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[S]IV-18 VFD Clock Booster Pack

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Buy the IV-18 VFD Clock Kit at the 43oh Store.



Here is my first booster pack. I created a prototype version using RobG's SMD ProtoPad. You can find the project thread here.

Git Repository

.Net app to set the time via serial - available on this post 


The idea is that this is usable as just a booster, but the buttons could be broken off and the whole project could be placed into a case (I'm working on a laser-cut design, but I'll probably wait until I get the boards first).

All parts with the exception of the MC34063, Max6921 and Tube can be ordered @ TaydaElectronics - I was working to keep the cost very low.

The tubes can be purchased in quantity for < $5 each on eBay. It might be worth organizing a group buy if there's enough interest.

Any feature requests? I was thinking about adding a DS18B20 for temperature as well. Should I add the option to use the DIP MC34063 as well?

MC34063AD (SOIC)
Max6921AWI (SOIC)
http://www.mouser.com/Search/ProductDetail.aspx?R=RLB0914-680KLvirtualkey65210000virtualkey652-RLB0914-680KL - 68uH inductor (1) - switched to Mouser part
http://www.taydaelectronics.com/10uf-100v-105c-radial-electrolytic-capacitor-6x11mm.html - 10uF 100v Capacitor (x4)
http://www.taydaelectronics.com/100uf-35v-105c-radial-electrolytic-capacitor-6x11mm.html - 100uF Capacitor (1)
http://www.taydaelectronics.com/10-x-390pf-50v-ceramic-disc-capacitor-pkg-of-10.html - 390pF capacitor (1)
http://www.taydaelectronics.com/1n5819-schottky-barrier-diode-1a-40v.html - 1N5819 Schottky (1)
http://www.taydaelectronics.com/40-pin-2-54-mm-single-row-female-pin-header.html - 2x10 Female Header (1)
http://www.taydaelectronics.com/10-x-resistor-180-ohm-1-4w-5-carbon-film-pkg-of-10.html - 180 ohm resistor (1)
http://www.taydaelectronics.com/10-x-resistor-22k-ohm-1-4w-5-carbon-film-pkg-of-10.html - 22K resistor (1)
http://www.taydaelectronics.com/10-x-resistor-1k-ohm-1-4w-5-carbon-film-pkg-of-10.html - 1K resistor (1)
http://www.taydaelectronics.com/potentiometer-variable-resistors/trimmers/6mm-top-adjustment/10k-ohm-trimpot-variable-resistor-6mm.html - 10K Trimpot (2)
http://www.taydaelectronics.com/10-x-resistor-22-ohm-1-4w-5-carbon-film-pkg-of-10.html - 22 ohm resistor (1)
http://www.taydaelectronics.com/electromechanical/switches-key-pad/tact-switch/tact-switch-6x6mm-7-5mm-through-hole-spst-no.html - 6mm Tact Switch (3)
http://www.taydaelectronics.com/connectors-sockets/pin-headers/2x40-pin-2-54-mm-right-angle-double-row-pin-header.html - 2x10 Right Angle male header (1)
http://www.taydaelectronics.com/buzzers/piezo-electronic-tone-buzzer-alarm-3-28v-1.html - Piezo Buzzer (1 - Optional)
http://www.taydaelectronics.com/10-x-resistor-16k-ohm-1-4w-5-carbon-film-pkg-of-10.html - 16k Resistor (1)
http://www.taydaelectronics.com/t-transistors/2n-series/2n3904-npn-general-propose-transistor.html - 2n3904 or similar (1 - Optional)
http://www.taydaelectronics.com/10-x-resistor-4-7k-4k7-ohm-1-4w-5-carbon-film-pkg-of-10.html - 4.7K resistor (1)
http://www.taydaelectronics.com/ds18b20-1-wire-digital-temperature-sensor-ic-dallas.html - DS18B20 (1 - Optional)

The required parts from Tayda come to about $1 (about $2 more for the piezo and temp sensor). The other parts are readily available as samples.

***Edit 8/20 - added Temperature sensor and some packaging issues - ready to send out ***
***Edit 8/20 #2 - Added components for Piezo Buzzer, removed 90 degree traces, added code to post***
***Edit 9/2 - Noticed footprint for DS18B20 on first version of the board is backwards. Will update the board***
***Update 9/10 - Boards arrived and first tests work!***
***Update 9/16 - Uploaded V2.1.0 software***
***Update 9/17 - Corrected DS18B20 pinout, new board and schematic and images***
***Update 10/13 - Added git repository***
***Update 11/14 - switched inductor to mouser part***

***Attached binary output from Code Composer - might be possible to program your device if you don't use CCS***

***Update 3/26 - Github updated - new accepts serial time configuration***









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Success!   The only issue so far - I flipped the header for the plug-in board for the tube in the schematic and didn't flip it on the PCB. Had to solder it on the other side, no big deal.   I'm c

Update - demo video recorded and added to first post!

Whaaaa, 22 ohms isn't the same as 22k? *smackface*  

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All done! I printed out the board design and made sure the layout worked. I had to fix a couple of package issues with the resistors and inductor (the original ones I picked weren't big enough) and some items were too close together. I moved around a few things to allow them to route easier. I'm using auto-route pretty successfully thankfully.


I added the DS18B20. Anything else I should add? A piezo buzzer? It'd have to be off-board (I don't think I can squeeze anything else in), but something like this might work.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well apparently someone at USPS doesn't like me - PCB's have been sitting in NY for a week now. Hopefully they fare better than my eBay purchases from China, or I won't see them for another couple of weeks...


However - I've made fantastic progress on the software. RTC is great and a Menu system is in place. The ability to set date/time is done and I'm working on the Alarm code and Buzzer feature. My attempts at getting the DS18B20 haven't gone too well right now, I'll be posting on oPossum's thread this weekend to see if I can figure it out. I'll probably add a menu option to use the internal sensor as well.


I'm also considering adding the ability to read time from a GPS unit since I now have a GPS booster. I'll restart work on the case design once I get the PCB's and can do some better measurement. The local hackerspace is supposed to have their laser cutter up soon.

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