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IV-17 Smartsockets, update and welcome new members !

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  • fixitsan2
    Firstly, hello to the new members. You should feel free to poke about in the files sections and post messages about any questions you may have, we re all here
    Message 1 of 28 , Aug 18, 2010
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      Firstly, hello to the new members. You should feel free to poke about in the files sections and post messages about any questions you may have, we're all here because we have the same illness !

      As for the IV-17 sockets, I have recovered a selection of code which I can work on now to start making progress. I wanted to wait until the PIC 18F26k22 was released, but now that I think I can fit the code into 32kB I have just received my samples of the 18F25k22 and begun porting the code over. This is a really nice chip actually, seven timers, lots of eeprom and 5V compatible. I can't give a deadline yet, but I am keen to complete it as soon as possible. John and Andrew, you have the only versions so far, my programmer default is for full code protection and that is why I cannot reverse engineer from your chips (unless you know otherwise !)

      Some of the features in the new IV-17 socket will eventually be added to existing B7971 and ZM1350 socket code and then I will look at making a 16seg LED socket together with dot matrix sockets for both VFD and LED matrix displays.

      Somewhere in there I will be adding a clock/data terminal to read data from an SD card and display it on the sockets. The way things are going with wifi I would consider adding a wifi device to make something which reads RSS feeds or similar data from a remote website, receive text messages or display emails....I don't have the skills to display Flash files on VFD's though ;-)

      I hope everyone is getting some holiday time, if anyone is coming to the Edinburgh festival and fancies a beer, let me know !

      Chris
    • Quixotic Nixotic
      ... Hi Andrew, I have not tested your PIC yet. I started to design a board, but your choice of ports makes a single-sided etched board fiendish to lay out. I
      Message 2 of 28 , Aug 19, 2010
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        On 18 Aug 2010, at 17:24, fixitsan2 wrote:

        > ...I am keen to complete it as soon as possible. John and Andrew,
        > you have the only versions so far
        >
        Hi Andrew,

        I have not tested your PIC yet. I started to design a board, but your
        choice of ports makes a single-sided etched board fiendish to lay
        out. I think I just about got a workable board designed, but due to
        pressure of other things I have not progressed. I will try to bump it
        up a place in the list of unfinished projects.

        Regards,

        John
      • fixitsan2
        ... I started to design a board, but your ... No problem at all John, I selected the pin order just to make debugging easier and laid out my breadboard
        Message 3 of 28 , Aug 20, 2010
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          --- In smartsockets@yahoogroups.com, Quixotic Nixotic <nixotic1@...> wrote:
          I started to design a board, but your
          > choice of ports makes a single-sided etched board fiendish to lay
          > out. I think I just about got a workable board designed, but due to
          > pressure of other things I have not progressed. I will try to bump it
          > up a place in the list of unfinished projects.
          >
          > Regards,
          >
          > John

          No problem at all John, I selected the pin order just to make debugging easier and laid out my breadboard accordingly.
          I haven't looked at it yet but if you think there is an obvious easy pattern for the pinout of the driver let me know, now is the time to change. I hadn't considered making a single sided PCB, but if it is possible, it makes life easy for home constructors.

          Chris
        • Quixotic Nixotic
          Message 4 of 28 , Aug 20, 2010
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            On 20 Aug 2010, at 13:26, fixitsan2 wrote:

             



            --- In smartsockets@yahoogroups.com, Quixotic Nixotic <nixotic1@...> wrote:
            I started to design a board, but your
            > choice of ports makes a single-sided etched board fiendish to lay
            > out. I think I just about got a workable board designed, but due to
            > pressure of other things I have not progressed. I will try to bump it
            > up a place in the list of unfinished projects.
            >
            > Regards,
            >
            > John

            No problem at all John, I selected the pin order just to make debugging easier and laid out my breadboard accordingly.
            I haven't looked at it yet but if you think there is an obvious easy pattern for the pinout of the driver let me know, now is the time to change. I hadn't considered making a single sided PCB, but if it is possible, it makes life easy for home constructors.

            Chris


          • Quixotic Nixotic
            ... OK I just uploaded a tentative and incomplete s/s Smartsocket IV-17 board layout I have been working on, as a PDF. As you can see, there are lots of links
            Message 5 of 28 , Aug 20, 2010
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              On 20 Aug 2010, at 13:26, fixitsan2 wrote:
              > No problem at all John, I selected the pin order just to make
              > debugging easier and laid out my breadboard accordingly.
              >
              OK I just uploaded a tentative and incomplete s/s Smartsocket IV-17
              board layout I have been working on, as a PDF. As you can see, there
              are lots of links between the MAX6921 and the tubes, the 'blue'
              wires. It would work though.

