Vector display!

Some years ago I obtained a few Data Check 5045 digital vector displays from HSC Electronic Supply. Data Check bought the product line from HP, where it had been the 1345A. HP used these in some of their own test equipment, and sold them for OEM use.

The displays have just sat unused until now. I’ve been saying for several years that I’d do some vector display stuff for RetroChallenge, and not getting it done. After several such failures on my part, I decided to do a non-vector-display project for RetroChallenge this time around, so naturally this time I actually did something with a vector display.

So far I have wired the display up to a power supply, and without any data source connected, it displays a test screen from its internal ROM.

The display needs +5V ±5% at 0.75A , +15V ±5% at 1.05A, and -15V ±5% at 0.3A. The maximum p-p ripple is specified as 10mV for both 15V rails, and 50mV for the 5V rail.

I’ve used a Mean Well RT-50C closed-frame switching power supply, which provides +5V at 4A, +15V at 1.5A, and -15V at 0.5A.  Mean Well seems to make good quality switching power supplies at bargain prices; in quantity one, the RT-50C costs $21.26 from Mouser Electronics.

I did not add any ripple filtering, and even with the filtering recommended by Mean Well, the rated ripple exceeds the maximum specifications of the display. To do this right, I need to put some serious LC filters on the supply rails. However, I don’t think the ripple without the filters will cause any actual problem, other than that the display precision won’t meet its specs.

The next step will be to hook the display up to a microcontroller, so I can display my own graphics.

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