After the classic IV18 VFD tube clock published one month ago https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3417955, here is a less known tube: the IVL2-7/5 Vacuum Fluorescent Display
Une première on Thingiverse ;-)
The display includes 4 digits and two dots. It is a flat tube with lateral pins. All the needed pins are present at the bottom of the tube (segments, digits, filament) while the digit and filament pins are duplicated on the other side of the tube.
At one end the tube shown a weird small queuzot from which the vacuum is applied during manufacturing. This is a very fragile part that must be protected.
I wanted an as light as possible housing for the clock in order to keep the inner of the tube and is transparency fully visible.
I ended with this design which is very easy to print (only two parts) and into which all the electronics can be hidden.
As for my other clock:
- it is self synchronized via NTP over WiFi using a simple ESP8266 to perform all the job.
- there is no dedicated PCB
- everything can be bought from ebay for around $20
- an automatic presence detection allows to switch off the filament when nobody is watching the clock.
see it on youtube : https://youtu.be/o4gyktB0RMc
the support is only needed for the clock cover. The body is printed vertically (as displayed) and does not need any support
ESP8266 and sofware
refer to my other clock's explanation to get started with the software aspects.
The full source code is provided in the things files section. Obviously it is specific to this clock as the tube is not the same but the functionalities are fully identical.
the hardware ...
first solder the MAX6921 driver on the small PCB.
Then solder the tube as shown in the picture (note that the shown PCB ad been cut for another design, you do not need to do that !)
- only pins 4 to 13 of the tube shall be soldered to the pins 12 to 3 of the PCB
- pins 15, 14, 3, 2 of the tube shall be connected with insulated wires to resp. pins OUT 0, OUT1, OUT8, OUT9 of the MAX driver
- pins 1 and 16 are the fliament's pins. connect a wire to pin 1 . Solder a 22 Ohm resistor to pin 16 then solder the other end of the resistor to Vcc pin (3.3V)
- other pins of the MAX driver shall be connected with wires (GND, BLANK, CLK, LOAD, DIN, VCC)
Don't worry, all this will be hidden !
wiring the ESP
insert the wires through the bottom rectangular slot of printed case.
Then connect the wires to the Weemos ESP8266 board:
- DIN to D5
- LOAD to D6
- CLK to D7
- GND to GND
- BLANK to D8
solder 6 wires to the wemos ESP8266:
- G (as GND)
connect the power lines to the bulk converter
- +3.3V to IN+ (do not use 5V this would be too much for the filament)
- GND to IN-
Power the ESP8266 with the USB connector just to check the voltage of the bulk converter. Rotate the potentiometer in order to reach the appropriate value at the output (something close to 20V- 24V).
remove the power and finish the wirings:
- VBB to Vout+ ot the bulk converter
- Vcc to + 3.3V of the ESP (or IN+ of the converter)
And to finish, if you do not need the radar, just connect pin 1 of the tube to GND. (Should you need the radar, this wire will be switched ON/OFF with a mosfet)
adding a motion dectection radar
The IVL2 lifespan is given to be not more than 30000 hours. It could then be a good idea to switch off the tube and part of teh electronics when nobody is in the room to watch the clock.
Fortunately it exists a little cheap radar than can do the job for one Euro .
Just search for RCWL-0516 on ebay...
Great source of information here : https://github.com/jdesbonnet/RCWL-0516
wiring the radar is quite straitforward:
- GND is connected to ESP8266 GNG
- VIN is connected to ESP8266 +5V
- OUT is connected to GPIO16 (pin D0 of the wemos board)
It is safe to do this as the radar includes its own 3.3V regulator and its output is between 0V and 3.3V.
With this the ESP is able to know the radar has detected somebody in the room. A timer is set to 5 minutes to keep the clock ON up to five minutes after the radar detects no motion in the room, then the tube is turned OFF.
turning OFF the electronics : a mosfet !
With this IVL2 tube I could not properly switch off all the electronics (tube, driver, bulk converter) I has then to only switch OFF the filament to make it work...
- solder the mosfet by its source (S pin 2) to the bulk coverter GND (OUT-)
- solder the mosfet's drain (pin 3) to the filament wire (PIN 1 of the IV2 tube)
- solder the Gate (pin 1) to the ESP GPIO2 (pin D4 of the wemos board)
And that is, your radar is now fully operational!
at that stage you should be here !
hidding all this !
install the radar board from under the clock case inside the upper rectangular slot, there is just room enough !
install the wemos board in front of the USB slot, use an USB wire to keep it in the right position. The ESP metal cover shall face the PLA part.
Install the bulk converter at the other side
Hot glue all this is position
Here we are, you need to buy:
Enjoy this modern-IOT-vintage clock that will give your desk a nice retro touch !
Don't hesitate to comment, like, ask questions and give feedbacks...