              Page two of the PDF has a previous layout I used, which has only one
              link, the ground to the tube filaments. Note that in this version I
              did not use the blanking pin and tied it low. It does show that, with
              a bit of planning, it would be feasible to simplify connections.

              Regards, John S
            • fixitsan2
              ... Thanks John. It occurred to me that an ideal solution will be difficult to find because we all have preferences. Having a large number of links is not
              Message 6 of 28 , Aug 22, 2010
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                --- In smartsockets@yahoogroups.com, Quixotic Nixotic <nixotic1@...> wrote:
                >

                > OK I just uploaded a tentative and incomplete s/s Smartsocket IV-17
                > board layout I have been working on, as a PDF.




                Thanks John.
                It occurred to me that an ideal solution will be difficult to find because we all have preferences. Having a large number of links is not prohibitive for a 1-off home builder, but can be time consuming for large scale work.

                I have not implemented the blanking feature because so far there has been no sign of ghosting related issues.

                What I would like to do tomorrow is to implement a new command which gives the user absolute control over the pinout.

                Options which I think I can get working are choices related to the use of a shift register, or direct drive (active high/active low options). If using a shift register, options could be created relating to the use of the blanking pin with a programmable interdigit delay, the polarity of the clock and data signals and of course the bit output order relating to each segment. In this way one multifunctional device can be made to work across multiple applications.

                Chris
              • fixitsan2
                The new IV-17 socket code is coming along nicely and should be ready soon.... Changes from previous versions are: a) Introduction of an output pin remapping
                Message 7 of 28 , Aug 26, 2010
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                  The new IV-17 socket code is coming along nicely and should be ready soon....

                  Changes from previous versions are:

                  a) Introduction of an output pin remapping mode '$B7O' whereby every segment in the tube can be assigned to any shift register output.
                  b) End of data terminator character 13 is no longer used. End of data is detected by a pause. A pause of 1mS needs to be created after every command instead.
                  c) Timer1, and therefore the RTC code, can run from a 32.768kHz crystal attached to the relevant pins. Precision is better than 1 second per day.
                  d) Now using a 5V 18f25k22 and therefore the previous level shifter on the PWM output is redundant - the FET is driven directly from the pic.

                  I still need to tidy up a couple of commands, and implement a PWM control algorithm to maintain a stable 40V output from the Switcher. After this, the PCB will need to be designed.

                  Chris
                • fixitsan2
                  John, Michail I have not managed to get boards made yet and am a long way off making a pcb design in fact. They can be daisychained too, like all other
                  Message 8 of 28 , Aug 22, 2011
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                    John, Michail

                    I have not managed to get boards made yet and am a long way off making a pcb design in fact.

                    They can be daisychained too, like all other Smartsockets, upto a maximum of 63 boards, to give upto 252 characters in total

                    Chris
                  • fixitsan2
                    I have noticed that the IV-17 sockets have had virtually no interest for a long time, apart from a message I received this week about them and so I have
                    Message 9 of 28 , Oct 14, 2011
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                      I have noticed that the IV-17 sockets have had virtually no interest for a long time, apart from a message I received this week about them and so I have decided to try to make something out of the project for myself.

                      I have the first batch of PCB's back which will require only minor revisions and I could have a couple of kits ready by next week. I don't have a huge stock of tubes and nor do I have very many ready made 40V supplies. the existing supply was made by Sure Electronics and is MC34063 based. However, it is unavailable now and I am sourcing another at the moment. If all else fails I could go down the route of using discreet components but the cost VS faff ratio could be about the same.

                      The two PCB's measure 3.2" x 1.6" each and they stack vertically. There are only 8 interconnections between both boards making it possible to arrange them in alternative positions relative to one another.

                      There are edge connectors to allow jumpering between units to create larger arrays made up of individual 4 tube units.

                      I'll post some images/video soon when i have finished building the first one. The hardest part of assembly has not been the use of the tiny surface mount components, but the installation of the 21 wires for each tube, especially with other tubes already in place.

