "select" the two right segments.

Tests

Tested it and have it working, however I do not yet know how to incorporated it with the arduino. From the online guides I have read for similar displays, you need to apply somewhere between 1.5v and 3v to the filament, then use from 14v to 24v for the actual digits and segments. For my first test I did the following:

  • Hook 3.5v to a 240 ohm resistor to drop the voltage to 1.5v for the filament. I figured I should start on the low side to be safe.
  • Hook 12v up to the segments and digits.

Using this strategy I have had success. I can manually probe each segment and get it to light up. However, at the moment I am currently wondering how I am going drive this since it requires at least 12v to power it, and it is fairly dim @ 12v. Maybe there is a chip I can use?

Online References