I have an ambition to make a clock out of an old Russian IV-18 VFD tube. Other people have done it, and probably better than I will, so why not 🙂
These are fairly high voltage so the MAX6921 seems to be the chip of choice. It’s not possible to get them in through-hole variants so that means dealing with a SOIC-28 package. That scared me at first…
I bought some of the 6921s cheaply (China, obviously) and had acquired some SOIC-28 to PIP-28 adaptor boards on eBay – not expensive, can’t remember what they cost (£3 for 6?).
I had tried one last year some time. To be honest, these things are easier to solder than through-hole stuff. If you watch the man do it first:
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Awesome stuff. Never thought I’d be able to do anything like that.
I used “Solder Paste” on the bottom one. The rest were done with regular (“proper job”) solder and a flux pen. The solder paste was a bit crap to be honest, or I didn’t get on with it, flux pen + proper solder I could do. Solder paste is in the bin.
After finishing this, I got on to the next thing…
Basically, it’s an Arduino Leonardo clone with a built-in RF transceiver. What’s not to like?
It was a KickStarter project called Minion. I’ll be getting more than the 4 I have already. These things have so much potential.
Of course, I cocked it up. That story is for another time though…