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[S]IV-18 VFD Clock Booster Pack


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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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Hi,

 

Finally also build my clock - pictures will follow later. Had some larger inductors at home, so no problem with overheating. It's running for over an hour now wo problems.

 

I have a couple of other issues though with bad solder joints that I have to sort out. One thing I noticed is that the max6921 is very sensitive to accidental touching of the blank pin - it blanks out (obvious) but it does not recover afterwards easily. I did not have a look at the code how this pin is handled,maybe there is something to avoid this.

 

One additional thing: is the button on the lp used in any way?

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The blank pin is only enabled for a bit at startup. It could be used to flash the display for an alarm, but it isn't currently. I haven't had any problems with mine - do you mean the pin on the vfd chip, or the pin it's connected to on the msp? Could be a could solder joint.

 

The button on the LP isn't being used functionally, I'll have to look @ the code to see if it's being used for something else or if it's open if you want to use it.

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Ok - looks like 1.3 is being used for the Buzzer output. The only way you'd be able to use the button is if you don't use it for that function.

If you're looking for buttons for something other than setting the time, etc - there is code in the 250ms interrupt that enables short vs long presses of buttons to perform certain functions. In the time mode, a short press of the STG button will display the current date, and a short press of the VAL button will display the temperature. Those functions can be replaced with something else, and additional modes can be added pretty easily in main.h by changing the ModeMax value and adding a new mode #define.

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Okay, this may sound odd, but: I've never used the crystal on my LaunchPads. :oops:

 

I have no problem adding it, but can someone point me to TI's test code (or any that I can use)?

Here's a guide that worked well for the LP without headers - http://justinstech.o... ... t-how-too/

It's a little tricker with the headers in place now, but a smaller piece of tape will work - I've done it without. A set of tweezers is extremely helpful.

 

I've uploaded one of the code samples that uses the crystal - it should toggle the LED. I'll test on my board in a bit so you'll have exact specifics.

 

You could complete the other steps without it - the clock just won't work right. It should display a message though.

 

Cube (or anyone else):

I finally got around to soldering one of my kits up today. Your detailed silkscreen made it a breeze!

 

I think I have a problem with the LP crystal, though. So, this is more of a LP help request:

I run the TI test code you linked, and I just get the steady P1.0 LED flicker that indicates a fault. I tried another crystal (from another LP pack), being very careful to solder quickly and accurately, and I get the same result. Do I need to add C21/C22 on the LP? Any other ideas where i might have gone wrong?

 

BTW: My VFD Clock Booster seems to work fine, just doesn't go beyond displaying "Startup" (I'm guessing it's waiting for a clock).

post-18-0-96715900-1353711377_thumb.jpg

 

EDIT: And WHY, exactly, have you not submitted this for the POTM? Hmmm?

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Yep - your crystal is definitely not oscillating - the refresh rate isn't dependent on the crystal - so that's working, but the "startup" displays for 2 seconds which won't work if it it's not getting a signal from the crystal. Could you post a close-up picture of it?

 

Glad the silk screen was good - I made sure all the values where there - makes it a ton easier to put together.

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Well, I'm not seeing anything obvious. I'd suggest doing a continuity check to make sure the joints are good, and maybe between the two sides of the crystal to make sure there isn't a short? Scraping off any flux between the pads might be good too, but I know I've got a ton of board with flux all over the place and they weren't a problem.

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I've never had to remove those resistors - although if you touch the XIN/XOUT pins - it adds capacitance which causes a problem. Removing those resistors breaks the connection to the expansion pins.

 

I have had issues with noisy power supplies - is it plugged directly into your computer and not a hub?

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I've never had to remove those resistors - although if you touch the XIN/XOUT pins - it adds capacitance which causes a problem. Removing those resistors breaks the connection to the expansion pins.

 

I have had issues with noisy power supplies - is it plugged directly into your computer and not a hub?

 

Straight in, quality cable. I'll try another LP this evening.

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Weird: I plugged everything together and pushed the code to the uC (to show my kids) and I got a "slow-motion" clock. That is, it actually went to the clock display after a while, but the seconds display only incremented every 8-10 seconds. Power down and back up; stuck in "Startup" again.

 

Weird.

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Weird: I plugged everything together and pushed the code to the uC (to show my kids) and I got a "slow-motion" clock. That is, it actually went to the clock display after a while, but the seconds display only incremented every 8-10 seconds. Power down and back up; stuck in "Startup" again.

 

Weird.

 

Use electrolytic capacitors, not flux capacitors.

 

On the other hand, you've managed to prove 88 is significant. ;)

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