Vfd display

Hi, I want to drive a VFD display with an Arduino ( or using the language/libraries, that is as I'm a novice programmer. ) The display I have is an 8-digit type with multiple segments ( I count 15 or 16 ) and it's possible I may need a chip with more pins than the '328. These displays are multiplex and complex! The plan is to get the thing to display messages ( you know, 'hello World' stuff ) : words in a sequence.

This isnt a trivial exercise, I dont think, but worth pursuing in my case as it is part of a business plan and may make me a little money! I'm not expecting anyone to write the code for me, but some pointers where to begin the entire enterprise would be nice. Thanks Bruce

So, let's see the spec. sheet? Not really possible to offer any help unless you have that.

My first suspicion is that you need the correct driver chip for it as it will require much more than 5V, and quite possibly more than 12V levels, so the proper driver will at the minimum, contain level converters if not the full decoding and multiplexing logic. Otherwise you are going to be chasing a few level converter chips to run it from the Arduino.

I dont have a spec sheet, but IMO it doesnt matter. That isnt the question.

VFDs do have unusual PSU requirements, but that is in hand.

Theres no controller chip like smart LCDs. There are 8 digits and 15 (16?) segments. That's around 25 pins ( plus a few more for filaments and things ) The point being that both digits and segments are multiplex. The software has to know what word you want to spell and then sequentially illuminate each segment and each digit in the right order to spell properly. Tricky. Now, that's just the job of the controller which has to produce a 5V signal. Interfacing that with the VFD isnt an Arduino question and should be straightforward I think.


Do you just have the glass tube? Or do you have a glass tube with a board attached?

If you just have the tube, I hope you are an EET because you've got some work ahead of you.

If you think you can do some minor coding, look here:


Noritake-Itron often has small quantities of VFD modules for sale at reasonable prices. Myself and some others are working on support for Noritake-Itron displays. They are pretty simple to drive.

If not, you should probably get the Futaba module that Adafruit sells, as it comes with a full support library.