I have a happy nostalgia for vacuum fluorescent displays (VFD). I’m old enough to remember them feeling like new, modern tech and they were probably inside many of the broken appliances I took apart as a kid! I love seeing them in modern builds and think they add a unique flavour to all sorts of projects. This I2C VFD display brings this retro tech into a really simple-to-use modern package.
VFDs work similarly to cathode ray tubes, albeit at much lower voltages. Needing esoteric voltages and legacy connectors can make VFD a challenge to incorporate into a project. This display not only provides I2C interfacing but also, via the custom backboard, sorts out all the DC-DC power requirements. Terminated with two QWIIC/Stemma QT connectors this means it’s simple to connect it to your microprocessor platform of choice. With the dual QWIIC/Stemma QT connectors you can also daisy chain multiple modules together.
Check out the Github repositories from Nicolai where you can find the firmware for this board as well as a repository for the hardware design. There isn’t too much documentation floating around for this project so it’s certainly worth looking through the main firmware code as it gives a lot of hints about usage and possibilities for this excellent retro display.