                      Chris
                    • John Rehwinkel
                      ... Could you use 30 volts instead? Goldmine has their VFD power supplies on sale for a buck apiece. They also offer a nice centertapped AC filament supply.
                      Message 10 of 28 , Oct 14, 2011
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                        > I don't have a huge stock of tubes and nor do I have very many ready made 40V supplies. the existing supply was made by Sure Electronics and is MC34063 based. However, it is unavailable now and I am sourcing another at the moment. If all else fails I could go down the route of using discreet components but the cost VS faff ratio could be about the same.

                        Could you use 30 volts instead? Goldmine has their VFD power supplies on sale for a buck apiece. They also offer a
                        nice centertapped AC filament supply.

                        http://www.goldmine-elec-products.com/prodinfo.asp?number=G5097

                        I reverse-engineered the schematic a while back:

                        http://www.vitriol.com/images/tech/VFDsupply-G5097.gif

                        Alternatively, ask Sure Electronics if they care to do another run. They seem like friendly folks.

                        - John KG4L
                      • michail1@aol.com
                        Would I need 1 per tube? Michail In a message dated 10/14/2011 5:34:14 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time, jrehwin@mac.com writes:
                        Message 11 of 28 , Oct 14, 2011
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                          Would I need 1 per tube?
                           
                          Michail
                           
                          In a message dated 10/14/2011 5:34:14 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time, jrehwin@... writes:
                          http://www.goldmine-elec-products.com/prodinfo.asp?number=G5097

                          I reverse-engineered the schematic a while back:

                          http://www.vitriol.com/images/tech/VFDsupply-G5097.gif

                          - John KG4L
                        • John Rehwinkel
                          ... It depends on the tube, but you could likely run a 2-3 tubes with this supply. Note that as delivered, it produces a negative output voltage, not a
                          Message 12 of 28 , Oct 14, 2011
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                            > In a message dated 10/14/2011 5:34:14 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time, jrehwin@... writes:
                            >> http://www.goldmine-elec-products.com/prodinfo.asp?number=G5097
                            >>
                            >> I reverse-engineered the schematic a while back:
                            >>
                            >> http://www.vitriol.com/images/tech/VFDsupply-G5097.gif

                            > Would I need 1 per tube?

                            It depends on the tube, but you could likely run a 2-3 tubes with this supply.

                            Note that as delivered, it produces a negative output voltage, not a positive one. It's intended for use in
                            industrial systems where the negative voltage is connected to the center tap of the filament drive, and
                            the grids and anodes are pulled up to ground to light them.

                            Many of the designs here have the filament at ground or a little positive, and pull the grids and anodes
                            up to a positive voltage to light them. If you want to use the supply this way, simply reverse the output
                            diode(s) and capacitor(s) on the output(s) you're going to use.

                            Don't reverse the -8.5V output, as it is also used for regulation.

                            Here's a pic of that supply lighting an IV-26 VFD:

                            http://www.vitriol.com/images/tech/vfd.jpeg

                            - John KG4L
                          • fixitsan2
                            Hi John, I ve already tried persuading Sure but they aren t going to go for it. I did get the price down very low so there is very little business in it for
                            Message 13 of 28 , Oct 14, 2011
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                              Hi John,
                              I've already tried persuading Sure but they aren't going to go for it. I did get the price down very low so there is very little business in it for them for low volume orders.

                              I don't know if 30V is enough, maybe of the tubes were muxed more slowly and definitely if the tubes were direct drive then yes it probably would work but I feel 30V is just a tad too dim when you see them running.

                              I'm considering this sort of supply
                              http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3-3-40V-Out-5-40V-Adjustable-DC-DC-Step-up-Converter-/120749244764?pt=Camera_Cables_Cords&hash=item1c1d37415c

                              The boards have power feed-thru tracks, so if you were connecting 3 or 4 boards together all of them could be supplied from the first one's 40V supply. In multiple board installations it is more cost effective to use 1 robust supply for all boards, rather than each board being fitted with it's own lower power 40V supply.

                              Horses for courses.

                              Chris
                            • Quixotic Nixotic
                              ... Chris, I am still very interested. I think we have been watching Guus s progress with the fuse settings with interest. I suppose nobody wanted to be the
                              Message 14 of 28 , Oct 16, 2011
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                                On 14 Oct 2011, at 09:37, fixitsan2 wrote:
                                > I have noticed that the IV-17 sockets have had virtually no
                                > interest for a long time, apart from a message I received this week
                                > about them and so I have decided to try to make something out of
                                > the project for myself.
                                >

                                Chris, I am still very interested. I think we have been watching
                                Guus's progress with the fuse settings with interest. I suppose
                                nobody wanted to be the guinea pig for this project and for my part
                                it went on the back-burner for health reasons.

