MC6205 (MS6205) Display

Working with an old Electronika MC6205 Neon dot matrix display

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Working with an old Russian Electronika MC6205 neon dot matrix display. Trying to get it powered and connected to a computer.

Will eventually figure out something cool to do with it. But for now I just want to get it working.

Some time ago I purchased this MC6205 display on eBay.  I've been wanting to connect it to my computer and eventually build some sort of project with it.  It came with a wiring diagram to connect via parallel.  The display has an odd Russian socket on it but I was able to order the matching plugs on eBay.  I made a cable but when I powered it nothing happened.  I thought my cable was bad since It sure looks bad ;).  I designed an adapter board with onboard jack for 12 volt supply and regulator for the 5 volt supply.  After soldering and hooking it up nothing happened.  I tried again and waited a couple minutes and parts of the screen started flickering then the whole screen flickered a few times and then it came on.  It hasn't had issues starting since so it might have been a first time startup issue or an issue with sitting so long.  It currently displays a bunch of junk since I don't have the parallel socket to connect it yet.

I found some software to send text to it.  It's basic and I hope to reverse engineer the data it's sending to figure out how to write my own.

P.S.  The display is currently upside down, since the port is on the bottom.

Nixie Display Adpater

Eagle project files for the adapter board.

x-zip-compressed - 455.02 kB - 06/04/2022 at 01:43



Schematics for the display (In Russian)

Adobe Portable Document Format - 7.78 MB - 06/12/2020 at 01:29



Manual for the display (in Russian) Not much use to me at the moment. Might be a good idea to try translating it.

Adobe Portable Document Format - 4.83 MB - 06/12/2020 at 01:29


Gerber Files for the adapter board. Just upload and go.

x-zip-compressed - 82.21 kB - 06/11/2020 at 02:15


MC6205 Software and Wireing

This is the software I found. I translated the readme to make it easier to install. (Note, I did not create this software, if the original creator wants me to remove it I can do that)

x-zip-compressed - 163.31 kB - 06/11/2020 at 02:05


View all 16 files

  • 1 × MC6205 The display
  • 1 × 7805 5v Regulator
  • 1 × Heatsink The 7805 Gets HOT. 85C with my small heatsink, a bigger one might be good.
  • 2 × 10 uF Capacitors Make sure they can handle the 12 volts
  • 1 × CHO63-48/95x9P-24-2-8 socket Not sure if that is the actual part number.

View all 8 components

View project log

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Keri Szafir wrote 01/02/2023 at 12:03 point

Wooooow! A thing of beauty and a joy for ever.

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Sean W wrote 03/05/2022 at 03:58 point

Would it be possible to get the cad files for the gerbers? I want to make a board like yours but instead of a lpt port, I'll have onboard esp8266?

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s wrote 06/11/2021 at 02:41 point

does anybody have a recommendation where to find a matching connector?

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Michael Cook wrote 02/16/2021 at 23:01 point

Hey, I've gone one working too!

Have you thought about trying to stop those horizontal lines from displaying? I can't figure it out but I believe it's possible just based on the following pictures I found randomly:

It's a slightly different model to mine, and I'm not confident enough to just start snipping resistors until it works haha.

PS: If anyone wants to control it with an Arduino, this library is fantastic:

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Leszek Jakubowski wrote 05/23/2021 at 21:58 point

I all depends on your model of the MS6205. But in my case cathodes control the vertical lines, anodes control the horizontal lines. Some cathodes aren't connected at all (1px lines to the left and right of letters), and also some anodes aren't connected (1px lines above and below letters), but others are permanently pulled up to 240V.

If you have all the docs that came with your MS6205 it should be easy enough to find the anodes that are permanently pulled up and to remove the pull-up resistors. I'm a bit disappointed they didn't connect all lines to the logic chips. :/
Ping me with a PM if you'd like some help.

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Michael Cook wrote 05/25/2021 at 10:04 point

Fantastic advice, thanks @Leszek Jakubowski 

I'll give it a go at some point yeah, it seems like there is a lot more variation of the layout of circuitry in these devices than I'd expect. 
The horizontal lines are beautiful in a way, so I'm worried of breaking it but we'll see!

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McKay Cheatham wrote 12/09/2020 at 22:36 point

I've got one of these, though I plan to eventually directly drive the display instead of using the built in driver. Maybe turn it into the world's worst E-Reader.

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Igor wrote 06/21/2020 at 16:50 point

I also have this screen. I made it work and everything is fine with me (I even wrote a program). I recommend applying 30A GND to the pin to drive the monitor out if it is junk.
If necessary, I can send my program code for arduino

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Tyler Bourne wrote 08/07/2020 at 18:31 point

Arduino code would be fantastic.  I've been having issues with the software side, mostly figuring out the control commands to send to the display.

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Thomas wrote 06/12/2020 at 13:44 point

Awesome find. Looking forward to seeing updates on this! 

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Tyler Bourne wrote 06/13/2020 at 20:57 point

just waiting for the parallel socket to arrive.  Once its here I can try displaying things. 

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Tyler Bourne wrote 06/12/2020 at 03:31 point

I've seen pictures of it being used in a money counter for banknotes. I'll post a picture if I can find it again

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don.vukovic wrote 06/12/2020 at 02:36 point

Any idea what this display was used in ?

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Igor wrote 06/21/2020 at 21:20 point

On the device "BANKNOTA-1". cnc machine tools:
MAYAK-221, MAYAK-223, 2M43, KM43, 2S85, KM85. And one rare comp ... On Wikipedia it is written (Russian)
You can also look where they use IMG-1-03 is an indicator in the monitor

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