VFD-based tube clocks

By Jon Stanley





This one is almost identical to the Numitron version, but instead this uses a VFD display.  As he did for the Numitron version, Jon graciously provides both the schematic and the code for the PIC microprocessor on his site.  It uses the same 4-led + tube setup with the LED's indicating the digit currently displayed and the tube showing the value.

All images and video are copyright Jon Stanley.


6 digits IV-11 VFD Clock with 2 Alarms.

by Kosbo.com


£54.95 / Kosbo.com



I just found this clock while doing a Google Image search for something completely unrelated. It appears to be by eBay seller Sparkeltube. It is a 6 discrete digit VFD based clock. It has two alarm and a built in buzzer. But let’s face it - you’re buying this for the display :) I love this thing - I want one!


  • Unique and new VFD Clock on the market !
  • Fully assembled and tested VFD Clock
  • Six BIG 20mm high digits (IV-11 VFD Tubes)
  • Displays Time , Date and 2 Alarm clock sets
  • Accurate & calibrated time clock source from internal crystal
  • Integrated 2 Alarm Clocks
  • Easy control with only 2 buttons
  • Uses standard 12V wall plug Power Supply
  • Precision Seconds setup
  • Internal buzzer for Alarm1 and Alarm2
  • High efficiency integrated on board DC-DC converter


This clock is so unique it has its own Wikipedia entry

I found one of these clocks on eBay a while ago and shamelessly stole the images from it, from Wikipedia and from one other source (below.)  Sadly, I didn't think to bid on it at the time. I you look at the photo above and then at the photo below, you can see a little 7-segment VFD display.  It looks like they are only using it to display the bottom half of the figure 8! That is one way to engineer a decimal point, I guess.

The Elektronika 7's are old VFD Matrix displays that have become somewhat of a collector item.  Since Wikipedia has a good description I will let them describe it:

Electronics 7 are industrial clocks with luminescent indicators where each figure was formed by four or eleven 7-segment lamps. For each indicator there was a board decoding the binary code sent by the main board. There were also models based on light-emitting diodes . The basic shortcoming of the clocks was that the segments of the display were gradually burnt out, and there was a significant difference in a luminescence between more often and less often displayed segments. It usually happened after ten or more years of continuous work. All the street and wall clocks were based on the kit by Saratov factory “Reflector” and even now are used in many administrative and industrial premises in Russia. The clocks were made on the basis of vacuum-fluorescent indicators manufactured in Russia.




By John Smout / Clock-It

Price Unknown



I found this clock while searching for clocks to feature and reminds me a lot of the Verbarius clock.  It is a large VFD display that spells out the time and appears to be able to display other information.  Sadly, it seems that only four of these clocks were ever made.  Go check out Clock-It now, he has some good stuff there.Samsung VFD display in grey metallic finish case.

From the creator:

This clock was made in conjunction with a friend, Andrew Jardine, who also introduced me to PIC programming, which opened up a whole new world to me. At last I can make my electronic dreams come true… maybe.

Not much to say about the case, it is a minimal shape made from thick polycarbonate to house the displays and my driver board that sits on the back of it. As the display itself runs off 5v and has all the necessary components to make the display work, all I needed to do was feed it serial data and off it went.

The aim of this clock is to display words much as a person speaks when you ask them the time. About six o’clock, nearly half past six, that kind of thing. So it approximates to the nearest ten minutes and gives an appropriate response.

In addition there are a few other modes. A static rather than scrolling clock, one that dissolves snowflakes into the characters.

I have made four of these clocks. Andrew has one, two have been sold and I kept one.

I have a small quantity of the displays left and Iintend to expand the repertoire of words with an EEPROM.

Originally from Clock-It (be sure to check out the video of it in action.)

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