                                Once there is a proven system in operation I am sure people will jump
                                at the chance to fire up some of their tubes up. Don't lose heart.

                                I have maybe a dozen or so of these tubes waiting to do something. So
                                put me down for some boards please.

                                I had good success amending the famous 555 timer circuit to put out
                                adjustable 40v, so I don't think there would be a problem using that.
                                I have a bunch of those el-cheapo Goldmine boards here. As far as I
                                remember Konstantin of Kosbo fame said the diodes and caps can be
                                reversed to give the right polarity voltages, but they are fixed at 30v.

                                Do we need an AC filament drive or can we drop some 5v to drive them?

                                Best wishes,

                                John S
                              • fixitsan2
                                ... Hi John ... I couldn t understand why Guus had a problem using the Pickit2 and the code I produced. I used 2 seperate programmers, two PCs and two
                                Message 15 of 28 , Oct 17, 2011
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                                  --- In smartsockets@yahoogroups.com, Quixotic Nixotic <nixotic1@...> wrote:
                                  >

                                  Hi John

                                  > Chris, I am still very interested. I think we have been watching
                                  > Guus's progress with the fuse settings with interest. I suppose
                                  > nobody wanted to be the guinea pig for this project and for my part
                                  > it went on the back-burner for health reasons.

                                  I couldn't understand why Guus had a problem using the Pickit2 and the code I produced. I used 2 seperate programmers, two PCs and two different pics and programming went fine both times for me. Th efuses are in the Hex file which gets read by the Pickit 2, which also allows you to alter the config bits before burning the code onto the pic.

                                  I know Guus has a lot of experience so I assumed he was going to work it out. I know it's a cliche, but it worked for me.


                                  >
                                  > Once there is a proven system in operation I am sure people will jump
                                  > at the chance to fire up some of their tubes up. Don't lose heart.
                                  >

                                  I don't mind, I have a few tubes I don't need and just thought that while nobody else is actively selling kits or boards I would do it myself, until the tubes are gone. It has been fully working since V12 code was released, but I wanted to wait to see if anyone else was going to jump on it like with previous versions of sockets, plus I have been very busy myself to do anything until now.


                                  > I have maybe a dozen or so of these tubes waiting to do something. So
                                  > put me down for some boards please.


                                  Okay John, if you can find a way to thread the tubes into the boards which is quick and easy i will even give you a set of boards for free ! That is probably the hardest thing to do, the SMD soldering is not too bad.



                                  >
                                  > I had good success amending the famous 555 timer circuit to put out
                                  > adjustable 40v, so I don't think there would be a problem using that.
                                  > I have a bunch of those el-cheapo Goldmine boards here. As far as I
                                  > remember Konstantin of Kosbo fame said the diodes and caps can be
                                  > reversed to give the right polarity voltages, but they are fixed at 30v.

                                  Now the subject has come up I am wondering if I can get the voltage requirement down to 30 or 35V. It would be great if I can do that. The mux frequency is the variable which currently determines the voltage requirement. I can easily lower the frequency simply by removing fading effects, but I don't want to have to do that.



                                  >
                                  > Do we need an AC filament drive or can we drop some 5v to drive them?
                                  >

                                  It seems to me that it all depends on if you're a purist or not. Hi Hi.
                                  AC filament drive was favoured because if you have a long display with a single or multple linear filaments, then the difference in voltage beteen one end of the filament and the screen, compared to the difference in voltage between the other end of the filament and the screen, when using DC, is noticeable, and produces a gradient effect in terms of brightness.

                                  With a lower voltage for the anodes and screen of, say, 25V and approx 2.5V for the filament, one end of the filament will have a differential of 22.5V and the other end 25V.

                                  If the filament is folded as it is in the IV-17 tubes, then the bottom left of the filament is at 25v below screen voltage, Vbb, and the bottom right is 22.5V below Vbb. However , the filaments do not just emit electrons in to region directly underneath them but also out to the sides too, which means there is a mixing of the effect where the two ends of the filaments are. invariably, one side receives more electrons than the other but the effect isn't as strong as if the filament were unfolded in a straight in a linear tube.

