Internet time on a vintage vacuum fluorescent display

November 14, 2018 | 09:14

VFD-Tube Clock: main board + display board + ESP32 DevKit Internet time on a vintage vacuum fluorescent display (VFD), pre-cut acrylic sheet case included

In the Elektor Magazine of May-June 2018 , Elektor LABS has proudly presented a kit to help you assemble your VFD-tube Clock. The kit can be assembled within about 4 hours, pre-cut acrylic sheet case included, using normal soldering tools and any computer running Arduino IDE.
To keep the time synchronised Elektor LABS' new VFD-tube clock uses an Internet feature called NTP server.
Besides time (hh : mm : ss), it also displays date and temperature. Several display formats are available for time (24h/12h modes), date and temperature.
Various sensors are supported like DS18B20, DS18S20, DS1822, LM75, and SE95.
The RGB background lighting is user configurable with an Android wireless app.
The clock also has 1-wire and I²C interfaces. For your comfort, a convenient night mode is available.

Elektor LABS kit: VFD-tube Clock with ESP32

This Arduino compatible module has a powerful processor plus Wi-Fi and Bluetooth onboard.
Within seconds the clock makes a connection to the network and synchronises with the NTP server. This is significantly better than synchronisation via radio time servers or even via GPS. During a power cut, a backup battery maintains accurate time.

Full kit with ALL parts from the Elektor Store

  • 170573-71: Complete kit for VFD-Tube clock
    • All boards, all components and all mechanical parts (bare PCBs)
    • 6 x IV-22 + 2 x DM160 (or equivalent) VFD Tubes
  • 170573-72: Enclosure for VFD-Tube clock
    • Laser-cut acrylic panels with all mechanical parts
  • 9 VDC Power Supply
  • ESP32 DevKit-C board
Detailed and richly illustrated assembly instructions are available as a download.
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