Hacked Gadgets Forum

June 12, 2013

DIY Vacuum Fluorescent Display Driver using a 555 Timer

at 5:40 am. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

 DIY Vacuum Fluorescent Display Driver using a 555 Timer


This DIY Vacuum Fluorescent Display Driver uses a 555 Timer to drive it. Most of us have used a 7 segment display before and they are very simply to power since they are just LEDs and it is very simply to power LEDs. Kerry Wong had a VFD but no driver, he built one using a 555 timer, a hand wound transformer and a hand full of other components.

“One of the key design considerations for the filament driver is the need to “float” the filament potential above the ground. This offset voltage is necessary to prevent ghosting (see this app note for more detailed explanation). Also in order for the illumination to be uniform, an AC drive current waveform from a center-tapped transformer is desired.”


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One Response to “DIY Vacuum Fluorescent Display Driver using a 555 Timer”

  1. George Johnson Says:

    Winding your own transformers are not that hard. The most important thing is the ratio of turns.
    I’ve got a basic design I’ve been using for years. Negative voltage, double voltage, isolated, negative double… does it all. Just a simple one to one, center tapped (both in and out). Two transistors, works great. Comes in handy for all kinds of stuff. Kinda noisy, and a power hog, but it’s one of those tools, when you need it, it’s there.

    Toroids are a great too, easy. Kinda hard to wind a lot of turns, but they’re easy to work with, and most of the time, you don’t even need that many turns. The one I use, is like ten turns, center tapped, so that’s twenty in and twenty out. That’s not a lot.
    I used to have some nice VF displays, but I never had much luck getting them to work.

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