                                  The gradient effect is made even less noticeable because of the use of a higher Vbb. With 25V Vbb the gradient is 2.5/25 = 10%, but with 40V the gradient is only 2.5/40 = 6.25%, which is imperceivable in terms of brightness. Perhaps when the tubes reach the end of their lives there will be a noticeable difference, if you knew to look for it.

                                  > Best wishes,
                                  >
                                  > John S
                                  >

                                  Nice to hear from you,

                                  Chris
                                • Mark Van Kannel
                                  If it helps your descision whether to jump in and make kits, I m interested in 5 to 7 four letter word kits (tubeless) as I have the tubes. Mark
                                  Message 16 of 28 , Oct 17, 2011
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                                    If it helps your descision whether to jump in and make kits, I'm interested in 5 to 7 "four letter word" kits (tubeless) as I have the tubes.
                                     
                                    Mark
                                     
                                  • Quixotic Nixotic
                                    ... I know what you mean. I sometimes work from front to back or back to front of the tube, trimming the leads on the diagonal with a pair of scissors before I
                                    Message 17 of 28 , Oct 17, 2011
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                                      On 17 Oct 2011, at 10:23, fixitsan2 wrote:

                                      > Okay John, if you can find a way to thread the tubes into the
                                      > boards which is quick and easy i will even give you a set of boards
                                      > for free ! That is probably the hardest thing to do, the SMD
                                      > soldering is not too bad.
                                      >
                                      I know what you mean. I sometimes work from front to back or back to
                                      front of the tube, trimming the leads on the diagonal with a pair of
                                      scissors before I attempt to insert. I can then thread the leads
                                      through in handed pairs as each pair is shorter than the last.

                                      Otherwise all you can do is hold the tube on a diagonal and attempt
                                      to insert in a similar way. But usually this method simply pings pins
                                      back out as you try to jiggle others in.

                                      I wonder if there is a slide-on jig that could be made, like a comb,
                                      that would allow the tube leads to be trimmed on the diagonal easily
                                      - I'll have a little thinkette about that.

                                      John S
                                    • michail1@aol.com
                                      I also would be interested in several kits as well. ESPECIALLY if stackable (meaning if we could attach each 4 tube board together to run strings for
                                      Message 18 of 28 , Oct 17, 2011
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                                        I also would be interested in several kits as well.  ESPECIALLY if stackable (meaning if we could attach each 4 tube board together to run strings for text/signs, etc.
                                         
                                         
                                        Michail
                                         
                                         
                                        In a message dated 10/17/2011 4:45:50 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time, vankanma@... writes:
                                        If it helps your descision whether to jump in and make kits, I'm interested in 5 to 7 "four letter word" kits (tubeless) as I have the tubes.
                                         
                                        Mark
                                      • fixitsan2
                                        ... I sometimes work from front to back or back to ... I ve thought about combing them straight, it will definitely make it easier. A jig would be great, a
                                        Message 19 of 28 , Oct 18, 2011
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                                          --- In smartsockets@yahoogroups.com, Quixotic Nixotic <nixotic1@...> wrote:
                                          I sometimes work from front to back or back to
                                          > front of the tube, trimming the leads on the diagonal with a pair of
                                          > scissors before I attempt to insert. I can then thread the leads
                                          > through in handed pairs as each pair is shorter than the last.
                                          >
                                          > Otherwise all you can do is hold the tube on a diagonal and attempt
                                          > to insert in a similar way. But usually this method simply pings pins
                                          > back out as you try to jiggle others in.
                                          >
                                          > I wonder if there is a slide-on jig that could be made, like a comb,
                                          > that would allow the tube leads to be trimmed on the diagonal easily
                                          > - I'll have a little thinkette about that.
                                          >
                                          > John S
                                          >

                                          I've thought about combing them straight, it will definitely make it easier.
                                          A jig would be great, a real luxury and might cost luxury prices to make. If I had retained the circular footprint then I could have had something made up, but the footprint on the board is rectangular.

                                          The easiest way I have found so far is to use snipe nosed pliers to thread each wire down each hole, it seems to work best for now
                                        • fixitsan2
                                          ... Mark, I don t have any FLW drivers yet. The Smartsocket interfaces 4 IV17 tubes to a serial data stream. Once the kit is finalised I will look towards
                                          Message 20 of 28 , Oct 18, 2011
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                                            --- In smartsockets@yahoogroups.com, "Mark Van Kannel" <vankanma@...> wrote:
                                            >
                                            > If it helps your descision whether to jump in and make kits, I'm interested in 5 to 7 "four letter word" kits (tubeless) as I have the tubes.
                                            >
                                            > Mark
                                            >

                                            Mark, I don't have any FLW drivers yet.
                                            The Smartsocket interfaces 4 IV17 tubes to a serial data stream. Once the kit is finalised I will look towards making something to drive the Smartsocket in order to emulate a FLW.

