Where to get a decent VFD?

BrianGT

diyAudio Moderator Emeritus
2002-01-21 2:42 pm
near Atlanta, GA
www.chipamp.com
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:
[IMGDEAD]http://www.noritake-elec.com/show_and_tell.jpg[/IMGDEAD]

but due to the high price, I would be fine with something like this:
[IMGDEAD]http://www.noritake-elec.com/v5.gif[/IMGDEAD]

Any advice on VFDs is appreciated.

Thanks,

--
Brian
 
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
 
VFD etc

mhennessy said:
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
 
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)
 
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 :att'n: - I'm using my LCD-compatible VFD in 4-bit interface mode. I'm guess that other sorts of interfaces would not support this...?
 

BrianGT

diyAudio Moderator Emeritus
2002-01-21 2:42 pm
near Atlanta, GA
www.chipamp.com
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.

--
Brian
 
Hi Brian,

I have been making gentle enquiries with the UK Itron sales office, who tell me that Farnell will start to stock the display soon. I hadn't managed to obtain the datasheet from their website, so thanks for posting it. I'll be reading it this weekend :cool:

BeanZ,

You might have already seen it, but if not check this thread for my thoughts on the sound quality of the PGA2310

Basically, my feeling is that apart from a slight increase in the noise floor, the PGA2310 is pretty much as transparent as you can get from such a device.

Dorkus listened to a comercial preamp that used the PGA2310, and he seemed very impressed. He is much more experienced in these matters than I am, so I was very pleased to read this ;-)

The post in question is about half way down this page
 

BrianGT

diyAudio Moderator Emeritus
2002-01-21 2:42 pm
near Atlanta, GA
www.chipamp.com
I finally got the Noritake VFD working. It sure has a lot of features.

Here is a pic:

--
Brian
 

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Nice!

Farnell have just started to stock the new range - they appear on the website, but my nearly-new catalogue doesn't show them. Check out this page for details of the new stuff...

I'm especially interested in 412-875 because I think I can install it in place of my 20 by 2 text display in my preamp. And it's only £37 - just a few pounds more than the text-only unit...

Brian, I see from the datasheet that this display has the same interface as the text modules. But, do you know if it will work in 4-bit mode?

I hope it does because that will save me having to modify my PCB. If not, I've got enough spare ports on the PIC, but it would be a shame to be cutting tracks :)
 

BrianGT

diyAudio Moderator Emeritus
2002-01-21 2:42 pm
near Atlanta, GA
www.chipamp.com
I saw the farnell ones on the site, but I did not see that one that I got. The one that I got supports parallel, sync. serial and async. serial. The one that I found on farnell looks like the same vfd, but only with a parallel interface. As for the 4bit, I am not exactly sure yet. I will ask my roommate, as he is the one who configured the vfd to work for me.

--
Brian