I admit it: I'm a total geek. I love electronics, programming, 3D art, vintage Apple hardware, and whisky. I'm always juggling half a dozen projects. I also enjoy documenting it all: my successes, my failures, my experiences... and everything geeky along the way.

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VFD | Kevin Rye.net - Main

Kevin Rye

Geek Extraordinaire. Yeh, I said it.

Experiments with the MAX6921

When I set out to make my last VFD clock, I decided to drive the tubes with a MAX6921 chip. However, I couldn't for the life of me figure it out. I looked at a bunch of other projects online and tried to reverse engineer them, but I just couldn't get that chip to do anything. In the end, I gave up and decided to just drive the whole thing with transistors. With a new, more complicated clock in the works, it's time to figure out this chip. Read More...

VFD Breakouts

In order to start prototyping with my new VFDs, I need to make some breakout boards for them. Experience tells me that there's no easy way to jam them into a breadboard. Read More...

More VFDs!!!

I just put the wraps on my last clock, the IN-14 Nixie Clock, and I already can't wait to start another one! I found some really huge ILC1-1/8L 7-segment VFDs on eBay. They're almost 4" tall. The digits themselves are 2.25" tall. Massive! Read More...

VFD Clock - Part VI

The VFD Clock is finally complete. I started it almost a year ago. However, once I actually figured out how to drive the display, it was another 7 months before I actually started it. I had so many other projects to finish first. I'm glad I waited until my plate was clear to work on this. It really came out nice. It's definitely one of my favorites. Read More...

VFD Clock - Part V

The electronics have been assembled, so it's time to work on the enclosure. I'm almost finished with this clock. I ran out of black PLA for the base, and I still need to stain the woodfill PLA top, but I'm making excellent progress. Read More...

VFD Clock - Part IV

All the electronics are complete. I'm so pleased that everything worked on the first go without any tweaks. All that's left to do is design an enclosure for it. Read More...

VFD Clock - Part III

With all the clock code written and the audio stuff worked out, it was time to pay closer attention to some of the details. Like properly driving the filaments. Read More...

VFD Clock - Part II

The progress that I've made on this clock over the past week is amazing. It also helped that there was a 4-day Thanksgiving weekend in the mix. All the clock code is complete, including the alarm menu and the audio. Read More...

VFD Clock - Part I

It’s been at least 6 months since I last played around with this VFD. I had so many other projects in the works that I needed to finish first. I really want this clock to be something special, so I saved it for when all my other projects were complete. That, and I’m supposed to be saving my money since the holidays are right around the corner. Read More...

I Finally Figured Out This Vacuum Fluorescent Display

Back in the early 2000s, I got it into my head to build a clock. On a whim, I picked up this vacuum fluorescent display a little before I realized I was in over my head. Needless to say, it sat in a box for over 10 years. It’s time to figure it out.