Multipurpose Raspberry Pi driven VFD display

There are so many things you would like to check once you enter your room. This can be weather, time, or even Bitcoin price. Lostengineer was working on something similar. He attachedc VFD display to Raspberry Pi which connects to internet with USB wireless adapter. He wanted that display would activate itself once he enters the room, so he connected PIR motion sensor. If nobody is home, display enters sleep mode. The display he had accepts serial data, what makes it even easier to interface. Operation is controlled by Python script which pulls required and sends to display. Project is still in progress, but it is promised to be open source. Continue reading

VFD tube alarm clock

Haris purchased few IV-11 VFD tubes and decided to build nice looking alarm clock. The tubes itself look impressive when lit. Instead of leaving them as is he also added and RGB LED under each tube. This way Haris could fill them with different color upon menu selection. Currently he chosen Green to indicate time, Blue – date and Red to show alarm time. The clock runs under Atmga8 microcontroller clocked with 32,768kHz crystal. So no additional RTC IC were used. Tubes require 60V to light up. So there is a simple boost converter on board which converts 12 to 60V. AVR MCU drives it with PWM signal. IF power goes off there is a backup battery that keeps it running without glitch. Continue reading