Fluorescence & More: Dear Fellow Creators


Just a warm hello from me. It's been a long time since I have made some public blog posts or announcements. So here I am now, with a few really exciting things to announce. Let's get right into it.

OpenVFD/Fluorescence Firmware Version 3


Testing various driving possibilities!

All good things come threes. Right? Absolutely! (Is that how you say the German proverb 'Alle guten Dinge sind drei'?) So I've been working on a whole new firmware version for OpenVFD/Fluorescence for a while now and stoked to introduce what great things I try to aim at with this software version

Developing V3 on an ARM Cortex M0 (STM32F042K6)

  • Compatibility: Make a wish. Whether you are on an Arduino, STM32 or ATmega standalone, version 3 will adapt to the platform you're working automatically and choose the right files to include. BTW, it's all plain white C!
  • Versatility: As much as you want and all you need. No HV518 VFD display driver IC? No problem. Version 3 can interact with various other driver ICs and you can implement your own library using universal interfacing functions. Use the IC you can source most conveniently and version 3 will take care of the rest. Same goes for real time clocks and color LEDs. Pick the one you like most
  • Nixie: That's a powerful promise. Yes, version 3 will natively support nixie tubes. Finally!

That sounds quite ambitious and thus will take quite some time. Early development state right now, and the software is currently running beautifully on an STM32F0 processor. Expected rollout: January 2019

The OpenVFD/Fluorescence iPhone App


Is on the way! Just thinking about whether I should release it with firmware version 3 or not to make it much more versatile. Please let me know your opinion. Now it uses Bluetooth to communicate with Fluorescence or any OpenVFD running firmware version 2. Engineering is done. Next is for the app to make its way into the App Store!

The other end is equipped with an HM-10 Bluetooth module with logic level translator, as the ATmega328P of Fluorescence talks in 5V logic and the Bluetooth module needs 3V3. The module is connected to VCC, D9 (constant GND), D10 (TxD) and D11 (RxD) of the extension header of Fluorescence. Both USB and Bluetooth share the same communication protocol, while the latter being software emulated (SoftwareSerial).

People Love Fluorescence!


This is why I'm happy to tell you that more Fluorescence Kits are available for pre-order again now! Shipping will take place starting next week. So get your DIY Kit and build your own colorful timepiece. Since you're here, have a 20% discount code over the DIY kit: MAKECOLORSNOTWAR (Redeem until August 31st, 23:59).

 Berlin. Home to where colors are made.

Berlin. Home to where colors are made.

Frank from The VFD Collective

Hi there, it's Frank from THE VFD COLLECTIVE.

I'm a 20 year old electrical engineer student currently living in Berlin, Germany. This page, THE VFD COLLECTIVE was brought into life to promote my VFD tube digital clock (Project OpenVFD) and let everyone who enjoy doing creative nerd stuff with VFD displays and tubes to share their work.

In my free time, I'm in love with traveling, photography, hiking in the mountains, vegan food and great coffee. At home, you'll either find me learning for college or making music. Playing the piano, guitar and singing is so much fun.

Peace :)