VFD and Keypad re-use

Re-using a VFD and Keypad module from an old DVD player for another project. The module is based on the Princeton PT6315 VFD controller IC.

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I recently picked up an old DVD player from the side of the road - a Pioneer DV-363 - mainly for recycling parts.  Upon opening I found the VFD display and half the keypad sat on a separate PCB, and used a basic serial interface.  I thought this looked like a good opportunity to hack the VFD and use it for my own projects, and set about researching the controller IC - a Princeton PT6315.

After finding a datasheet with a reasonable amount of information in it, I set about cutting the ICs serial IO tracks to the main DVD player, and connecting this to the SPI bus of a Microchip PIC16F1823.

Once I got the communications working, I then reverse-engineered the segment/grid configuration (non-standard on this PCB, probably just for ease of layout).  I then created code to allow me to display messages on the VFD, as well as read the keys from the keypad.

The next challenge will be the power supply for the VFD, which unfortunately isn't generated locally on the display PCB.

  • 1 × Pioneer DV-363 DVD player
  • 1 × Microchip DM164130 Low-pin count demo board
  • 1 × Microchip PIC16F1823 8-bit microcontroller

  • VFD Power Supply

    Stefan Kratz05/07/2014 at 10:50 0 comments

    I eventually traced out the PSU for the DVD player and worked out a power supply for the circuit.

    It requires two rails, a -20v grid rail, and a +2.5v heater rail, both DC.  The heater -ve needs to be referenced to the grid -ve via a zener diode.

    Here is the power supply arrangement shown with a +20v supply for the grid (+ve grounded since we actually want a -ve supply), and a 2.5v supply for the heater.

    Here is a picture of the VFD outside the DVD player using external power supplies, and also a basic schematic of how to link the two rails.

    For implementation into a project I am thinking of using a 20v laptop power supply, with a DC-DC converter for 3.3v logic, then an LDO or simple diode for the 2.5v heater rail.

    Note that DC heater drives are usually reserved for VFDs that are small, and that are custom designed to cope with a DC heater power supply.  This page from Futaba explains this further:

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Gabriel wrote 04/28/2016 at 12:18 point

loved this!

I always wanted to do this!

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Stefan Kratz wrote 05/04/2016 at 05:39 point

Yes surprisingly easy, much better than the 12-14 wire parallel interface of old.  Though with this datasheet I had to hunt about a bit to find one with all the info in it.  If you're going for VFDs in particular it's MUCH less faff to get one that just needs 5v and has it's own onboard PSU.

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