IV-11 VFD Tube Clock Assembly Guide




Introduction: IV-11 VFD Tube Clock Assembly Guide

Here is a functional retro clock made with 6 IV-11 VFD tube DIY Kit, it has alarm and temp display, with a remote controller to edit clock and change led mode.

Printable instructions: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3w2uIW46VgQWW1B...

~Need soldering skill~



ebay.com and ebay.co.uk

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***Do not download this instruction, just click next step is OK.***

Step 1: The Parts and Soldering

You can see the marking/label on the PCB actually tells which parts goes where, and which direction should be. if you need more reference on the way to put the parts, here is the original photo https://www.instructables.com/files/orig/F81/TSNE/I...

There are 3 smd parts, which soldered before shipping, else you have to solder it with iron and some solder flux for the leds, because the led pins is too close to each other, you better have some flux

1. Solder the leds before the VFD tube, the longest led pin get into the rectangle through hole.

2. The "power" connector with two through hole need to connect/shorted

3. The MCU (U17) has program in it, it will work when power on.

4. U9 and 5B16 parts are removed and no need to solder as show on the pictures.

5. Cut 1-10mm uneven length of the VFD tube pin will help easy insert to the pin hole.

6. The parts 1N5819 and 1N4007 look the same but solder in different place.

7. The longest pin of the led goes into the rectangle hole.

8. The 4 pin header are not included and no need to solder, they are not in use.

Step 2: Before Power Up... Checking

-You need a 5V1A power source, 5V0.5A doesn't work. 5V2A is maxium.

-Check with the photo show above may be help easier.

-The "power" mark on the PCB I made it connected as the last photo show.

-The parts 1N5819 and 1N4007 look the same but solder in different place.

-RP1 to RP6 has a white dot, need align to the square solder hole

Step 3: The Remote

All button function

Battery may not included because of air shipping




6 change Celsius/Fahrenheit

7 change 12/24 Hour


On the alarm setting mode, by clicking the 200+ button, turn on/off the alarm

- A alarm off

CA alarm on


Step 4: The Functions

Something may help to know better of the clock

--The ds39b20 or ds18b20 is a temperature sensor, you may solder it with a cable connect out of the clock to avoid PCB and led light heat.

- The leds can’t solder with iron temp over 350`C or 662`F

Step 5: No Case?

I manage to put the clock near a white background, the led light shine on the wall create a dramatic visual effect, so it's not necessary for a case if you have put it on a white background.

Step 6: Trouble Shoot Q&A

The led work, the remote work, but the tube no light or no text displayed.

Check the big capacitor on the left bottom corner, it should have 24-28 Voltage of power, or it is the problem of the U11 and L1, U11 transform 5volt to 2x volt. Need to double check the diode if they are in correct direction, or see any parts has too much heat.

If ever thing above is good, try to remove the MCU and power on the clock, the tube should display a letter 8.

One of the VFD tube not working, or partly working

Try to replace ULN2803APG and SN74HC00N behind it, by exchange with other tube's

Also see if any broken connector inside the tubes

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13 Discussions

All segments of VDF stay on. LED under the tubes lit permanently with all 3 colours. The LED between tubes are off - except the one on the outer right side - this one light just a bit red - not at full power. I check all the board for shorts - there is none. Removing the 74HTC595(shift register) dose not change anything. Removing the ULN2803(transistor array) dose not change anything. Removing both (shift register and transistor array) dose not change anything. Removing SKDIP28 (microcontroller) dose not change anything.

Removing MC34063 (DC/DC) converter will stop all tubes.

All resistors, capacitors, diodes and LED where measured before mounting - everything ok.

The transistor 8550 get a little warmer than I like - but I suppose is because wirl all tubes on is more or less normal - same for the dc/dc converter.

The dots of the VFD tubes dose not lit at all.

Please reply

1 reply

You need to try with your remote, to turn on/off the leds, and change the led color

Here a few pictures


What size is the battery?


1 year ago

OK sound good to me, should I mail you through eBay message or here?

It will be ship on 25/11/2016, if you order now it will be ship on 25/11/2016 also.

Would you be able to send 12 hr mode MCU with each clock I purchase? Please understand I really like your clock. Thanks Wong.

1 reply

HI, there will be YYMMDD DDMMYY MMDDYY 12/24hr Celsius/Fahrenheit in early December, currently only have YYMMDD MMDDYY Celsius/Fahrenheit option in the clock.

I will be buying many of these clocks if I have 12 Hr mode available to me. These will make great gifts but only if it is able to display 12 hr mode because I am in the US.

Will kits shipping after November 1st have firmware for 12/24 hr? Can you give a link to updated firmware? Thank you!

1 reply

They will be shipped now, firmware arn't able to update, the developer don't want to share the firmware because of copy risk. And there are only 24hr ddmmyy degree C'。If big problem need to update the firmware, we will try just send the MCU to you.


1 year ago

Nice project but I thought instructables.com is for diy instructables not advertising.