Bob W9RAS does wonders for Heath SS-9000 with new Display

Bob W9RAS has solved one of the biggest usability-issues with the interesting Heath SS-9000 transceiver – how to get a new display when the original VFD gives out?

As announced at the Heath SS-9000 Yahoo Group (link ):

Yesterday well actually 2:30 AM this morning I finished the 3rd generation LED display for the SS9000 and it works GREAT !

About 3 weeks ago I noticed on Ebay some LED display chips with 3 digits in each chip and they were wired internally for a multiplex display. A nice thing about the AD on Ebay was they had a schematic of the chips right there so I could see they would work . The price was right so I ordered some on Ebay from China they arrived in a week .

Testing the LED chips showed them all to be OK . A piece of perf board was cut and the assembly was wired with #30 wire wrap wire soldering the connections with .015 dia. rosin core solder using the jewelers head band magnifier to see the tiny things. The 3.3 k pull down resistors were eliminated from the circuit when I found that the UDN6118 VFD driver chips had built in pull down resistors built in .

It took 4 sessions to complete the perf board wiring .The job was much easier than version #2 because of the three in one digit chips. Due to this the chips were narrower and there was plenty of room for a complete SS9000 display of 12 digits using 4 led chips and the 3.3 k resistors not being needed. The digits are .36 inch tall a little taller than the original VFD digits . The wiring was easier too with fewer jumper wires required . I have posted a video on youtube on this here is the address to it you may have to highlight it ,copy it and post it or just go to youtube and search for SS9000-7 .

The Russian made VFD tube was not tried in the SS9000 for the following reasons .

#1-It has many connections in different locations compared to the original VFD tube .

#2 the digits when tested on the bench were rather dim and not as good looking as the originals and

# 3 the evacuation tube or port on the back was in a different location requiring MAJOR modification to the original front panel board so it could be fit in there . So the tube from the Ukraine would be cool for another project but is not practical to use in the SS9000 .

I will post some pictures in the “photos” file to the left AND here is the web address to go to the video on the LED Display .


Outstanding work and Bob W9RAS has offered to walk me through building a replacement display. (I have one of George W9EVT’s Heath SS-9000 here to trouble shoot and see if I can get running.)

The display units are type “CP S03631BA” of which ebay currently has several auctions. is one example.



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