An ice tube clock for the TI Launchpad

Because Nixies, Decatrons, and VFD tubes really are that cool, [cubeberg] over on the 43oh forums designed an IV-18 clock for the TI Launchpad.

Like adafruit’s Ice Tube clock, [cubeberg]‘s project uses a surplus Russian IV-18 VFD tube conveniently sourced on eBay. On the board, there are three buttons for changing the time and setting the alarm along with a MAX6921 VFD tube driver and a small switching regulator to boost the 5 Volts on the Launchpad to the 50 V the tube requires.

There was a little bit of space left on [cubeberg]‘s PCB design, and he filled that space with a header for a buzzer and a temperature sensor. Right now, the code doesn’t support an alarm function and he’s still waiting on a few components to finish off the thermometer portion of the board, but it’s still the makings of a very nice clock.

If you’d like to grab your own Launchpad ice tube clock, [bluehash] is organizing a group buy for 430h forum members. If they can get 15 pieces built, the clock will cost less than $5/unit. Very cool, and very cheap when you consider TI is practically giving Launchpads away.

Comments

  1. cubeberg says:

    Just an FYI – the tubes themselves should be < $5 before shipping, not the whole kit – that'll be more. We're working on doing a kit as well, but the price of the other components will push up the price a bit. The Group Buy will make things a lot cheaper than ordering individually though.

  2. blue (not bluehash) says:

    Well, the 5$ per unit are only for the tubes, aswell as the groupbuy.
    Right at the moment there is no groupbuy for complete kits, but i’m sure bluehash will put together some kits for the store to a later time.

  3. bothersaidpooh says:

    Ouch!!
    I have two tubes here, tested and working.
    Anyone want them, email mandoline at cwgsy dot net.
    Get ‘em while they are hot, and I may even throw in some EL wire that wasn’t suitable for my intended use.

    Have some green neons too, but they are older than Moses so no warranty :-)

  4. Vonskippy says:

    So is that an Ice Tube Clock in your pocket or …..

  5. I am in for 2!

  6. It would be interesting to see if
    someone could make a VFDPOV
    with slightly less rare tubes, such
    as the ones used on JVC VCRs.
    Also it seems that it might be
    possible to change phosphor colour
    by driving at low/high frequency
    so someone needs to try this
    experiment..

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