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Old 11th September 2002, 04:16 PM   #1
BrianGT is offline BrianGT  United States
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Default Where to get a decent VFD?

I am building a PIC18F452 based microcontroller pga2311 based remote control volume control unit, and I am looking for a decent Vacuum Fluorescent Display (VFD) for it. Digikey carries Noritake VFDs, but that is all that I can find. Has anyone had any experience with the Noritake units, or can recommend another unit that works good?

Something like this would be nice:
Click the image to open in full size.

but due to the high price, I would be fine with something like this:
Click the image to open in full size.

Any advice on VFDs is appreciated.

Thanks,

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Old 11th September 2002, 05:37 PM   #2
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Hi Brian,

I've used a Noritake VFD in my preamp - you might have already seen me mention it before, but if not have a look on my homepage for details...

It's rather nice - it's compatable with the industry-standard LCD interface, which makes things nice and easy. Current consumption is less than 200mA - that's comparable to a typical LCD backlight. It runs from a single 5V supply, has software-controlled brightness and shutdown modes, and lots of pre-defined characters for things like bargraphs, etc.

I bought a 16x2 and 20x2 from Farnell - both were around 35UKP

Cheers,

Mark
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Old 11th September 2002, 07:42 PM   #3
BrianGT is offline BrianGT  United States
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Mark,

Thanks for your reply. Your finished pre-amp looks great!

Do you know what the part numbers of the VFDs were?

Thanks,

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Old 11th September 2002, 07:49 PM   #4
BrianGT is offline BrianGT  United States
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I checked Digikey, and the 16x2 was $54 and the 20x2 was $60.

I called up Noritake, and they sell the 7000 direct for around $90:
http://www.noritake-elec.com/7000.htm

Do you think that it would be harder to use this lcd? It has a lot of features.
Click the image to open in full size.

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Old 11th September 2002, 08:46 PM   #5
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Default VFD etc

Quote:
Originally posted by mhennessy
Hi Brian,

I've used a Noritake VFD in my preamp - you might have already seen me mention it before, but if not have a look on my homepage for details...

It's rather nice - it's compatable with the industry-standard LCD interface, which makes things nice and easy. Current consumption is less than 200mA - that's comparable to a typical LCD backlight. It runs from a single 5V supply, has software-controlled brightness and shutdown modes, and lots of pre-defined characters for things like bargraphs, etc.

I bought a 16x2 and 20x2 from Farnell - both were around 35UKP

Cheers,

Mark
Hi Mark,

Great preamp! Looks very professional.
What relays did you use for source switching? What are those serial-in, parallel-out chips, 74165's?

Jan Didden
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Old 11th September 2002, 09:57 PM   #6
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Question for mhennessy: What are the details on the illuminated switches on your preamp? Manufacturer, part number, etc.? Thanks

BeanZ
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Old 12th September 2002, 06:11 AM   #7
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Quote:
Do you think that it would be harder to use this lcd? It has a lot of features.
LCD displays can be replaced by VFD displays. The software to drive both displays are the same. A lot of examples can be found on the web. Since the screen saver feature is part of the VFD driver it shouldn't be a problem. I don't know what you're expierence is with software but I am always willing to help.

Marco Ensing (embedded software designer)
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Old 12th September 2002, 01:23 PM   #8
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Hi Brian,

That 7000 display looks cool - wish I'd seen it sooner! I don't know how easy Noritake are to deal with, but I might try to purchase one for my next project - or a preamp rebuild!

The Noritake Itron part number for my display is CU20025ECPB-U1J

I've not been able to check the spec of the 7000 display, so I don't know how easy it is to use.... But, I would guess that if you are happy with the normal Hitachi-compatible displays, it shouldn't be to difficult. Let us know how you get on.


Jan,

The relays came from Farnell, and were quite cheap (about 1.3UKP in quantity). They use the standard "BT" footprint, so it would be easy enough to change them for better ones if necessary. If you like, I could look up the exact part numbers at the weekend - let me know...

The driver IC's are UCN5821A's - these are excellent IC's that I highly recommend... Shame that Allegro's samples programme is a bit poor - I had to send about 5 emails to get the 2 samples that I ended up using. Farnell sell them for around 5UKP each, but if you buy 10 that price comes down to around 2UKP


BeanZ,

Those switches are made by Unimec (I think) - they also came from Farnell. You buy the switch bodies and caps seperately (part numbers 311-3760 and 678-077). If you can, check the Farnell catalogue, because there is a huge range of switches and cap styles these days - you can also choose non-illuminated if you prefer...


MEnsing,

You're right for the VFD that I used, because that has an LCD-compatible interface. But, be careful - I don't think that they all use that interface. Indeed, being LCD-compatible is a big selling point of the VFD I bought.

That said, I'm sure that if you are able to write code for one sort of display, it's not too difficult to re-write it for another. Final thing - I'm using my LCD-compatible VFD in 4-bit interface mode. I'm guess that other sorts of interfaces would not support this...?
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Old 19th September 2002, 06:57 PM   #9
BrianGT is offline BrianGT  United States
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Mark,

I ordered the VFD direct from Noritake. It came out to $96 USD, and with shipping, just under $100.

Here is the datasheet that they sent me:
http://brian.prohosting.com/gu140x32f-7002_e03.pdf

It has a TON of features that should be nice.

I have my PIC18F452 running with the PGA2310 now, and am able to control the volume.

I am using the Microcontroller board that came with this book:
http://www.picbook.com/images/book_cover_big.gif

Site:
www.picbook.com

It is written by a prof with my school, and comes with the PCB. The parts are then ordered from Digikey. I will take the class next semester probably.

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Old 20th September 2002, 03:46 AM   #10
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I have been planning on messing around with the PGA2310 for some time now. How does it sound?

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