Having source code and all design files as a starting point it becomes very easy to customise it for your own needs and your own DIY project, even VFD driver might be modified with little efforts to control VFD panel from another DVD player - they all designed in a unified way.
This is a list of features that we've got in the end (and what could be potentially enhanced if you like):
- Real time clock battery backed up dedicated chip;
- 1Wire temperature sensor;
- Controlled wirelessly by any RC;
- Activated by PIR motion sensor;
- Serial-to-USB convertor for reprogramming and logging purposes;
- Acrylic enclosure;
- Full source code is available;
Thank you and we hope you will find this project useful and worth making!
Step 1: Scrapped DVD player parts
But what if all this infrastructure already existed, would it be that difficult to combine together something like Arduino controller and VFD? The answer is no, not at all! Most modern DVD players equipped with VFDs and when less reliable mechanical parts (DVD ROM drives) fail devices are simply thrown away. Instead, some electronics could still be reused to give your project a completely new look reducing costs at the same time and saving the environment. In addition to a VFD with controller onboard and a power supply which provides everything with all vital voltage levels there is a bonus – an IR receiver and buttons. VFD controller takes care of refreshing display, handling events from buttons and IR receiver encapsulating whole control into a serial interface and making integration with even primitive controllers very possible, giving in exchange fully functional remotely controlled system.
But enough theory, let’s have a look at a real example. We found a broken DVD player literally lying in the street. Quick test indicated that VFD board and power supply were functional. VFD was 16-segment and therefore capable of displaying not only digits but characters as well. After a few minutes of internet search model name was identified: Philips DVP630
For our experiment we will need a front VFD panel and a power supply board only.