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You can get your hands on some very interesting components when disassembling old electronics. One such I’ve found was this VFD (Vacuum Fluorescent Display). Trying to reverse-engineer the controller was, however not the way to go as all ICs on the board were covered with glob-tops. So I decided to de-solder it from the control board and build a simple driver. Here’s how to do it with a MAX7219 (I’ve had a few left from a previous LED project) and some other components.


- 1 x VFD display (with 7-segment characters)
- 5 x BC547 transistor
- 10 x 1M resistor
- 6 x 10K resistor
- 1 x Arduino
- 2 x UDN2981
- 1 x MAX7219
- 1 x 18V power supply”

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