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Conclusion

So what did it look like? Well, here are some pictures.



And a video:

I'm quite pleased with the end result; the box looks simple but stylish and I find myself glancing at the information presented on the screen fairly often. Initially I was afraid that the lack of ventilation holes may lead to overheating of the VFD (which is using something like 10W of power), but it seems it can get rid of its warmth well enough via the front screen. I may think about adding some green foil to the front of the screen to increase the contrast of the view some time in the future, but for now the screen is bright enough to be readable in all circumstances and I like the fact that you can see the internals of the VFD.

As usual, the sources for the program controlling the display and the tool generating the burn-in compensation data are available under the GPLv2. You can get them using Git:

git clone http://git.spritesserver.nl/vfdrpi.git/
The exact docs on how to modify the VFDs PCB and how to hook it up are also in there, in case you happen to find exactly the same VFD as I have. If not, feel free to use it as a template for your own display. Also in the Git repository is the STEP file for the case design, plus some notes on how to use it. As usual, if you use this code in your own design, I'd love to receive a note.

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7 comments

Andre wrote at 12 Jul 2016, 8.16:

I had some success with using near infrared light on OLED panels; the red actually did noticeably increase in brightness after the treatment. Maybe you can try this approach, the mechanism by which these degrade is non radiative recombination ie it emits heat instead of light. Also using a UV laser has been known to affect these (goggles!!!)

Edward wrote at 21 May 2016, 11.44:

Where did you order the case made?

Rena Kunisaki wrote at 24 Apr 2016, 9.51:

That's pretty awesome. Encoding the brightness into the subframes' duration and blending the output image with an inverse of the burned-in image both struck me as pretty damn clever. Makes me want to harvest some nice blue and orange VFDs from VCRs...

Sprite_tm wrote at 20 Apr 2016, 11.08:

Jurriën: I think some kind of warehousing/postal solution, by the looks of the burned in texts... but it's hard to say.

Groeten uit Hengelo wrote at 20 Apr 2016, 8.48:

Very nice work! Had to laugh when you removed the controller, classic Sprite mode of operations. Do you know what these displays were used for originally? Looking at the final result, they are much larger than I anticipated. From a designer perspective, I'm glad you also took the time to develop a professional looking enclosure. ;) Jurriën

NilsRoe wrote at 20 Apr 2016, 7.44:

Very neat. The de-burning is quite clever.

Pyrofer wrote at 19 Apr 2016, 17.18:

I spent a couple seconds wondering why the scrolling until I realised it's to prevent further screen burn! If only the original designers had thought of that.

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