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  1. #1
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    Using Arduino to drive VFD

    Tags: NEC FC20X2JA-AB 20x2 VFD, 5x7 Vacuum Fluorescent Display, allelectronics
    datasheet: http://www.allelectronics.com/mas_as...pec/VF-162.pdf

    Thank you Jim for the use of this forum.
    I bought an NEC FC20X2JA-AB 20x2 VFD from allelectronics over a year ago. It wasn't until the past few weeks I, with real intent, tried to make the display work. The regular LCD library did not work; therefore, I had to do a ton of research - and learned many things along the way.
    Attachment 7501
    Attached is a PDE for serial communications w/ the VFD.


    As per VFD data sheet,
    +5vdc power is applied to P2 (two-pin connector); NOTE: Power not from arduino since current equals 400mA;use alternate supply
    +5vdc to pins 25 and 29
    0vdc to any even numbered pin
    pin 27 should have a 10K resistor if connected to the arduino since it is an output used to inidicate "busy"
    pin 33 is the serial interface

    Once I learn how, I will turn this into a library to prevent it from taking up so much space in a sketch. Until then, this should get guys (or girls) going who have performed exhaustive searches with no avail for a library.

    Cheers,
    James
    Attached Files Attached Files

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  3. #2
    500+ This must be a daytime job Jim NZ's Avatar
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    Re: Using Arduino to drive VFD

    Good stuff James ,,, We knew you must have been working on something as you were so quite.

    It brings another display into our arena which is a big plus and allows a wider choice of screens when we build something.
    Doing a library for it makes it even more attractive.

    Thanks heaps James ,,,

    Now back to it ,,, Jim
    www.jimspage.co.nz/intro.htm
    All this and Liz still loves me ! !

  4. #3
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    Re: Using Arduino to drive VFD

    Wanted: a second set of eyes to review arduino library code.

    History:
    I was working with an arduino rev 0.22 sketch for the aforementioned vfd. I've attempted to make a library. In my learning process, I upgraded to Arduino rev 1.03; in doing so, I was required to make small revisions to my declarations in the sketch.

    Performance:
    Sketch "..Y" is the full code and works properly when uploaded to the arduino i.e. "test" characters and serial input.
    Sketch "..X" is dependent on the library; it builds properly, however, the "test" characters are not displayed. I've verified that the "binary" function (the step before the "Write") extrapolates bits properly via serial monitor. The problem seems to be hung up in the "Write" function.
    Any help is greatly appreciated.
    -James

    [edit] removed library files

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    Re: Using Arduino to drive VFD

    VFD Library is built for the Arduino Program Rev 1.03
    Ok! Here it is. I'm not sure who will use this library other than myself, but it is working without a (known) glitch. Due to integers vs. strings, it isn't quite as fluid as the LCD library - but it will do the job until the next rev. Example .ino included.

    It has been a nice journey. Now that I know how relatively easy it is, I'll be building more libraries for myself to prevent a 5 mile long sketch! :=)

    Leave it to Jim NZ to make me push the envelope of my novice abilities ...

    -James
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  7. #5
    500+ This must be a daytime job Jim NZ's Avatar
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    Re: Using Arduino to drive VFD

    "novice abilities" ?? Hah !!! James if your a novice ,,, I'm a child still playing with the rattles in the playpen.

    Nice stuff James ,, I had a quick look-see at your code and most of it shot way over my head.
    Very well done and if I ever come across one of those displays, I'll give it a try and see it in action.

    If that's a wee "push" ,, I'd hate to think what you could do if it were a "shove"

    Thanks James ,, that's going to be a treat for Guys with those type of displays.

    "Shove" from ,,,, Jim
    www.jimspage.co.nz/intro.htm
    All this and Liz still loves me ! !

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    Re: Using Arduino to drive VFD

    Ha! You are too kind, sir; but, we all know the truth.

    Now, if you can teach me to cut PERFECT rectangles/squares in .5cm board and/or plexi-glass - I would, again, be most grateful. This IS one of my biggest hang-ups. I have all of these ideas for my "cockpit on paper", yet I push them off to another day because I know my rectangles/squares will not be perpendicular or parallel to the other objects. It seems I will have create an arduino based Dremel tool before I can really start my project. ...This comment should really be in different thread!

  9. #7
    500+ This must be a daytime job Jim NZ's Avatar
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    Re: Using Arduino to drive VFD

    Ha! ,, James ,,, I'm the same as you !!
    What I do is mark the top line exactly correct and then mark the 2 ends and the bottom undersize. (Not as big as what I want)
    Drill the corners and then cut it out with electric jig-saw.
    Then I get the top exactly straight and true with a file ,, from there I attack the ends and the bottom with a file ,,, all the time trying the screen ?? in position.

    Same as you isn't it except ,,, every stroke of the file I say to myself ,, "any more and it's too much" so I test it again ,,, it seems to work

    Another way I've done it is with a router (surrounds for LCD's ,, large) I made a jig (a lot of work) and plonked a roughly cutout frame in it and shot around with a router ,, it worked a treat but took ages to make the jig.

    Good luck James ,,, Jim
    www.jimspage.co.nz/intro.htm
    All this and Liz still loves me ! !

  10. #8
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    Re: Using Arduino to drive VFD

    Quote Originally Posted by JMeller View Post
    Ha! You are too kind, sir; but, we all know the truth.

    Now, if you can teach me to cut PERFECT rectangles/squares in .5cm board and/or plexi-glass - I would, again, be most grateful. This IS one of my biggest hang-ups. I have all of these ideas for my "cockpit on paper", yet I push them off to another day because I know my rectangles/squares will not be perpendicular or parallel to the other objects. It seems I will have create an arduino based Dremel tool before I can really start my project. ...This comment should really be in different thread!
    You might want to use a cross cut sled if you happen to have a tablesaw.... 5 Cuts to a "Perfect" Cross-Cut Sled - YouTube


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  12. #9
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    Re: Using Arduino to drive VFD

    You cannot tell by reading my previous post I was actually referencing cutting a rectangle out of the middle of a board. Thank goodness it was ambiguous... I would have never seen this extremely informative link; it's a keeper.
    Thanks for sharing JNicol.