Futaba DG10Q1 display

Thread Starter


Joined Jul 31, 2009
I've got some of these (Single digit VFD display) from an old calculator that I am trying to make some kind of display out of. I have got the pinout and voltages. There are basically three things, a filament that needs about 1v to heat it, a grid that needs 12v and for each segment another 12 v connection.

I can get the filament going with a single battery. Plus to the filament and then back to the battery minus.

Now my trouble starts. I have a 12v bench supply and I'm supposed to hook the plus up to the grid. But that's not really a circuit, at least that I can see. So what's with that? Then for each segment I need to hook that up make each one glow.

As you can see I'm not much knowledgeable about this stuff. I'm not ready to think about drivers and IC's and programming. What I want to do is to just use my breadboard and connect up a few wires to show a segment. Can any please give me some details to do this?

Thanks, Jim

p.s. I'm actually a software guy, I can do the programming, what I want to do is to understand and fiddle with the lowest level that I can


Joined Jun 2, 2019
You basicly hook up the power supply to form a common ground. just choose one end of the Filament as the ground and hook up the other end to +1V. The GND of the 12V power connects the the GND of the 1V supply. the Segments start glowing if their voltage is more positive compared the voltage range of the Filaments. The state of the Segments is controlled by the grid between the flament and the Segments. To just turn on an all Segments in one Display in General, connect all the grids and Segments together to +12V, one end of the Filament to +1V and the other end to GND. For driving the tube, you can use a dedicated Driver IC or hook up the Segments and grids to an Arduino via some mosfets. In this particular tube, there is only one grid. so all you Need to do is to connect all the same Segments of multiple tubes in parallel and multiplex them via the grids. this reduces the nuber of necessary Driver Connections to: 8(Segments) + nTubes(grids).

(bad Grammar: caused auto-correct)