terça-feira, dezembro 5, 2023

Thomas Shufps’ Clock Turns a Classic VFD Right into a Crisp, Clear Picture with an Upcycled Digicam Lens

Maker Thomas Shufps has designed a projector clock for nighttime use — and the primary, he claims, to make use of a vacuum fluorescent show (VFD), having already constructed one with an LCD panel.

“The VFD Evening Projector Clock is the primary and solely (in the intervening time and to my information) evening projecting clock that makes use of a VFD show,” Shufps claims of his creation, which makes use of a coincidence of sizing between the four-digit clock show and a basic photographic format.

“When receiving one of many NOS IVL2-7/5 shows, I seen that the illuminated space may slot in about full-format (24x36mm) what was customary in analogue pictures,” Shufps explains. “Because of this there are many outdated lenses (e.g. with M42 threading) on the market that nearly price nothing any extra though they’ve spectacular technical properties like 1:2.8 with f=135.”

Predating each LCD and LED shows, VFDs are constructed utilizing phosphor-coated anodes bombarded with electrons from a cathode filament — working like a simplified cathode-ray tube (CRT), although at a decrease voltage. Providing a excessive brightness and coming in a variety of sizes, VFDs had been a staple of electronics till lower-power LEDs and extra detailed LCD panels took over.

To show the classic VFD show right into a clock Shufps constructed a {custom} controller board which incorporates an remoted 24V converter for the anode, a full-bridge rectifier constructed utilizing a two-channel MOSFET driver, and an STMicro STM32 microcontroller to tie every thing collectively — speaking with a Python program working on a desktop to set the time, management the show state, and measure the clock’s accuracy.

To truly challenge the picture on the ceiling, Shufps turned to a classic digicam lens — fitted to a easy cone-shaped 3D-printed adapter to put it on the proper distance from the show. “The brightness is ideal within the evening,” Shufps writes, “however [of course] barely seen at day. If every thing is adjusted correctly, you even can see the [mesh control] grid on the digits.”

The VFD clock is definitely Shufps’ second shot at nighttime time-telling, after an earlier challenge which used an LCD panel with a C-mount or E-mount digicam lens. As with the unique design, Shufps has printed design recordsdata and supply code for the challenge to GitHub underneath the permissive MIT license.

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