                                            Chris
                                          • fixitsan2
                                            ... Michail The kits stack. The PCBs have been designed so that when the kits are side by side uniform tube spacing is maintained. You can stack upto 252 tubes
                                            Message 21 of 28 , Oct 18, 2011
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                                              --- In smartsockets@yahoogroups.com, michail1@... wrote:
                                              >
                                              > I also would be interested in several kits as well. ESPECIALLY if
                                              > stackable (meaning if we could attach each 4 tube board together to run strings
                                              > for text/signs, etc.
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > Michail
                                              >
                                              >

                                              Michail
                                              The kits stack.
                                              The PCBs have been designed so that when the kits are side by side uniform tube spacing is maintained.
                                              You can stack upto 252 tubes this way

                                              Chris
                                            • Garrett Stewart
                                              I have a question regarding the IV-17 SS, I know that it is designed for and more expressly fits the footprint of the IV-17, but given that an IV-12 has
                                              Message 22 of 28 , Oct 18, 2011
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                                                I have a question regarding the IV-17 SS, I know that it is designed for
                                                and more expressly fits the footprint of the IV-17, but given that an
                                                IV-12 has similar specifications, would it be possible to utilize the
                                                IV-17 SS with IV-12 tubes (I know they wouldn't fit in the sockets
                                                themselves, but that can be fixed with some rewiring.)? I'm kind of new
                                                to all of this, but looking at the specifications I don't think it would
                                                be impossible.
                                              • michail1@aol.com
                                                Then count me in for some as well. What sucks is I bought about 16 7971 smart sockets. Assembled half and did nothing with them. I know, it s a shame.
                                                Message 23 of 28 , Oct 18, 2011
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                                                  Then count me in for some as well.
                                                   
                                                  What sucks is I bought about 16 7971 smart sockets.  Assembled half and did nothing with them.  I know, it's a shame.  Hopefully will not do the same with the IV17 kits.   :)
                                                   
                                                  Michail
                                                   
                                                  In a message dated 10/18/2011 6:18:37 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time, fixitsan@... writes:
                                                  Michail
                                                  The kits stack.
                                                  The PCBs have been designed so that when the kits are side by side uniform tube spacing is maintained.
                                                  You can stack upto 252 tubes this way

                                                  Chris
                                                • fixitsan2
                                                  ... Hello Garrett It is perfectly possible to modify the existing IV17SS to run other VFD tubes, it requires a different tube deck PCB. It s no biggy to do it,
                                                  Message 24 of 28 , Oct 18, 2011
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                                                    --- In smartsockets@yahoogroups.com, Garrett Stewart <zero@...> wrote:
                                                    >
                                                    > I have a question regarding the IV-17 SS, I know that it is designed for
                                                    > and more expressly fits the footprint of the IV-17, but given that an
                                                    > IV-12 has similar specifications, would it be possible to utilize the
                                                    > IV-17 SS with IV-12 tubes (I know they wouldn't fit in the sockets
                                                    > themselves, but that can be fixed with some rewiring.)? I'm kind of new
                                                    > to all of this, but looking at the specifications I don't think it would
                                                    > be impossible.
                                                    >

                                                    Hello Garrett
                                                    It is perfectly possible to modify the existing IV17SS to run other VFD tubes, it requires a different tube deck PCB. It's no biggy to do it, I just don't know when I will get around to doing it.

                                                    Great idea though, I could use a standard control board and have interchangeable display boards, then it would simply be a case of loading the controller with the appropriate software.

