I have always loved the "old school" VFD displays, and wanted to use them in a project. I finally found a reasonably priced one that also had all the controller/driver components. Combined that with a Wifi Connection from an ESP32, and you can display whatever you want from the internet. Note - the display looks fuzzy but that is the camera. It is nice a crisp!
It currently displays date/time, weather, and stock market info, all available from open REST apis. THE VFD only needs a one-wire serial interface, and power. The VFD worked on 5V which was nice, as I can power the ESP32 and VFD from one USB charger supply.
The display is turned off at night. This is done because even when no characters are displayed, the VFD filaments are on, and wanted to extend the life of the device. To do this, power to the device is controlled by a GPIO pin used to drive a MOSFET to switch the power.
THe stock data is obtained from https://www.alphavantage.co
Current date/time from - http://worldclockapi.com/api/json/est/now
Weather is from - https://community-open-weather-map.p.rapidapi.com
The display is limited to 16 characters. Code is Arduino, used VSCode with platform.io
more pics here - https://imgur.com/a/i69MlFa and video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9zehW08uAE&feature=youtu.be
I had a custom case 3D printed for it.