The TC18 – My IV-18 Based VFD Tube Clock

This is the home page for my VFD tube clock project, the TC18.

The TC18 is a clock built around an old Russian IV-18 VFD tube. You can read the story of how it came to be at this blog post.

Purchase Info

I have a single clock for sale on eBay! This is the only one I will be selling, so please bid on the auction!


  • IV-18 Russian VFD (Vacuum Fluorescent Display) tube for display.
  • ATmega328P microcontroller running at 16MHz.
  • Running Arduino bootloader for easy update.
  • Completely custom firmware.
  • DS3231 RTC (Real Time Clock) chip for keeping extremely accurate time.
  • Lithium battery for keeping time during main power loss.
  • MAX6921 VFD driver for controlling the 17 high voltage outputs.
  • Custom high voltage boost switching power supply with voltage feedback; controlled by CPU.
  • EEPROM storage of all configuration parameters.
  • Rotary encoder with push to select for configuration menus.
  • Custom aluminum enclosure designed by John Pfeiffer and realized by myself.


  • Schematic: PNG
  • All files (please read README.txt): ZIP


The enclosure of this clock was designed by John Pfeiffer at

Parts of the circuit are based on Ladyada’s Ice Tube clock at Ice Tube Clock
That clock is sold in kit form by Adafruit at Ice Tube Clock Kit

Some of the parts used in the schematic and board drawings are from the Sparkfun Eagle library at SFE_Footprint_Library_Eagle


Press and Exposure


Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.