IEE Aurora FFD61 & FFD81 Minitron Displays  
Written by AnubisTTP on 2017-05-08  


The IEE Aurora FFD61 and FFD81 devices are large, attractive minitron displays packaged in a bathtub-style metal hermetic shell. These displays have the same 17mm digit height and 21 pin basing pattern as IEE's large ceramic displays like the FFD21. Despite being advertised as a ruggedized version of the FFD21, these metal-clad displays are actually more susceptible to damage... striking the side or edge of the display tends to deform the metal and break the metal-on-glass seal. The FFD81 is rated for 100,000 hours of service at 5 volts, though on a display this large the filaments will start to 'sag' from the pull of gravity after only about half that time. The modern builder should consider building projects that allow the displays to be rotated 180 degrees periodically, which can increase the useful lifespan of these devices by several years. Interestingly, the FFD61 is not included in the standard Aurora databook, but we suspect this device is a lower brightness version of the FFD81.

IEE Aurora Family Devices Datasheet (PDF, 95kb)


FFD61 minitron display
IEE Aurora FFD61 minitron display, normal operation. Note the spiral decimal point filament... this allows a filament of the same length and resistance to be used for both the decimal point and the segments.

FFD81 minitron display
IEE Aurora FFD81 minitron display, shown next to a Wamco KW-105 for scale. The FFD81 (along with the FFD21, FFD51, and FFD61), are some of the largest minitron displays made.

IEE Minitron Displays
IEE Aurora family photo. Shown left to right; FFD11, FFD21, FFD51, FFD71, FFD61, and FFD81.

Dimensions and pinouts for various IEE minitrons.

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