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IV-26 shield for Arduino


NOTE: a detailed assembly manual is currently not available. It will probably be available within a few weeks.

This Arduino shield which is loosely based on our IV-26 display module is capable of driving 2 Russian IV-26 type 1 VFD tubes. This is a very simple VFD tube showing 7 individually controllable dots.  As an alternative, the Russian IVLM1-1/7 VFD tube can also be used.  This is in fact a scaled down version of the IV-26 tube.

Multiple shields can be stacked together if it is needed to control more than 2 VFD tubes.

The design is completely based on through hole components, no SMD components were used.  As such, the PCB can easily be assembled by anyone who has some soldering experience.  Also, the components used are cheap and easily available.

As this was designed as a more educational, easy to build project it is not the best possible solution to drive these VFD tubes from a technical point of view.  Instead of the BC547 and BC557 transistors we could have used A2982W source drivers, or we could have replaced the I2C I/O expander IC's + the transistors by a Supertex high voltage source driver IC with internal shift register. Unfortunately these may be hard to get and come very often in SMD packages.


  • Compatible with Arduino boards.
  • Drives 2 IV-26 VFD tubes.
  • Power supply 12V DC + 5V DC (from Arduino board).
  • Wire connections to the VFD tubes via optional IDC connectors.


  • Light effects and animations.
  • Sound level meter.
  • VU meter.
  • Dot matrix display.
  • Audio spectrum display.

IV-26 shield for Arduino

IV-26 shield for Arduino