A small Vacuum Flourescent Display I recovered from the skip at work.
It is housed in a project box with a mains transformer - it use to have a mystery 9-pin serial port input but it wouldn't work until we worked out that it was expecting a 5V TTL serial signal.
The Futaba Corp M202SD08G module is a 20 character x 2 line, 5x8 dot matrix display. It has a European font with characters in the range from 0x20 (space) through the ASCII range and up to 0xFF with a bunch of Greek and Cyrillic characters.
I've put a Xino into the box and I'm working on something amusing for it to do in the hackspace.
The module has a single 20 pin connector (2x10 0.1" pins) of which we only need connection for +5V, GND, serial data in and a busy line out. The module asserts the busy line when it is working but it is enough to just make short delays in your code!
I have a simple Arduino sketch that just shows each character. It uses NewSoftSerial on pins 2 and 3 as well as regular serial on pins 0 and 1 (on old Arduino0022) just for testing to see if NewSoftSerial is any good.
The mains transformer in the box is this LASCAR PSU 201 Fixed Voltage Single Rail Power Supply...
- Quite expensive at £107: http://uk.farnell.com/lascar/psu-20105/lascar-part/dp/2083568
Although the unit is useful as a plain serial-driven ASCII display there are some interesting capabilities alluded to in the various datasheets. The VFD character table includes some programmable characters. I'd like to have a go at this! There are control sequences to shift the screen and create a scrolling effect.