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IV18 WIFI VFD nixie clock (PCB less)

by aeropic Feb 10, 2019
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Hey, thank you for that great design and even sharing the source files :)
I've got some problems with the circuit - I've already released magic-smoke on my Wemos once (it was the diode between the USB Port and 5V to the board). I fixed it and rechecked the wiring, something still seems wrong. Is the schematic right?
I'm worried about the Pin 1 suggestion that it is GND, here it says its 5V: http://www.tube-tester.com/sites/nixie/dat_arch/IV-18.pdf
Oh and the stripes above and below the numbers are glowing

If you mean pin 1 of the iv-18 tube ? It is one end of the filament which is Basicaly a resistor. You just have to make some current flow through it between pin 1 and pin 13.

I've found out what my mistake was - the silkscreen numbers on one site do not match the ones on the other side :|

Good you found !

Great clock, nice simple design. I am attempting to create a similar clock, but based on the IV-27M, 13 grid, 7 segment VFD tube
and I was hoping you could clarify something, namely are these tubes common Cathode or common Anode based. I think the IV-27M is
common Anode based. If the IV-18 and the IV-27M share the same common Anode then I can use the same MAXIM SOP-28 MAX6921 VFD
driver. If not then I will have to look for a suitable Common Anode based driver.

I think the IV27 works as the IV18.
Just have a look here, there is a filament to be heated at around 5V, and the other pins shall be polarized with a positive tension of 24V


The MAX6921 shall do the job !

Thanks for the information. I have found that I am one pin short. If I want to light all 13 grids, and all 7 segments including the decimal point I find that I need one extra output pin. So since I would like to use the decimal point I have decided to light only 12 of the 13 grids. I also decided to go for the MAX6921AUI rather than the MAX6921AQI which is solder less. The next problem I have is working out how the 12 Grid, (common anode) and the 7 segments plus decimal point segment are attached to the MAX6921. It looks like the software decides which of the OUTPUT pins are used for what purpose. If that is the case can you direct me to an example Arduino file? If it is not the case then please explain how the MAX6921 determines which OUTPUT pins are used for what purpose.

BTW, with those long tubes it might be safer to heat the filament with AC current to avoid a gradient. Just insert a MAX628 and use it with the two outputs to drive the filament...

In fact using the MAX driver is simple. You've to serialize a frame of 20 bits whatever they are segments or digits or not used bits. In the IV18 clock the bits are organized so that segments and digits are using 10 MSB and 10 LSB of the maw frame but you can organize the bits in any order you want...
Just have a look to the code of my second clock. You'll see I modified the routines to write the VFD in order to use 32 bits instead of 8 bits. Now you can directly write the 20 bits into a 32bits unsigned integer an output the 20 bits frame in serial to the driver.