                                                    If you're looking for an IV-12 project in a rush, there are some good ones already, such as
                                                    http://axio.ms/projects/russian_lighty_uppy_thing/

                                                    Chris
                                                  • fixitsan2
                                                    ... Hello Garrett It is perfectly possible to modify the existing IV17SS to run other VFD tubes, it requires a different tube deck PCB. It s no biggy to do it,
                                                    Message 25 of 28 , Oct 18, 2011
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                                                      --- In smartsockets@yahoogroups.com, Garrett Stewart <zero@...> wrote:
                                                      >
                                                      > I have a question regarding the IV-17 SS, I know that it is designed for
                                                      > and more expressly fits the footprint of the IV-17, but given that an
                                                      > IV-12 has similar specifications, would it be possible to utilize the
                                                      > IV-17 SS with IV-12 tubes (I know they wouldn't fit in the sockets
                                                      > themselves, but that can be fixed with some rewiring.)? I'm kind of new
                                                      > to all of this, but looking at the specifications I don't think it would
                                                      > be impossible.
                                                      >

                                                      Hello Garrett
                                                      It is perfectly possible to modify the existing IV17SS to run other VFD tubes, it requires a different tube deck PCB. It's no biggy to do it, I just don't know when I will get around to doing it.

                                                      Great idea though, I could use a standard control board and have interchangeable display boards, then it would simply be a case of loading the controller with the appropriate software.

                                                      If you're looking for an IV-12 project in a rush, there are some good ones already, such as
                                                      http://axio.ms/projects/russian_lighty_uppy_thing/

                                                      Chris
                                                    • black_petal
                                                      Chris you said you had some IV-17 tubes also are you going to sell kits with tubes ? thanks mike
                                                      Message 26 of 28 , Nov 19, 2011
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                                                        Chris

                                                        you said you had some IV-17 tubes also are you going to sell kits with tubes ?

                                                        thanks
                                                        mike

                                                        --- In smartsockets@yahoogroups.com, "fixitsan2" <fixitsan@...> wrote:
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > --- In smartsockets@yahoogroups.com, Quixotic Nixotic <nixotic1@> wrote:
                                                        > >
                                                        >
                                                        > Hi John
                                                        >
                                                        > > Chris, I am still very interested. I think we have been watching
                                                        > > Guus's progress with the fuse settings with interest. I suppose
                                                        > > nobody wanted to be the guinea pig for this project and for my part
                                                        > > it went on the back-burner for health reasons.
                                                        >
                                                        > I couldn't understand why Guus had a problem using the Pickit2 and the code I produced. I used 2 seperate programmers, two PCs and two different pics and programming went fine both times for me. Th efuses are in the Hex file which gets read by the Pickit 2, which also allows you to alter the config bits before burning the code onto the pic.
                                                        >
                                                        > I know Guus has a lot of experience so I assumed he was going to work it out. I know it's a cliche, but it worked for me.
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > >
                                                        > > Once there is a proven system in operation I am sure people will jump
                                                        > > at the chance to fire up some of their tubes up. Don't lose heart.
                                                        > >
                                                        >
                                                        > I don't mind, I have a few tubes I don't need and just thought that while nobody else is actively selling kits or boards I would do it myself, until the tubes are gone. It has been fully working since V12 code was released, but I wanted to wait to see if anyone else was going to jump on it like with previous versions of sockets, plus I have been very busy myself to do anything until now.
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > > I have maybe a dozen or so of these tubes waiting to do something. So
                                                        > > put me down for some boards please.
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > Okay John, if you can find a way to thread the tubes into the boards which is quick and easy i will even give you a set of boards for free ! That is probably the hardest thing to do, the SMD soldering is not too bad.
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > >
                                                        > > I had good success amending the famous 555 timer circuit to put out
                                                        > > adjustable 40v, so I don't think there would be a problem using that.
                                                        > > I have a bunch of those el-cheapo Goldmine boards here. As far as I
                                                        > > remember Konstantin of Kosbo fame said the diodes and caps can be
                                                        > > reversed to give the right polarity voltages, but they are fixed at 30v.
                                                        >
                                                        > Now the subject has come up I am wondering if I can get the voltage requirement down to 30 or 35V. It would be great if I can do that. The mux frequency is the variable which currently determines the voltage requirement. I can easily lower the frequency simply by removing fading effects, but I don't want to have to do that.
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > >
                                                        > > Do we need an AC filament drive or can we drop some 5v to drive them?
                                                        > >
                                                        >
                                                        > It seems to me that it all depends on if you're a purist or not. Hi Hi.
                                                        > AC filament drive was favoured because if you have a long display with a single or multple linear filaments, then the difference in voltage beteen one end of the filament and the screen, compared to the difference in voltage between the other end of the filament and the screen, when using DC, is noticeable, and produces a gradient effect in terms of brightness.
                                                        >
                                                        > With a lower voltage for the anodes and screen of, say, 25V and approx 2.5V for the filament, one end of the filament will have a differential of 22.5V and the other end 25V.
                                                        >
                                                        > If the filament is folded as it is in the IV-17 tubes, then the bottom left of the filament is at 25v below screen voltage, Vbb, and the bottom right is 22.5V below Vbb. However , the filaments do not just emit electrons in to region directly underneath them but also out to the sides too, which means there is a mixing of the effect where the two ends of the filaments are. invariably, one side receives more electrons than the other but the effect isn't as strong as if the filament were unfolded in a straight in a linear tube.
                                                        >
                                                        > The gradient effect is made even less noticeable because of the use of a higher Vbb. With 25V Vbb the gradient is 2.5/25 = 10%, but with 40V the gradient is only 2.5/40 = 6.25%, which is imperceivable in terms of brightness. Perhaps when the tubes reach the end of their lives there will be a noticeable difference, if you knew to look for it.
                                                        >
                                                        > > Best wishes,
                                                        > >
                                                        > > John S
                                                        > >
                                                        >
                                                        > Nice to hear from you,
                                                        >
                                                        > Chris
                                                        >
                                                      • fixitsan2
                                                        ... Yes Mike :) I have a few tubes, I will be selling them soon. Michail, I have 75 pairs of PCB s which just arrived :) I am stocking up with parts and just
                                                        Message 27 of 28 , Nov 19, 2011
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                                                          --- In smartsockets@yahoogroups.com, "black_petal" <logan714@...> wrote:
                                                          >
                                                          > Chris
                                                          >
                                                          > you said you had some IV-17 tubes also are you going to sell kits with tubes ?
                                                          >
                                                          > thanks
                                                          > mike

