I've always been intrigued by vacuum fluorescent displays (VFDs) so I picked up the Ice Tube Clock Kit from AdaFruit Industries that uses a Russian VFD tube.
(Click any photo for a 1024x768 image.)
Here's what came in the kit:
And here are a couple of shots of the VFD tube. It has 8 x 7-segment digits, with decimal points and a minus sign.
There's a great page on AdaFruit's website that describes the circuit and the calculations that went into designing it - check it out!
The building instructions are very thorough, as always, and this time includes test points as building progresses. On the left is a shot of testing the 7805 regulator, and on the right is testing the voltage booster circuit for the VFD.
Once I had the main board made, it was time to thread the VFD into it's PCB. This was a finnicky task but with patience it only took 15 minutes. The leads from the VFD bend very easily, which is a blessing and a curse. On the left you can see what I mean, and on the right I've got it ready to solder.
And here's it soldered and nicely clipped.
Did a quick test and it worked! Then I put in the final few components on the main board and assembled the laser-cut perspex case.
Here are a couple of shots of the completed main PCB:
And the clock itself... and in it's final resting place.
Hope you enjoyed the photos - let me know if these kinds of posts are interesting!