[time-nuts] Thunderbolt monitor

Didier Juges didier at cox.net
Tue Jul 15 00:47:23 EDT 2008

I made a second version (same firmware) of the Thunderbolt monitor. This one
uses the plastic DIP version of the processor mounted on a small Radio Shack
proto board and it uses a gorgeous Noritake Vacuum Fluorescent display. 
The interface between the Noritake and any ordinary LCD display is the same
( as far as pin-out is concerned), except that the Noritake does not have a
contrast adjustment. Otherwise, the firmware is the same, once the
differences are accounted for. The Noritake is generally much faster than
most 2 line LCDs when updating the data, but requires a little more time to
initialize themselves at power up. My software can drive either display
without modification.
The Noritake displays have a software command to adjust the brightness down
to half, and that's it. My firmware does not take advantage of that feature,
which I find relatively useless, but may prolong the life of the display.
The VFDs only have a few years of life under continuous operation, so
dimming the display or turning it off altogether when not needed might be a
good idea.
See pictures at http://www.ko4bb.com/Timing/GPSMonitor/
Didier KO4BB

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