Here is my latest creation, yet another clock !
This one is based on a IV18 VFD tube. You can find a lot of models on ebay.
some documentation : https://web.jfet.org/inGrid/
It is powered by a simple USB charger or any laptop USB plug. Then a boost converter increases the 5V up to 30V. And an ESP32 does the tricky multiplex of all the digits via an HV5812 driver.
An Android App is used to pilot the ESP32 with Bluetooth Low Energy.
Basic functions are available :
- self connection to device (no pairing needed)
- NTP synchronization of time if wifi is available
- Synchronization of time with smartphone if no wifi
- dimming of the tube with ambiant light
- various time formats
- automatic tube switch off with a radar detector (motion detection)
The design is rather compact
And the schematics minimalistic !
And now THE challenge !
The clock is composed of a copper pipe (diam 18mm) inserted into the CNCed bottom. Into the bottom is hidden the electronics.
The tube is glued into the copper pipe and then 20 wires are soldered to a connector going to the main board.
The design although not "ugly" is not exaxctly awesome... I have published two bases : one elliptical and one more rectangular.
The challenge would be to redesign a more organic plate into which the copper pipe would still be plugged...
I can imagine something like a kind of wave going from the pipe to the floor and still hidding the electronics (basically the "main board hole", the usb plug and the pipe hole should remain in place). The 18 to 22 pipe fitting could be removed
This plate could then be copper plated with this technics : https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1661301
If you have any design to share I would be glad to offer at least the binary codes of the ESP32 and the android App :-)
So the challenge is ON GOING :-)
BTW, I directly CNCed mine into a piece of wood !