                                                          Yes Mike :)
                                                          I have a few tubes, I will be selling them soon.

                                                          Michail, I have 75 pairs of PCB's which just arrived :)
                                                          I am stocking up with parts and just need to wait another week or so before the last few parts arrive in order to make up kits.

                                                          The parts I am waiting for are pin headers and receptacles, which will allow the two boards to be seperated and reconnected without desoldering anything.

                                                          I'm also waiting for new programmer. A pickit 2 clone arrived this week and did not recognise any device I tried to program, I put it down to bad luck and bought another from the same seller while the other was going back for a refund. But he refused to send it to me because he 'suspected my circuit was faulty'.

                                                          I then got a lecture about the importance of fitting a 22uF cap across the supply pins when programming (Yes, really !). I suggested he refunded my money if he was going to bicker over the second one. He refunded it, but still bickered.

                                                          I'm just waiting for a genuine Mchip Pickit 3 to arrive any day.

                                                          Chris
                                                        • black_petal
                                                          cool Chris as soon as i get some$$ i love to get some tubes and boards mike
                                                          Message 28 of 28 , Nov 19, 2011
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                                                            cool Chris
                                                            as soon as i get some$$ i love to get some tubes and boards

                                                            mike

                                                            --- In smartsockets@yahoogroups.com, "fixitsan2" <fixitsan@...> wrote:
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            > --- In smartsockets@yahoogroups.com, "black_petal" <logan714@> wrote:
                                                            > >
                                                            > > Chris
                                                            > >
                                                            > > you said you had some IV-17 tubes also are you going to sell kits with tubes ?
                                                            > >
                                                            > > thanks
                                                            > > mike
                                                            >
                                                            > Yes Mike :)
                                                            > I have a few tubes, I will be selling them soon.
                                                            >
                                                            > Michail, I have 75 pairs of PCB's which just arrived :)
                                                            > I am stocking up with parts and just need to wait another week or so before the last few parts arrive in order to make up kits.
                                                            >
                                                            > The parts I am waiting for are pin headers and receptacles, which will allow the two boards to be seperated and reconnected without desoldering anything.
                                                            >
                                                            > I'm also waiting for new programmer. A pickit 2 clone arrived this week and did not recognise any device I tried to program, I put it down to bad luck and bought another from the same seller while the other was going back for a refund. But he refused to send it to me because he 'suspected my circuit was faulty'.
                                                            >
                                                            > I then got a lecture about the importance of fitting a 22uF cap across the supply pins when programming (Yes, really !). I suggested he refunded my money if he was going to bicker over the second one. He refunded it, but still bickered.
                                                            >
                                                            > I'm just waiting for a genuine Mchip Pickit 3 to arrive any day.
                                                            >
                                                            > Chris
                                                            >
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